The Dublin Coffman High School boys soccer team ran into a familiar obstacle in its pursuit of the Division I state championship.
The Shamrocks lost to defending state champion Olentangy Liberty 2-1 in overtime in a regional final Nov. 2 at Westerville Central, marking the third consecutive season in which they have fallen to the Patriots in a regional final and fourth year in a row in which they were ousted from the postseason by the Patriots.
Liberty beat Coffman by a 3-1 score the past two seasons and defeated the Shamrocks 2-1 in a district semifinal in 2010.
"Hopefully, our seniors are proud of what they accomplished this year and in their four years," coach Steve Watts said. "It's something to be in this game three years in a row. But then, of course, that is the root of our frustration that we have been here three years in a row."
Coffman trailed 1-0 at halftime but tied the game with 23 minutes, 6 seconds remaining on a goal by junior forward Ben Kinney.
But with 9:39 left in the first 15-minute, sudden-victory overtime, forward Taylor Scott scored for Liberty, which improved to 17-3-1 and advanced to play Mason in a state semifinal Nov. 6.
Junior goalkeeper Joe Zaborszki had six saves for Coffman, which finished 16-3-2 overall.
"We both deserved to be here and that was clear on the field," Watts said.
Seeded second in the district behind Liberty, Coffman had a first-round bye before defeating 32nd-seeded Pickerington Central 7-0 in the second round Oct. 21, 29th-seeded Lancaster 3-0 in a semifinal Oct. 23 and ninth-seeded Westerville Central 5-0 in a final Oct. 26 for its third district title in a row.
The Shamrocks then beat Hilliard Bradley 3-0 in a regional semifinal Oct. 30 before falling to Liberty.
Coffman got the better of Liberty in OCC-Central Division play, defeating the Patriots 1-0 on Oct. 1 on its way to the league championship. The Shamrocks went 6-1 in the league, finishing ahead of Liberty (5-2), Thomas Worthington (5-2), Hilliard Davidson (4-2-1), Upper Arlington (4-3), Marysville (2-4-1), Westland (1-6) and Central Crossing (0-7).
Coffman loses six seniors, including forward Jason Strine, midfielders Andrew Louwers and Liam Pyles and defender Nick Olmstead.
Strine had 13 goals and 12 assists and was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district. Pyles was first-team all-league and third-team all-district and Louwers and Olmstead were second-team all-league.
Leading the list of expected returnees are Kinney, Zaborszki, junior forward Patrick Gualtieri, junior defender Eric Sankovich and sophomore defender Peter Malloy.
Kinney had 13 goals and 12 assists and was named district and league Player of the Year. Gualtieri was second-team all-league, Malloy was special mention all-league and Sankovich was honorable mention all-league.
Zaborszki finished with 86 saves.
Also expected to return are juniors Justin Boamah (forward), Matt Kuzma (defender), Angel Marin-Mendez (midfielder), Nate Schimming (midfielder) and Jon Schwantes (midfielder), sophomores Jackson Grether (forward), Jack Holland (midfielder) and Lukas Manarolla (midfielder) and freshman Matt Kiley (defender).
Watts was named OCC-Central Coach of the Year.
Premature ending to Coffman girls season
The season ended sooner than the Coffman girls team expected.
The top seed in the district, the Shamrocks lost to 12th-seeded Marysville 2-0 in a district final Oct. 26 at Westerville South to finish 13-2-3 overall and snap their streak of consecutive district titles at four.
Coffman had a first-round bye and defeated 40th-seeded Westland 11-0 in the second round Oct. 17 and 21st-seeded Scioto 5-0 in a district semifinal Oct. 22 before falling to Marysville.
"Right now, it's hard to not have anything but the last game to define how the season went," coach Marc D'Auteuil said. "We did everything but score (against Marysville). Anything that could have gone wrong for us that night went wrong for us."
Coffman defeated Mary-sville 2-1 on Sept. 3 on its way to winning the OCC-Central title. The Shamrocks went 6-0-1 in league play, finishing ahead of Davidson (5-1-1), Liberty (4-2-1), Worthington (4-3), Marysville (3-3-1), UA (2-3-2), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).
The league championship was Coffman's third in a row.
"It's unfortunate, but once we let the dust settle and look back, we did accomplish a good amount this year," D'Auteuil said.
The Shamrocks' lineup featured four Division I college recruits, led by senior forward Sam Edwards, who had 17 goals and 14 assists and was named district and league Player of the Year, first-team all-state and captain of ThisWeek's Super 12 team for the second consecutive season. One of seven seniors, she has committed to Ohio State.
Senior defender Amanda Stratton, who will play at Lehigh University, was first-team all-district and all-league. Senior midfielder Brynn Schlemitz, who will join Edwards at Ohio State, was first-team all-league and second-team all-district, and senior defender Jesse Schaefer, who will play at St. John's University, was second-team all-league.
"Playing with these girls my senior year was great and I couldn't have asked for a better senior class to end it with," Schlemitz said.
Senior midfielder Jena Phillips was second-team all-league and senior midfielder Kaeli Tuinstra was special mention all-league.
"This senior class, to have four kids committed to Division I schools, it's a very strong class and they will be tough to replace, but we have some good, younger kids," D'Auteuil said.
"The j.v. team had a very good year. There's some talent coming up, but there will certainly be some turnover."
Among those expected back are sophomore midfielder Hannah Lehmkuhl, who made second-team all-league, and junior defender Courtney Dille, who was honorable mention all-league.
Others expected to return are juniors Bailey Borland (defender), Allison Johnston (forward), Megan Price (forward), Bailey Whitlow (defender/midfielder) and Morgan Witchey (goalie), sophomores Sophia Bingaman (defender), Ellie Hackett (midfielder), Christine Szabo (goalie) and Sophie VanderStoep (midfielder) and freshman Ayla Whitman (forward).
Witchey and Szabo split time in goal.
Scioto boys team losing six seniors
The Scioto boys team finished 6-11-1 overall and went 2-4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Jerome (1-3-3) for fifth, behind Bradley (5-0-2), Canal Winchester (5-1-1), Westerville South (3-0-4) and Westerville Central (3-1-3) and ahead of Hilliard Darby (1-6) and Westerville North (1-6).
Seeded 18th in the district, the Irish defeated 40th-seeded Whetstone 5-2 in the first round Oct. 16 before losing to fourth-seeded Bradley 5-1 in the second round Oct. 19.
Scioto loses six seniors, including defender Joe Stephens and midfielders Evan Ekis and Jack Shirley.
Stephens was named second-team all-league, Shirley was special mention all-league and Ekis was honorable mention all-league.
Expected back are juniors Andy Chun (midfielder), Aidan Farrell (defender), Jon Gaunt (defender), Josh Lim (midfielder), Nick McCoy (goalie) and Jack Shadoan (midfielder) and sophomores Christian Gastaldo (midfielder), Nile Ismail (midfielder), Owen Kubalak (midfielder/defender), Andres Mujica (midfielder), Joel Schuster (goalie), Matthew Scoliere (defender), Koh Yamakawa (midfielder) and Ryo Yanngase (defender).
Shadoan was first-team all-league.