Like a prize fighter, the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls soccer team went from the verge of something big to taking a standing eight-second count.

Like a prize fighter, the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls soccer team went from the verge of something big to taking a standing eight-second count.

On Sept. 21, the Lions were unbeaten in nine games and most likely on the verge of cracking the Division I area coaches poll at 6-0-3 overall.

But they entered last Tuesday's game against Worthington Kilbourne dazed, stunned and in need of a victory to recapture some confidence after watching their record dip to 6-3-3.

Gahanna fell to visiting Pickerington North 2-1 in an OCC-Ohio Division game Sept. 22, lost to host Dublin Jerome 1-0 on Sept. 24 and lost to Westerville Central 3-0 last Saturday at Crew Stadium.

"We were looking to get that one big win over a top team in the district that would push us into the poll, and we had our chances against Pickerington North," coach Jason Hardin said. "Ashley Gogolin scored early in the second half to tie the score (at 1) against North and we had two or three good opportunities after that where we didn't capitalize. Then (North) scored with just under 10 minutes left and we rushed our attack from there and really didn't get a good look the rest of the way."

North was eighth in the Division I state poll and second in the area poll behind Upper Arlington and Jerome was tied for seventh with Watterson in the area poll.

The loss to North also stung because it dropped the Lions to 3-1 in league play as North improved to 4-0.

"The loss to North seemed to take a lot out of us," Hardin said. "We played very hard, really worked our butts off, and I think there was a lingering affect against Jerome. Even though Jerome is also ranked, it was a non-league game on the heels of a tough loss. We figured the North game was for the league championship."

After the back-to-back losses to North and Jerome, Hardin thinks the girls' confidence was shaken, which may have been a factor last Saturday against Central.

Plus, the contest against Central was the Lions' third game in five days.

"We're a young team, with just one senior and four juniors starting," Hardin said. "So the confidence can be an issue, especially when you're playing teams with strong traditions. We need to beat one of those types of teams so the girls can believe in themselves.

"The girls have all been working hard and we were progressing very well. We're headed in the right direction and I thought we were starting to peak. Now there's just a few weeks left to go back out there and rebound, get over the bump in the road."

The Lions play host to Watkins Memorial today before closing the regular season with league games Oct. 6 at home against Reynoldsburg and Oct. 13 at Groveport.

•The boys team allowed only one goal through nine games. Westerville Central scored in the Lions' 2-1 win on Sept. 17.

Gahanna, which was 9-0 overall before playing Kilbourne last Tuesday, has three games this week. It hadn't played more than two games in a seven-day period since the opening week.

The Lions play today at Westerville North and Saturday at home against Upper Arlington.

Gahanna, which had scored 34 goals through nine games, remained second in the state poll behind Cleveland St. Ignatius. It was first in the area poll and Olentangy Orange was second.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Gahanna Lincoln boys and girls soccer teams:

BOYS

*Sept. 15 -- Defeated Pickerington Central 3-0. Scoring were Ben Witkoff, Jon Grooms and Chris Davis. Ryan Grimme had four saves.

Sept. 17 -- Def. Westerville Central 2-1. The Warhawks ended Gahanna's opening six-game shutout streak. Wil Trapp and Davis scored. Grimme had four saves.

*Sept. 22 -- Def. Pickerington North 2-0. Sean Lipps and Tyler Wollum scored and Grimme had seven saves.

Sept. 24 -- Def. Dublin Jerome 3-0. Saad Abdul-Salaam, Grooms and Davis had goals. The Lions limited the Celtics to two shots on goal.

Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Kilbourne

Today -- At Westerville North

Saturday -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

*Tuesday -- At Reynoldsburg

Thursday -- At Watkins Memorial

Of note: The Lions were 9-0 overall before last Tuesday and are 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio.

GIRLS

*Sept. 15 -- Def. Pickerington Central 4-0. Maggie Mayo scored two goals and Kari Weinland and Lauren Robinson each had one. Shae Ferguson and Jenna LaBorde both had three saves.

Sept. 19 -- Def. Hilliard Bradley 2-1. Ashley Gogolin and Robinson scored. Ferguson had three saves.

*Sept. 22 -- Lost to Pickerington North 2-1. Gogolin scored and Ferguson had seven saves.

Sept. 24 -- Lost to Dublin Jerome 1-0. LaBorde had two saves.

Last Saturday -- Lost to Westerville Central 3-0 at Crew Stadium. Ferguson had seven saves.

Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Kilbourne

Today -- Home vs. Watkins Memorial

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg

Of note: The Lions were 6-3-3 overall before last Tuesday and are 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio.

*OCC-Ohio contest