Senior midfielder Brie Stahl proudly held up a special ball as the Columbus Academy field hockey team posed for celebratory photos Nov. 2 at Upper Arlington.
The Vikings had just won their 10th state title, defeating Thomas Worthington 1-0 on Stahl's goal with 4 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first 10-minute overtime of the championship game.
"Our season has been amazing," Stahl said. "I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to be on the field with."
"I can't believe this," said senior goalkeeper Sarah Guendert, who had six saves. "It's all about the team."
The Vikings, who finished 18-2-1, defeated Watterson 2-1 in two overtimes in a district final Oct. 26 and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 1-0 in overtime in a state semifinal Nov. 1 at UA.
Senior attacker Paige Berliner scored the winning goal against Watterson and sophomore midfielder Grace Geiger scored against Mount Notre Dame.
"They've had the courage to face the adversity and they looked it square in the face and didn't shy away from it," coach Anne Horton said. "They moved through it, and for young ladies to do that, it's a true testament to why we are state champions right now."
Academy also defeated Lancaster (3-0 on Oct. 16) and Worthington Kilbourne (5-0 on Oct. 22) in the district tournament.
Academy and Thomas met twice during the regular season. The teams tied at 1 on Sept. 19 and Thomas won 3-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League title game Oct. 12.
The Cardinals (19-1-1) had a chance to win the third meeting late in regulation and early in overtime after Stahl was called for a two-minute green-card penalty.
The Vikings killed the penalty, and Stahl returned to score the game- winner.
"It was another close game, but I knew that we were going to win it," Stahl said. "I truly believe in all my teammates. They're amazing players."
Playing for Thomas was sophomore midfielder Hana Sinno, who scored the winning goal for the Vikings in a 2-1 double-overtime win over Watterson in the state final last season.
Academy finished first (8-0) in the COFHL-East Division ahead of Bexley (7-1), Watterson (6-2), Kilbourne (4-4), Hartley (3-4-1), New Albany (3-5), Columbus School for Girls (2-5-1), Granville (2-6) and Lancaster (0-8).
Others eligible to return are juniors Alivia Brown (midfielder), Lauren Martin (defender) and Kendall Silwonuk (defender), sophomores Caroline Aronowitz (defender), Katie Boeckman (midfielder), Alyssa Edwards (attacker), Lottie Smith (attacker), Maddie Vaziri (attacker) and Madeline Walter (attacker) and freshmen Emily Cammeyer (attacker), Alaina Gwin (attacker), Natalie L'Hommedieu (attacker), Baylee Mueller (midfielder), Tia Proiciou (goalie) and Karina Walter (defender).
Rizk runs to third place in state meet
Junior Julia Rizk, in her first season on the girls cross country team, finished third (18:48.51) in the Division III state meet Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway as Academy was 13th (278) of 16 teams behind champion Liberty Center (98).
"I was trying to help out the team and help out myself as well along the way, getting ready for track (and) maybe get a little endurance," Rizk said. "I was coming in here hoping we'd make it to states and race as a team together."
In track and field, Rizk helped the Vikings to a second-place state finish last spring. She was second in the 1,600 meters and anchored the second-place 3,200 relay.
That success carried over to cross country.
"(Rizk) makes coaching fun," coach Kelly Parker said. "She goes with what you say, she never complains, and she fights through the hard workouts and is unbelievably deserving of a third-place finish her first time around."
Also competing at state were freshman Audrey Grammel (50th, 20:13.51), sophomores Cobi Warstler (106th, 21:27.13) and Sydney Brault (110th, 21:29.94), junior Sydnie Boykins (114th, 21:33.3), senior Susan Peck (119th, 21:46.59) and junior Emma Farrenkopf (138th, 22:49.38).
Boys soccer team loses in regional semi
The boys soccer team finished 14-5-1, losing a Division III regional semifinal to Worthington Christian 3-1 on Oct. 30 at Dublin Jerome.
"They are kids that played hard and left everything out on the field," coach Ron Leach said. "Our goal was to go one more step, but we just didn't quite complete it."
In the district tournament, top-seeded Academy defeated 23rd-seeded East Knox 9-0 on Oct. 19, sixth-seeded Wellington 1-0 on Oct. 23 and fifth-seeded Columbus International 1-0 on Oct. 26.
Senior midfielder Jack Lint, who had 13 goals and six assists and was one of 11 seniors, was named Player of the Year in the MSL-Ohio and first-team all-district.
Senior forward Jake Tuckerman had 13 goals and 21 assists and was first-team all-district and all-league, and junior defender Marcel Knopp was second-team all-district.
Senior forward Gavin Koerner had 15 goals and seven assists, and junior forward Tim Leathery had 11 goals and seven assists. Senior goalie Tyler Kohman had 73 saves.
Others eligible to return are junior midfielders J.P. Perrini and Wes Terveer, sophomores Logan Baker (defender), Ryan Cullen (midfielder) and Andrew Kennedy (midfielder) and freshman defender Nate Goldfarb.
Academy tied Worthington Christian for second in the MSL-Ohio at 5-1-1, behind Bexley (5-0-2) and ahead of Grandview (5-2), Grove City Christian (2-5), London (2-5), West Jefferson (1-5-1) and Whitehall (0-6-1).
Girls soccer team falls to Fenwick
The girls soccer team reached a Division III regional semifinal, losing to Middletown Fenwick 2-0 on Oct. 29 at Hilliard Bradley to finish 11-4-6.
Seeded fourth in the district tournament, the Vikings opened with a 10-0 win over 13th-seeded Liberty Union on Oct. 14 and defeated top-seeded Worthington Christian 2-0 on Oct. 17. They then beat fifth-seeded CSG 2-0 on Oct. 22 and second-seeded Fairbanks 2-1 on Oct. 26 for their second district title in three years.
"This shows that we're a strong program," coach Kelly Snead said. "Even after we graduate players, we can bounce back after a year."
Senior midfielder Katerina Weikert led the team with 24 goals and 23 assists and was Player of the Year in the district and MSL-Ohio for the second connective season.
Junior midfielders Jenna Berlet and Annie Meacham were first-team all-league, junior midfielder Kelly Brown and sophomore forward Brianna Abell were on the second team, and senior defender Margaret Sutton, sophomore goalie Neve Adler, sophomore midfielder Louise Rosler and freshman forward Sophie Rings were honorable mention.
Rings had 14 goals, Meacham had 11 goals and seven assists, Brown had six goals and 12 assists, and Adler had 90 saves.
Academy finished fourth in the league at 3-2-1, behind Worthington Christian (6-0), Grandview (4-1-1) and Bexley (4-2) and ahead of West Jefferson (2-4), London (1-5) and Madison Plains (0-6).
Others eligible to return are junior midfielder Riley Ransom, sophomores Savannah Cofer (midfielder), Miriam Knopp (midfielder), Christina Lee (forward), Nida Pervez (midfielder), Lily Rizk (defender), Louise Rosler (midfielder), Metty Schroeder (midfielder) and Caroline Silwonuk (defender) and freshmen Grammel (defender) and Betsy Wallace (defender).
Football team loses to Bexley
The football team lost at Bexley 24-7 on Nov. 1 to finish 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the MSL-Ohio.
The Vikings were ninth in Division VI, Region 21, one spot out of the playoffs.
"We had three turnovers in the first half and we had a hard time stopping their run game," coach Jim Collis said. "They controlled the line of scrimmage, and that is usually where the game is won."
The Lions, who had a 390-188 advantage in rushing yards, led 24-0 in the fourth quarter when Charlie Watters connected with Bryce Bailey for a 38-yard touchdown.
Watters completed 14 of 23 passes for 197 yards with an interception, and Bailey had six carries for 97 yards.