Winning a league title might be nothing new for the Grandview Heights High School boys soccer team, but another streak lies ahead.
The Bobcats clinched the MSL-Cardinal Division championship with a 4-0 victory at West Jefferson on Oct. 4. It's their 13th league title in a row, and now that momentum might help them earn a second consecutive district title.
Grandview is seeded third in the Division III district tournament behind top-seeded Worthington Christian and Columbus Academy. Last season, the Bobcats defeated Academy 1-0 at Canal Winchester to win their first district championship since 2000.
"(Our district seeding) was about where we expected to be," said coach Brian Neidenthal, whose team is 12-1-2 overall and 4-0 in the MSL-Cardinal as it closes the regular season at home Thursday, Oct. 11, against Harvest Prep. "If we keep winning, we'll have a chance to play at home until the neutral site of the district final (Oct. 27 at Westerville South)."
After a first-round bye, the Bobcats open at home Oct. 20 against ninth-seeded Horizon Science or Grove City Christian.
The victory over West Jefferson was the team's 12th shutout of the season. One of the shutouts was a scoreless tie with Academy on Oct. 2. The Bobcats also have not allowed a goal in league play, outscoring opponents 14-0.
"We try to come out strong early and stay focused to control the game," said senior goalkeeper Ben Farynowski, who had five saves against West Jefferson. "We haven't allowed a goal in the league this year. We didn't last year. It's been awhile."
The Bobcats have 13 consecutive league shutouts, outscoring opponents 51-0 in those games. The last time they surrendered a goal in league play was during a 2-1 victory over Fisher Catholic on Sept. 23, 2010.
"We've been getting great midfield play," Neidenthal said. "We have been able to possess the ball in the midfield and slow things down before it gets to the back."
Against West Jefferson, Colin Jourdan scored twice and both Zach Clemens and Ryan McHugh had one goal.
Through four of five MSL-Cardinal games, Grandview (4-0) was followed by Licking Heights (2-1-1), West Jefferson (2-1-1), Fisher Catholic (2-2), Liberty Union (1-3) and Harvest Prep (0-4).
Neidenthal said the Academy game could be a preview of a district final.
"Both teams were playing pretty conservatively (Oct. 2), trying not to make mistakes," said Neidenthal, whose team lost to Mansfield Christian 1-0 last year in a Division III regional semifinal at Lexington. "That's what will happen in the district. When a team makes a mistake, it will likely cost (that team) the game."
Girls soccer team earns second seed
The girls soccer team received the second seed in the Division III district tournament behind Ready. Those teams would not meet until a possible district final Oct. 27 at Gahanna.
Academy was the third seed, followed by Johnstown and Worthington Christian.
The Bobcats open at home Monday, Oct. 15, against Heath, which was the final seed in the 16-team district. The winner plays Oct. 18 in the second round against seventh-seeded Tree of Life or ninth-seeded West Jefferson.
"We were talking coming over (to the draw Oct. 7 at Olentangy) that we could be seeded anywhere from second to fifth, so we're happy," said coach Mike Merna, whose team was 10-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio before playing Academy on Oct. 9. "We talked about the teams that we would like to play and the teams we wanted to wait to play, and the ones we wanted to stay away from were mostly in the other bracket."
Grandview defeated Heath 11-0 on Sept. 4.
The Bobcats defeated Liberty Union 4-0 on Oct. 2 as Kira Thomas scored twice. Morgan Ettrich and Lauren Jones both scored one goal.
On Oct. 4, Granville beat the Bobcats 2-0 as Abby Riggs had nine saves.
Grandview closes the regular season at home Saturday, Oct. 13, against Dresden Tri-Valley.
Tennis season ends at sectional
Junior Kiley Kinnard and the doubles team of senior Aileen Evans and junior Ellie MacLeod led the girls tennis team by reaching district-qualifying matches in the Division II sectional Oct. 4 and 6 at Columbus School for Girls.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, at CSG.
Kinnard lost to Mi Linh Li of DeSales 6-0, 6-0 in a quarterfinal match. Evans and MacLeod lost a quarterfinal to Hartley's Kim Osborn and Reese Walasezk 6-1, 6-0.
"I was very proud of the way we played," coach Steve Hall said. "For whatever reason, a lot of the top (seeded) teams went to CSG, but our girls came out and competed and they played well."
Also in singles, senior Anna Oberla defeated Brianna Ellis of DeSales 6-1, 6-0 before falling to CSG's Jenny Henderson 7-6, 6-2 in the second round. Senior Sara Berning defeated Buckeye Valley's Nichole Mullins 7-6, 6-3 before losing to Linda Yang of CSG 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.
The doubles team of seniors Erica Jackson and Maddie Varner defeated Buckeye Valley's Sarah Parker and Caitlyn Williams 6-0, 6-4 before falling to Village Academy's Allison Gales and Mallory McCorkle 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.
"We're really going to miss the seniors because they were five kids who played a lot of varsity tennis for us," said Hall, who completed his 16th season. "They worked their way up through the j.v. ranks and really played well for us."
The Bobcats finished 11-5 overall after defeating Eastmoor 5-0 on Oct. 2. In the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio, Grandview finished fourth (32 points, 2-3) behind Academy (75, 5-0), Bexley (58, 4-1) and Granville (38, 3-2) and ahead of Fisher Catholic (8, 1-4) and Whitehall (5, 0-5).
Expected to return are juniors Cathleen Gleason, Kinnard and MacLeod as well as sophomore Emily Lolli.
"Kiley and Ellie were keys for us this year," Hall said. "But once again, we'll be looking for some j.v. players to step up and fill the varsity courts. That worked for us this season. Hopefully they will work on their games in the offseason and have good years for us."
Cincione cards 83 at district
Senior Adam Cincione represented the boys golf team in the Division III district tournament Oct. 2 at Cumberland Trail, shooting an 83 and failing to reach the state tournament.
The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, at NorthStar.
State-qualifying teams were Wellington (309), Columbus Academy (309), Tree of Life (319) and Sugarcreek Garaway (321). Individuals advancing were Grove City Christian's Cameron Michalak (73), Village Academy's Jeg Coughlin III (74), Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant's Brent Morgan (76) and Waterford's Branden Offenbacker (77).
"Adam hit the ball incredibly well. He played so well, but he couldn't putt," coach Kevin Richards said. "He had 38 putts in his round. It was just one of those days on the course."
Cincione, who was making his first district appearance, had a 44 on the front nine and a 39 on the back nine.
Football team to play Saturday game
The football team travels to Fisher Catholic on Saturday, Oct. 13, for an MSL-Cardinal game.
The Bobcats are 4-3 overall and 2-2 in league play. The Irish fell to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in the MSL-Cardinal by losing to Liberty Union 41-6 on Oct. 6.
Last season, Grandview beat Fisher Catholic 44-13. The Bobcats have won five consecutive games in the series. The last win for the Irish was 40-7 in 2006.
The only win for Fisher Catholic this season was 35-26 over visiting Berne Union on Sept. 14.
The Bobcats defeated Berne Union 42-16 at home Oct. 5 as Payton Jones rushed four times for 162 yards with touchdowns of 74, 73 and 5 yards. Nick Schopis had 136 yards on 11 carries with a 43-yard touchdown run as Grandview rushed for 401 yards. Tyler Mosier had a 7-yard touchdown run and Phil Readey had a 1-yard scoring run. Leo Readey made six extra points.