The Grandview Heights High School girls soccer team reached a district semifinal for the third time in four seasons.
The second-seeded Bobcats were 14-2-2 before playing sixth-seeded Fairbanks in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 23. They lost to Ready 2-0 in a district semifinal last year, the first season girls soccer had a third division. In 2009, Grandview lost to Bexley 1-0 in a Division II district semifinal.
"We never have won a district title, even though we have been there a few times," coach Mike Merna said. "Before last year, we played in Division II and had to contend with larger schools like Bexley and New Albany. That made it tough to get through. Now (in Division III) we have really good teams like Ready, Worthington Christian, (Columbus) Academy, Fairbanks (and) Johnstown to contend with. There are a lot of good teams and only one team advancing from the district."
In their last appearance in a district final, the Bobcats lost to Bexley 3-0 in 2001. Since then, Grandview is 0-5 in district semifinals, also losing to Wellington 2-1 in a shootout in 2004, New Albany 5-1 in 2005 and New Albany 3-1 in 2006.
The district-semifinal winner advances to a district final against top-seeded Ready or fifth-seeded Worthington Christian at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Gahanna. The Bobcats have not played either team this season. Worthington Christian was 10-6-2 and Ready was 16-2-2 before they played Oct. 23.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Hilliard Bradley against top-ranked Middletown Fenwick, Jamestown Greeneview, Brookville or Camden Preble Shawnee.
"We have a tough district and then the winner probably gets to face the top-ranked team in the state (in Fenwick)," Merna said. "That's a pretty tough road, but if our district champion can get past that hurdle, it would have to feel pretty good about things."
The Bobcats opened the district tournament with a 15-0 win over Heath on Oct. 15 before defeating Tree of Life 2-0 in a second-round game Oct. 18. Anna Davis and Taylor Woodhouse scored to send Grandview into its district semifinal.
Cross country teams move on to regional
The boys and girls cross country teams advanced to the Division III regional meet Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North, where the top four teams and top 16 individuals will advance to state Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
The girls team finished first (45 points) in the district 2 race Oct. 20 at Watkins Memorial as the top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced. Other teams advancing were Galion Northmor (56), Columbus Academy (57) and Fairfield Christian (133).
Ali Lachey was fourth in 20 minutes, 15 seconds to lead the Bobcats, followed by Madison Osborne (fifth, 20:49.83), Halli Bair (sixth, 21:01.14), Emma Hecker (11th, 21:37.15), Emma Wheeler (21st, 22:28.16) and Emma Mihocik (48th, 25:36.47).
Last season, the girls team finished 10th (233) of 16 teams at regional behind champion Mount Gilead (85). The Bobcats had no individuals qualify for state.
The boys team finished second (77) in the district 1 race behind Liberty Union (44) and fellow regional-qualifiers Fredericktown (82) and Mount Gilead (112).
Luke Evans won for the second consecutive week, finishing in 16:59.41.
"I think this helps us a lot going into regional," said Evans, who won the MSL-Cardinal Division race Oct. 13 in 16:50.8. "Something like five of the top teams (in the district) were in our district race, so facing that kind of competition definitely gives us confidence going into this week."
Eli Reed (12th, 17:41.57) was next for the Bobcats, followed by Chase Gage (15th, 17:53.94), Josh Smith (21st, 18:11.42), Peter Mathes (28th, 18:41.05), Jon Faris (53rd, 19:53.85) and Owen McCormick (63rd, 21:03.48).
Last season at regional, Grandview finished third (112) of 16 teams to advance to state with Sugarcreek Garaway (77), Bellaire St. John (108) and Liberty Union (128).
"We had a really good day (at district) for both teams and I was really pleased," coach Brian Schoch said. "I told the kids that we should be happy with what we did at district and to enjoy that instead of worrying about (regional). Sometimes as coaches, we're guilty of looking ahead instead of savoring the moment.
"Heading into regional, we're running well at the right time. Hopefully that will put us in position to finish in one of the top four places to advance (to state)."
Boys soccer team reaches district semi
The boys soccer team played eighth-seeded West Jefferson in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 24.
The winner plays in a district final against second-seeded Columbus Academy or seventh-seeded Columbus International at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Westerville South. Grandview played Academy to a scoreless tie Oct. 2 and did not play International this season.
The third-seeded Bobcats improved to 14-1-2 by defeating Horizon Science 2-0 on Oct. 20 in the second round for their 14th shutout of the season. Pat McHugh and Josef Palenius both scored and Ben Farynowski had seven saves.
Grandview, which had a first-round bye, had not allowed a goal in its previous five games before the district semifinal.
Last season, the Bobcats defeated Academy 1-0 to win their first district title since 2000.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Lexington against Mansfield Christian, Elmore Woodmore, Mount Blanchard River-dale and Van Buren.
Last season, the Bobcats lost to Mansfield Christian 1-0 in a regional semifinal at Lexington.
Football team to face Lions
The football team is 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the MSL-Cardinal entering its regular-season finale Friday, Oct. 26, at Liberty Union. Last season, the Bobcats beat Liberty Union 20-17.
The Lions improved to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the league by defeating West Jefferson 47-12 on Oct. 19. Jacob Basso ran for 311 yards and touchdowns of 71, 68, 52 and 37 yards.
The Bobcats fell behind by 20 points en route to a 37-16 loss to visiting Harvest Prep on Oct. 19.
Nick Schopis threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Luke Miller and a 1-yard scoring pass to Tyler Mosier. Nick Durham had 31 yards rushing on two carries, and Tim Murphy had two catches for 91 yards.
Volleyball team loses district opener
The girls volleyball team lost to host North Union 23-25, 10-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-7 on Oct. 17 in the opening round of the Division III district tournament.
The Bobcats finished 6-12.