The Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer team had been in that situation before.

The Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer team had been in that situation before.

The Wildcats had advanced to a district final in each of the past three seasons, and last season, they advanced two rounds further before eventually going down in a regional final.

Unfortunately, the games don't get any easier at the district final level, even though the Wildcats entered the district tournament as the second seed, seven spots better than their opponent, Westerville North.

"When you get to this point, the seeds are kind of meaningless," coach Joe Divida said. "Teams get to this point for a reason."

The Wildcats' experience might have been just enough of a psychological edge last Saturday, though, as they overcame a shaky first half to beat North 2-1 in overtime in a district final at Bexley.

Paige Weber got the winning goal when she headed in a rebound following a corner kick by Leslie Dotson in the opening minutes of the first overtime period. It was the seventh corner kick for the Wildcats, who have made a living scoring on set plays all season.

"Our whole emphasis was definitely defending set pieces," North coach Tim Lawrence said. "In the tournament, when two quality teams get together, if you can defend set pieces and not give up a set-play goal, you're going to put yourself in a good position to come out with a win. But hey, they took advantage of it."

The Wildcats advanced to the district final by beating Olentangy Orange 2-0 in a district semifinal at home Oct. 21. Both goals were in the second half, including the tiebreaker by Alyssa DePaola with 25 minutes remaining.

The Wildcats improved to 15-1-3 and advanced to play in a regional semifinal last Wednesday against Watterson. The winner will play at noon Saturday at Dublin Scioto in a regional final against Upper Arlington or Dresden Tri-Valley.

UA was 17-1-1 overall before last Wednesday, although the one loss came against Davidson (2-1 on Sept. 30). In the past three seasons, Davidson is 2-1-1 against UA.

Tri-Valley, which was in Division II as recently as 2006, was 13-3-2, including a 5-0 loss to Hilliard Darby on Sept. 3.

The regional champion will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Huber Heights Wayne in a state semifinal against Centerville, Cincinnati Sycamore, Huber Heights Wayne or Cincinnati St. Ursula.

Before last Wednesday, Centerville was 19-0-1, Sycamore was 13-2-5, Wayne was 13-3-4 and St. Ursula was 16-0-3.

•The boys team made another deep run in the district tournament but won't be repeating as Division I state champion, as it lost to Upper Arlington 2-0 in a district final last Saturday at Grandview.

The action was even throughout, but UA scored twice in the final seven minutes. Tyler Fountain broke the tie when he connected on a shot from the center of the box about 12 yards out. Nathan Davis added a goal three minutes later.

Coach Terry Smith said the biggest disappointment was that his team was burned in the waning moments, the one part of the game that he tried to emphasize most.

"Ironically, the one thing that we stressed, especially after last year, was finishing," Smith said. "And we just didn't do that."

The Wildcats advanced to the district final by beating Lancaster 7-0 in a district semifinal Oct. 22. Six players scored, with J.D. Detmer scoring two goals.

Davidson finished 11-5-3 overall, and Smith said every loss, with the exception of a 3-0 decision against DeSales on Aug. 21, came because of a mental lapse toward the end of the game.

In the OCC-Central Division, the Wildcats finished fourth at 3-2-2 behind Worthington Kilbourne (7-0), Upper Arlington (5-1-1) and Dublin Coffman (4-2-1). Those four teams all reached at least a district final.

The Wildcats will lose six seniors, none of whom played significant roles last season but did figure prominently this year. Midfielder Drew Edler led the team with nine goals and was first-team all-OCC and first-team all-district.

Midfielders Nate Graham, Jeff Cowles and Alan Hale saw plenty of action this season, and Matt Rasmussen made significant contributions on defense. Ryan Beavers backed up junior Adam Black in goal and played in several games.

The Wildcats have a large junior class, led by Jimmy Caudill, Duncan Campbell and Ryan Osselborn. Campbell and Caudill are two-year starters on defense, and Osselborn is a two-year starter in the midfield. Campbell, who had six goals, was first-team all-conference and third-team all-district. Caudill was second-team league.

Sophomore Detmer, who was honorable mention all-league, has been a key contributor in the midfield for the past two seasons. He was second on the team with eight goals.

Other two-year letterwinners expected to return include juniors Brent Harmanis, Luke Pugno and Mike Stephens and sophomore Tyler Schoener.

The Wildcats also expect to return juniors Andy Grinter, Matt Sonick, Drew Haas, Nathan Hardin and Danny Winland and sophomores Connor St. Clair, Derek Cox, Corey Yant and Tommy Mesewicz.

Smith said the pressure of playing with the label of "defending state champions" made things tough on his team at times, but he said he can't complain about that type of pressure.

"That's what you want," he said. "You want that standard where people know what we're bringing, what the program is bringing to the table."

At a glance

DAVIDSON BOYS

•Record: 11-5-3 overall, 3-2-2 (fourth) in OCC-Central

•Seniors lost: Ryan Beavers, Jeff Cowles, Drew Edler, Nate Graham, Alan Hale and Matt Rasmussen

•Key returnees: Adam Black, Duncan Campbell, Jimmy Caudill, J.D. Detmer and Ryan Osselborn