Davidson girls capture district title
By beating fifth-seeded Watterson 2-1 in a Division I district final on Oct. 27 at Canal Winchester, the Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer team continued to rewrite its record book.
Not only did the fourth-seeded Wildcats capture their first district championship since 2008, they also improved to 17-2 to set the program record for victories in a season and scored their 92nd and 93rd goals of the season to set the program mark for goals in a season.
Junior forward Ashley Blake scored both goals against Watterson to push her season total to 20 and trailed only one teammate in goals in senior midfielder Lauren Bates, who had 25 through 19 games.
Both Bates and Blake already have surpassed the program record for goals in a season that was set by 2012 graduate Courtney Hall last year, when she scored 18.
"We're having a great season and a lot of our records are starting to fall," coach Joe Divida said.
"It's great to have two players set our goal-scoring record in the same season, but the record that means the most to us is most wins in a season. Hopefully, we can keep adding to that one."
Davidson plays Dublin Jerome in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Gahanna, with the winner facing Dublin Coffman or Pickerington North in a regional final at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Jerome.
The Wildcats lost to Coffman, which was ranked second in the final state poll, 2-0 on Aug. 28 and lost to North 2-1 on Oct. 6.
The regional champion plays Centerville, Cincinnati Ursuline, Cincinnati Seton or Mason in a state semifinal Tuesday, Nov. 6, at a site to be determined. The state final is Nov. 9 at Crew Stadium.
"Trust me, the girls know that we could see one of the teams that beat us (during the regular season) in the regional final, and they're hoping to get a chance to play either of them again," Divida said. "All four of the teams that made it to the regional tournament are good enough to win it. We'll make some small adjustments, but we'll mostly play the same way we've played all year. When we get the opportunity, we'll counterstrike as quick as we can."
Against Watterson, Blake scored her first goal early in the first half after receiving a pass from Jenna Sulc and beating an Eagles defender. Blake scored her second goal midway through the first half before Watterson's Allie Demboski scored late in the first half to make it 2-1.
"Watterson is an outstanding team that deserved to be a top-five seed," Divida said. "Our pace was probably the difference. Our overall speed as a team was a little better than theirs and we were able to break them down and get behind their defense multiple times for quality (scoring) chances. We had two other goals called back that could have opened things up even more."
Goalkeeper Rachel Teater had eight saves against Watterson.
"We defended really well, especially in the second half when we had to go into the wind," Divida said. "We didn't let them get behind us and they didn't have many quality opportunities."
The Wildcats defeated visiting Thomas Worthington 4-1 in a district semifinal Oct. 23, as Blake had two goals, Bates and Chelsea Miller each scored one and Teater had one save.
"This was a good win for us and I'm happy that we've been able to avoid being upset all year," Divida said. "We wore them down and then jumped on them in the second half."
Bradley girls fall in district semifinal
The Bradley girls team lost to 13th-seeded Olentangy Orange 2-1 in a district semifinal Oct. 23 to finish 6-8-4.
"We had plenty of opportunities to score, but we just didn't get it done," coach Dan Hoover said. "We hit the crossbar twice and Katie Fleischman and Faith Payton both were stopped on shots where Orange's goalkeeper made great saves to keep the ball out of the back of the net."
With the Jaguars trailing 2-0, Amanda Fodor scored with 12 minutes remaining.
"Orange took advantage of playing at home on a narrow field and all of their throw-ins were inside our box," Hoover said.
"We weren't quite ready for that and they scored both their goals on throw-ins to the near post that were headed over our goalkeeper."
Darby boys ousted in district final
The Darby boys team lost to second-seeded Gahanna 2-0 in a Division I district final on Oct. 27 at Westerville South to finish 15-2-2.
"The scoreboard didn't reflect the way the game flowed," coach Johnny Ulry said. "We dominated play and were the better team, in my opinion, but they scored early in the first half and again in the second half when we were pushing forward. But give Gahanna credit for executing their game plan and beating us. They kept a lot of people back to keep us from scoring, and they have a kid up top (Andrew Schwall) who is the fastest player we've seen all year and he made the difference (with a goal and an assist)."
Seeded third, the Panthers defeated 10th-seeded Olentangy 2-1 in double overtime in a district semifinal Oct. 24 at home.
Olentangy led 1-0 at halftime, but Ryan Kasprzak tied the score in the second half and scored the winning goal in the second overtime.
"That was a grinding, physical game and it was pretty even for the most part," Ulry said. "Ryan had a phenomenal shot to tie the game, and after Olentangy had the better of the first overtime, we regrouped and ended it before it went to penalty shots."