The Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer team scored six minutes into its Division I regional semifinal against Watterson on Oct. 29 at Dublin Jerome but wasn't able to maintain its one-goal lead.
The Wildcats gave up two first-half goals en route to a 2-1 loss to finish 14-4-2.
"When we played Watterson (in a scrimmage Aug. 9), they were more of a possession team and that's what we were prepared for, but they were as direct as a team can get in this game and they were able to score off a couple of direct plays," assistant coach Becky Alcox said. "It just came down to a couple of defensive mistakes we made. That made the difference."
Sophomore forward Devon McClellan scored off of an assist from senior forward Lea Edler to put the Wildcats up 1-0.
"That goal was good work by our three players up top," Alcox said. "They found each other's feet and set Devon up with a great scoring chance."
Watterson answered with back-to-back goals by forwards Priscilla Severance and Emily Ganz to take a 2-1 lead into halftime, and the Eagles limited the number of quality scoring chances Davidson had in the second half.
Senior forward Ashley Bates had the Wildcats' best scoring chance in the second half, heading the ball about one foot wide of the left goal post with 18 minutes left.
Watterson goalie Marissa Wierzbicki had six saves and senior goalie Rachel Teater made five saves for the Wildcats.
"We never gave up, but we just couldn't score that second goal that we needed to get back in the game," Alcox said.
Bradley boys fall in regional semifinal
The Bradley boys soccer team lost to defending state champion Olentangy Liberty 3-0 in a Division I regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Gahanna to finish 12-2-6.
Midfielder Donny Deep scored two goals for the Patriots, who led 2-0 at halftime. The Patriots added an insurance goal with 10 minutes left and Patriots goalie Sam Nelson had four saves.
"We thought (Liberty would) be more technical and possess the ball a little more, but we just weren't ready for the direct play," coach Pat Billman said. "They were very good at that, getting the ball forward to their big, strong guys and just flicking it on the net. They almost bypassed the midfield sometimes and played really direct."
"That kind of caught us off guard. They're a talented team and, at the end of the day, they're the better team. You can't do anything right now but applaud them because they came out and executed what they were going to do. I've never seen Deep play. He's a special player."
Goalie Jorge Morales had five saves for Bradley, which had beaten New Albany 2-1 in a district final Oct. 26 to capture the first district championship in the program's five-year history.
The Jaguars also finished first in the OCC-Cardinal Division this season, marking their first league title.
"We did a great job (this season)," Billman said. "I'm not trying to harp on the bad because this team put us on the map. They put two banners in the school. We don't have a lot of banners at our school. ... That's what I'm really proud of. We just didn't have it (against Liberty).
"All year, we were always the aggressor. We were always getting on the board first. We played from behind once, so going down is not what we're accustomed to. When we went down, it's very difficult to come back, especially in a regional final against the defending state champions."