Hilliard Northwest News

Girls Soccer

Regional semifinal loss still stings Wildcats

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Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer coach Joe Divida has conflicting thoughts about the 2013 season.

He is proud of the fact that the Wildcats went 14-4-2 overall and captured their second consecutive Division I district title, but he can't help feel disappointed that his team lost to Watterson 2-1 in a regional semifinal Oct. 29 at Dublin Jerome.

"(This was a) great season for us," Divida said. "We won back-to-back district championships and really got back to the tradition of us being one of the top three teams in central Ohio and a state-level program.

"The ending was a bit disappointing to us because we thought we were prepared mentally and physically to compete outside the region, and a state championship is our goal every year. Unfortunately, we just were not able to finish our regional semifinal game like we believed we should have."

Davidson placed second in the OCC-Central Division at 5-1-1, behind Dublin Coffman (6-0-1) and ahead of Olentangy Liberty (4-2-1), Thomas Worthington (4-3), Marysville (3-3-1), Upper Arlington (2-3-2), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).

Seeded third in the district, the Wildcats defeated 33rd-seeded Central Crossing 12-0 in the second round Oct. 17, 19th-seeded Olentangy 2-0 in a semifinal Oct. 22 and 14th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 3-0 in a final Oct. 26.

Davidson loses five senior starters in forwards Ashley Blake and Lea Edler, defenders Rachel Baum and Chelsea Miller and goalkeeper Rachel Teater.

Blake scored 12 goals and was first-team all-district and all-league. Edler, who had a program-record 15 assists, was second-team all-district and first-team all-league.

Among those expected to return are seven players who started multiple games in freshman forward Abby Wells, sophomore defenders Iman Batiste and Andrea Ticknor, freshman midfielder Cassie Koenig, sophomore forward Devon McClellan, junior defender Sydney Wright and sophomore midfielder Erin Duffy.

Duffy had 10 goals and was second-team all-league along with Koenig and Ticknor. Wells, who had six goals, was special mention all-league and McClellan, who had 17 goals, was honorable mention all-league.

"I'm extremely excited for next year already," Divida said. "We have given a lot of playing time to freshmen and sophomores this year. We will also get a soon-to-be senior back that missed this year because of a knee injury, (midfielder) Faryn Buchanan, who started and played a lot as a sophomore.

"... This senior class leaves us with a great standard by playing in three district championship (games), winning two, and accumulating a 55-15-7 record over four years."

Panthers reached district semifinal

Darby showed improvement from last season even though it finished 4-12-3 overall after going 4-12-2 a year ago.

The Panthers went 1-5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to place seventh, behind Jerome (5-1-1), Bradley (5-2), Westerville South (4-2-1), Westerville Central (3-1-3), Canal Winchester (3-3-1) and Westerville North (2-3-2) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (0-6-1).

Seeded 25th, Darby beat 20th-seeded Watkins Memorial 2-1 in double overtime in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 15 and beat 28th-seeded Lancaster 2-1 in the second round Oct. 17 before losing to second-seeded Pickerington North 5-1 in a semifinal Oct. 22.

"Overall, I was very proud of my girls," coach Sarah Wiechman said. "While our record only shows four wins, each game was an improvement from last year. ... Our other biggest highlight was making it to the district semifinals. (That) had not happened since 1997."

The Panthers lose four senior starters in defenders Amber Lilly and Abbey Spangler and Helen Erb and Maggie Kuhns, who split starts in the midfield.

Spangler was honorable mention all-league.

Eight starters are expected to return in juniors Erica Custer (defender) and Madison Dixon (forward), sophomores Riley Demjan (midfielder), Carlee Murry (midfielder), Maddi Wallace (midfielder) and Ellie Weber (defender) and freshmen Nicole Burke (goalie) and Gabby Iosue (forward).

Weber was second-team all-district and first-team all-league and Dixon, who had seven goals and an assist, was second-team all-league.

Iosue had three goals and four assists and Murry had four goals and an assist.

"I am optimistic about our season next year," Wiechman said. "We had a fairly young team, but a lot of our starters are coming back."

Jaguars improved from last season

Bradley finished 10-5-3 overall, a marked improvement from last year when it went 6-8-4, and placed second in the OCC-Cardinal at 5-2.

Seeded 10th, the Jaguars defeated 27th-seeded Zanesville 5-0 in the second round of Division I district tournament Oct. 17 before losing to fourth-seeded Liberty 1-0 in a semifinal Oct. 22.

"We had a great season as a whole, going 10-5-3 with a school-record 10 shutouts with one of the most difficult schedules in the (Central) District," coach Dan Hoover said.

The Jaguars lose eight senior starters in defenders Taylor Baith, Faith Payton and Emily Wright, forward Kam Courtright, midfielders Katie Fleischman and Jenna Fodor and goalies Coryanna Fraley and Shelby Halworth.

Wright was first-team all-district and all-league and Fleischman was second-team all-district and first-team all-league. Fodor and Payton were second-team all-league, Courtright was special mention all-league and Baith was honorable mention all-league.

"Although we are losing many seniors, we feel that we will have enough experience to reload and be successful next year ... ," said Hoover, who was named OCC-Cardinal Coach of the Year.

The Jaguars expect to return juniors Alex Day (forward), Maddy Hayes (defender), Adriana Johnson (midfielder), Libby Rains (defender) and Becca Shalip (midfielder), sophomores Kennedy Elliott (defender) and Macie Kill (forward) and freshmen Maddie Bell (forward), Lily Ellison (defender), Myiah Kelley (midfielder) and Ali Phillipi (goalie).

Johnson was second-team all-league.

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