Tyler Miller picked a good time to score his first three goals of the season for the Northridge High School boys soccer team.
The junior defender's hat trick propelled the 14th-seeded Vikings to a 5-3 win at 13th-seeded West Jefferson in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 16.
"That was the first time I scored all year, and I did it three times," Miller said. "But the big thing was (sophomore midfielder) Robi Patrick. He moved the ball around so well and opened things up for all of us."
Junior forward Connor Wood had one goal and two assists, junior midfielder Jesse Nussbaum scored one goal, Patrick had one assist and sophomore goalkeeper Skyler Pritts had 10 saves.
The Vikings were 5-7-1 overall before playing 11th-seeded Madison Christian in the second round Oct. 19.
The winner advanced to play second-seeded Grandview or 19th-seeded Grove City Christian in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the higher seed. Northridge has not played either team this season.
The semifinal winner advances to a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at Westerville Central against third-seeded Worthington Christian, eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant, 12th-seeded Granville Christian or 16th-seeded Village Academy. The Vikings have not played any these teams this season.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Oct. 30 at a site to be determined.
"We played a lot of Division I and Division II teams in the LCL this season," Miller said. "It was tough playing bigger schools like that and I think it's helping us (in the postseason)."
Football team to play Utica
The football team was 2-5 overall and 0-1 in the LCL-Small School Division before playing Newark Catholic on Oct. 18.
The Vikings play Friday, Oct. 25, at home against Utica, which was 2-5 overall and 1-0 in the league before playing Johnstown-Monroe on Oct. 18.
Northridge defeated Utica 33-26 last season as Jacob Burke had 278 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 34 carries. Burke, a senior, is out for the season with a knee injury.
Utica is led by senior running back Travis Baldwin, who ran for 471 yards on 22 carries in a 59-38 win over Heath on Oct. 11. Baldwin had touchdown runs of 90, 74, 71, 66, 53 and 10 yards.
The Vikings lost to Lakewood 42-35 on Oct. 11 as junior Bryant Garee threw for 304 yards and junior Chase Hess caught 11 passes for 133 yards.
"We're in a position where we have no room for error," coach Darby Riley said. "We're making young mistakes, and a lot of them, but we're working hard to get better. That's the important thing."
Volleyball team begins postseason
The 22nd-seeded girls volleyball team was 4-16 overall entering its Division III district tournament opener Oct. 19 at top-seeded Sparta Highland, which began the postseason as the state's top-ranked team.
The winner plays 10th-seeded Utica or 15th-seeded Liberty Union on Thursday, Oct. 24, in a district semifinal at Olentangy. The Vikings lost to Utica twice in LCL play, 25-15, 25-15, 25-13 on Aug. 27 and 25-16, 25-17, 25-17 on Oct. 7. They have not played Liberty Union this season.
The district final is Saturday, Oct. 26, at Olentangy against fourth-seeded Marion Elgin, seventh-seeded Ready, eighth-seeded Columbus Academy or 11th-seeded Bexley. Northridge has not played any of these teams this season.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Kettering Fairmont.
The Vikings had two all-league performers. Senior hitter Sara Pribonic received second-team honors and junior setter Faith Miller was honorable mention.
Runners compete in league meet
The boys and girls cross country teams competed in the Division II district meet Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial. The top four teams and top 16 runners advanced to regional Saturday, Oct. 26, at Troy.
On Oct. 12, Northridge competed in the LCL meet at Watkins Memorial. The Vikings did not have enough runners for a team score in the boys or girls races. Granville won the boys meet with 36 points and the girls meet with 29 points.
For the Northridge boys, sophomore Colin Evans finished 31st (18 minutes, 56.54 seconds) and freshman James Peek was 49th (20:59.62).
Senior Kaitlin Garee (51st, 25:22.21) was the only competitor for the Vikings girls.