Stephanie Robb scored off an assist from Shelby Jude during a scrum in front of the Zanesville goal with 7 minutes, 37 seconds remaining to lift the host Watkins Memorial High School girls soccer team to a 1-0 win in its Division I district tournament opener Oct. 18.
The Warriors, who had beaten Zanesville 3-1 on Aug. 30, improved to 9-5-3 and advanced to play at top-seeded Dublin Coffman in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23. The Shamrocks tied Strongsville for second in the final Division I state poll behind Perrysburg and improved to 13-0-4 with a 10-0 win over Central Crossing in the second round Oct. 18.
"We had more heart and wanted this game more and I think you could see that by the number of balls we won in the air," Robb said. "We played much smarter in the second half. We just wanted to win a tournament game."
The victory was the Warriors' first in the district tournament since 2008 when they beat Delaware 2-1 in the first round before losing to sixth-seeded Hilliard Davidson 6-0 in the second round.
"There wasn't a girl on this team who had won in the tournament before, not even the seniors," coach Alex Stout said. "This was one of the team goals all season, to come out here and get a tournament win for the seniors. This is huge for the entire program and now maybe we can look forward to bigger goals."
Goalkeeper Madi Moore had six saves for the Warriors, who are seeded 20th and had a first-round bye.
"She kept us in the game in the first half when we started playing some kickball," Stout said. "We dominated possession in the second half because we cleaned up our play and played to feet and we're dangerous when we play that way."
The semifinal winner will play Hilliard Bradley or Olentangy Orange in a district final at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Canal Winchester. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Oct. 30.
Bradley upset seventh-seeded Dublin Scioto 2-1 in double overtime in the second round and Orange beat ninth-seeded Marysville 1-0.
Boys soccer season ends
The boys soccer team's second matchup with league-foe Mount Vernon proved to be more difficult than the first.
The Warriors defeated Mount Vernon 2-1 in an OCC-Capital Division game Sept. 4 behind two goals by Max Nader. On Oct. 17, the Yellow Jackets ended Watkins Memorial's season with a 1-0 double-overtime win in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
Goalie Alec Matthew had six saves in the loss, as the Warriors went 0-3-1 in their final four games and finished 6-8-3.
Boys, girls runners place fourth in OCC
The boys and girls cross country teams both finished fourth in the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 13 at Lancaster in their final tune-up for the postseason.
The Division I district meets were held Oct. 20 at Watkins Memorial. The boys team competed in district 2, with the top five teams and top 20 individuals advancing to the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North, and the girls team competed in district 3, with top six teams and top 24 individuals advancing to regional.
The top four teams and top 16 individuals at regional advance to the state meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
In the league meet, the boys team scored 115 points to finish behind New Albany (32), Olentangy (56) and Olentangy Orange (91) and ahead of Delaware (144), Mount Vernon (145) and Big Walnut (151). Franklin Heights did not have a team score.
Mikey McKean led the Warriors, placing second in 16 minutes, 32.6 seconds behind New Albany's Dennis Maloney (16:22). Also scoring were Tyler Day (21st, 17:47.5), Jared Clark (33rd, 18:21), Eddie Gero (36th, 18:25.6) and Austin Dowis (40th, 18:28.7).
The girls team scored 84 points to finish behind New Albany (33), Orange (65) and Olentangy (82) and ahead of Big Walnut (127), Delaware (140) and Mount Vernon (155). Franklin Heights did not have a score team.
Josie Woosley paced the Warriors, placing third (19:37.1) behind Orange's Hannah Hartzell (18:50.4) and New Albany's Camilla Suarez (19:21.9). Also scoring were Veda Durbin (ninth, 20:59.7), Natalie Watson (15th, 21:21.7), Josie Cotugno (17th, 21:29.2) and Claire Snode (45th, 23:19.9).
Football team gets set for OCC finale
The football team will close its season as well as its run in the OCC-Capital on Friday, Oct. 26, at Orange.
The Warriors, who will play in the new Licking County League next season, were 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital before playing New Albany on Oct. 19. They were 1-3 in their previous four contests, including a 42-0 loss to Olentangy on Oct. 12.
Orange had won two in a row, including a 49-13 victory over Franklin Heights on Oct. 12, and were 4-4 and 2-3 before facing Big Walnut on Oct. 19.
Against Olentangy, the Warriors allowed 522 total yards and were limited to 112. They had 64 yards rushing on 27 carries, with running back Brenden Kemp finishing with 54 yards on 15 carries.
Watkins Memorial is 0-4 all-time against Orange, including a 49-22 loss last season. The Pioneers, who shared the OCC-Capital title with Big Walnut and New Albany last season, are led by quarterback Jacob Stier, running backs Michael Forbes and Larry Rode. Through eight games, Rode had 995 yards rushing on 141 carries and 12 touchdowns.
Season ends for volleyball team
The girls volleyball season ended its season with a 23-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-7 loss to host Canal Winchester in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 15.
The Warriors finished 3-19 overall and 2-12 in their final season in the OCC-Capital to place seventh behind Big Walnut (13-1), Olentangy (12-2), Mount Vernon (11-3), New Albany (7-7), Delaware (6-8), Orange (5-9) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-14).
Watkins Memorial loses one senior in setter Katie Park.
"We will definitely miss the leadership and experience that Katie Park brought to the program," coach Jennifer Lilly said. "It will be hard to fill her shoes, but I am confident that the younger players will be working hard toward that goal."
Expected to return are juniors Monica Foutty, Brianna Morris, Mackenzie Springer and Amanda Toth, sophomores Morgan Fitch, Jamie Hammond, Kendra Lancia and Shelby Seas and freshman Liz Fafiade.
"I watched every girl in the program improve from day one until the final day of season," Lilly said. "I am so unbelievably proud of the athletes involved in the volleyball program for their heart and dedication they showed.
"With so many returnees next season, my expectations are not any different than they were for this year. I expect every athlete to work as hard as they can to learn and grow as an individual as well as a teammate. High school athletics are about teaching kids about discipline, work ethic, teamwork and commitment. Wins are just icing on the cake."
Against Canal Winchester, Park had 23 assists, Toth had 34 digs and Fafiade had six kills.
The Warriors' wins came against Johnstown (25-19, 25-9 on Sept. 1) and Franklin Heights (25-18, 25-8, 25-14 on Sept. 6 and 25-17, 25-19, 25-17 on Oct. 2).
Tennis team made 'a lot of progress'
The girls tennis team's season ended in the Division I sectional tournament held Oct. 4 and 6 at Reynoldsburg, as none of the Warriors finished in the top four in singles or doubles to advance to the district tournament held Oct. 12 and 13 at Hilliard Davidson.
In the first round at sectional in singles, senior Katie Miller lost to Reynoldsburg's Britt Condefer 6-0, 6-1, senior Danielle Pond lost to Pickerington North's Noelle Wilson 6-0, 6-0 and junior Breanna Lampron lost to Worthington Kilbourne's Jenna Towslee 6-0, 6-1.
In the first round in doubles, seniors Shelby Giffin and Molly Schell lost to Lancaster's Siara Patrick and Bailey Kuhn 6-2, 6-2 and senior Cheyenne Fletcher and junior Megan Jamison lost to Kilbourne's Elizabeth Borchers and Anna Zellar 6-0, 6-2.
Watkins Memorial finished 8-8 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Capital. The Warriors scored eight points in the league tournament Sept. 29 at Orange to finish behind New Albany (40), Olentangy (28), Orange (25), Big Walnut (19) and Delaware (18) and ahead of Mount Vernon (6) and Franklin Heights (1).
In the final OCC-Capital standings, Watkins Memorial finished sixth (18), behind New Albany (82, 7-0), Olentangy, (62, 6-1), Orange (55, 5-2), Big Walnut (44, 4-3) and Delaware (36, 3-4) and ahead of Mount Vernon (14, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (2, 0-7).
"I thought we showed a lot of progress and improvement during the season," coach Tom Dyer said. "We finished the regular season with more wins than we had last season and the girls worked hard, so it was a good season. The girls had great attitudes and the seniors set the tone for the younger girls and the future of our program."
The Warriors lose nine seniors in Fletcher, Giffin, Miller, Pond, Schell, Ariana Gremling, Jessica Knepp, Merecedes Micah and Taylor Williamson but are expected to return Jamison and Lampron.