Entering his team's game Sept. 10 at Olentangy Liberty, Marysville High School girls soccer coach Jim Daugherty had been pleased with the Monarchs' early season performance.
A 6-3 loss, however, left some doubts in his mind.
Both teams scored twice in the first 10 minutes and were tied at 3 at halftime before the Patriots scored three goals in the second half to win the OCC-Central Division contest.
"We didn't respond like we did in the first half," Daugherty said. "We just have to be smarter in the back and not necessarily just in the back. We have to be better with pressure. ... I was happy before the game. Now I have to figure this out."
The Monarchs, who are 1-2 in the league, fell to 5-4 overall after losing at Worthington Kilbourne 4-3 on Sept. 12. Senior forward Tiffany Spears scored two goals.
Senior forward Kaela Kovanda scored Marysville's first two goals against Liberty, giving her team a 2-1 lead with 30 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first half.
Liberty's Julia Bruno tied the game at 2 just 25 seconds later and Lizzie Castro gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead midway through the half.
Marysville forward Lindsey Sullivan tied the game at 3 with 2:40 left in the half.
Goalkeeper Kendra Steepe finished with four saves for the Monarchs, and Liberty goalie Miranda Kuhns had five.
"We definitely tried our best, but we can't give up six goals," Kovanda said. "There's nothing we can really do about that. We have to work hard and figure out what we did wrong and go from there."
The Monarchs' early season success included a 2-1 win over Hilliard Bradley on Aug. 22 and a 5-0 win over Jonathan Alder on Aug. 29.
Daugherty said his team played well in a 2-1 loss against visiting Dublin Coffman on Sept. 3. Kovanda scored and Steepe had five saves.
Coffman is 3-0 in the OCC-Central and seeking its third consecutive league title, and Liberty also is 3-0.
"The OCC-Central will be very competitive," Daugherty said. "Coffman is (ranked) third in the state and (Hilliard) Davidson was receiving votes in the last state poll. Liberty is also very good and Upper Arlington and Thomas Worthington are always competitive, so every night we play, we need to come prepared. It will be an exciting season and I'm looking forward to more great games to come in the league."
Football team to open league play
The football team will open OCC-Central play Friday, Sept. 20, against visiting Westland.
Last season, the Monarchs defeated Westland 51-14 on their way to a 3-4 finish in the league.
Marysville, which played Dublin Scioto on Sept. 13, improved to 2-0 by defeating host Jonathan Alder 13-0 on Sept. 6.
It was the Monarchs' first win over the Pioneers since the series resumed in 2010.
"That was a good win for us," coach Morgan Cotter said.
"I would have liked to see us score a few more points, but a win's a win. I told someone if we win by one or 100 it really doesn't matter to me, I just want to win."
Quarterback Matt Mulholland scored on a 7-yard run in the first quarter and connected with wide receiver Alec Draughon for a 12-yard touchdown in the fourth.
Mulholland completed 24 of 45 passes for 182 yards with one interception.
Marysville allowed 239 yards.
Westland, which played Columbus East on Sept. 13, fell to 0-2 with a 24-0 loss at Mifflin on Sept. 6.
Sophomore D'Kahri Scott is in his first season as the starting quarterback for the Cougars, who have lost 34 consecutive league games.
Other key players are seniors Nick Green (RB/LB) and Alex Pridemore (DL).
"We look forward to our league play," Cotter said.
"It will be important to get off to a good start against Westland. I have seen glimpses of them on film and they have nice athletes. If they get that thing righted, we're going to have to play real well to put ourselves in a position to be successful."
Volleyball team defeats UA
Girls volleyball coach Jennifer Burton was looking for consistency from her team as it passed the midway point of the season.
The Monarchs are 7-7 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Central.
"The girls have a lot of individual talent. We are still working on making things consistently click as a team," Burton said.
"When we are on, we can execute and put balls away almost every time. Our goal is to make this happen more often than we are seeing it currently.
"All around we are pushing girls to move quicker on the court ... in an effort to take our team to the next level that we know we are capable of."
Marysville defeated host Upper Arlington 25-23, 25-19, 18-25, 25-23 on Sept. 10. Setter Morgan Thompson had 20 assists, defensive specialist Abby Butler had 17 digs and middle blocker Monica Miller had 13 kills.
"The match was a constant battle back and forth -- neither team was allowing the other to get a big run, so instead it was one or two serves and then a side-out the majority of the time," Burton said. "Our defense did an excellent job getting touches on balls, especially in game four, and not letting a ball drop without someone there making an effort with it."