Although he still was feeling the sting of a 3-2 overtime loss to Pickerington North in a Division I regional semifinal Oct. 29, Marysville High School girls soccer coach Jim Daugherty was quick to focus on his team's accomplishments this season.
Those achievements included winning the program's first district title by defeating top-seeded Dublin Coffman 2-0 on Oct. 26 at Westerville South.
Daugherty lauded the team's five seniors.
"It's tough to see them leave," he said. "They did a great job all season. They made it memorable. I know they made it memorable for me. They made it memorable for the rest of the team, making it to the district championship, the first ever. It's a great way to go out. Obviously, we would have liked to keep going for them and for everybody, but they did a great job."
The Monarchs finished 12-7-1 overall with the loss to North at Gahanna. North forward Cameron Shedenhelm scored the winning goal with 8 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first overtime.
Senior forward Kaela Kovanda gave the Monarchs the lead 33 seconds into the game, but North forward Emily Thomas tied it less than two minutes later.
The teams also traded goals in the second half. North forward Megan Marasco scored with 9:49 left, but Marysville freshman midfielder Aubree Lewis tied it 1:35 later.
"I was very impressed that after we went down 2-1, we got the tying goal and made it 2-2 right away," Daugherty said. "It didn't give us much time to answer and we did that, so that made me think it was our night, but it wasn't meant to be."
Senior goalie Kendra Steepe had eight saves for the Monarchs, who also lost to North 4-1 on Sept. 19.
Against Coffman, sophomore forward Lindsey Sullivan and Lewis each scored and Kovanda had two assists. Steepe had 12 saves.
After a first-round bye in the district tournament, 12th-seeded Marysville defeated 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange 3-2 in double overtime in the second round Oct. 17 and eighth-seeded Grove City 4-0 in a semifinal Oct. 22.
Kovanda scored the overtime goal against Orange and had three goals against Grove City. She was named first-team all-OCC-Central Division and all-district after finishing with 19 goals and 15 assists.
Senior forward Abby Jaggers was second-team all-league, junior defender Lauren Hampton was special mention and senior forward Tiffany Spears was honorable mention.
"We definitely had a shot to get (to the regional tournament)," Spears said. "It was just a matter of us knowing inside that we could be here. That's what we thought through this whole thing. We made it this far and I'm proud of my team."
The Monarchs finished fifth in the OCC-Central at 3-3-1, behind Coffman (6-0-1), Hilliard Davidson (5-1-1), Olentangy Liberty (4-2-1) and Thomas Worthington (4-3) and ahead of Upper Arlington (2-3-2), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).
Others who can return next season are juniors Morgan Berry (defender), Tess Cox (midfielder), Cassie Fisher (forward), Erin Geraghty (midfielder) and Erin Sweeney (defender), sophomores Megan McIntosh (midfielder), Kayla Penrod (goalie), Mackenzie Spencer (forward) and Kaitlyn Walters (defender) and freshman Fallyn Stephen.
Football team preps for postseason
The football team prepared for the Division I, Region 1 playoffs when it played Hilliard Davidson on Nov. 1.
The Monarchs, who entered the game 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Central, were 11th in the region's computer ratings and had secured a postseason berth.
Marysville defeated Central Crossing 51-12 on Oct. 25 behind a 511-235 advantage in total yards.
Quarterback Matt Mulholland completed 18 of 27 passes for 279 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Nick Mazza had eight catches for 96 yards and three touchdowns, and Logan Roston had two receptions for 95 yards and two scores.
Sandusky runs in regional meet
Sophomore Alec Sandusky competed in the Division I regional boys cross country meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North, finishing 49th of 122 runners in 17:13.19.
"Alec ran well," coach Tom Borawski said. "With Alec being a sophomore, the experience gained by running in the regional meet will help him in the future. At the mile mark, Alec was in the top 25, which shows he is not afraid to run with the leaders. As he gets stronger he will be able to maintain that pace."
The top 16 individuals advanced to state Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
Sophomore Beth Miller qualified for the girls regional, but had to withdraw during the race because of a cramp, Borawski said.
Boys soccer coach finishes first season
The boys soccer team finished 6-8-3 overall in coach Terry Smith's first season, losing at 21st-seeded Olentangy 4-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16.
Goalie Corey Mankins had eight saves for the 23rd-seeded Monarchs. Mankins, who was one of nine seniors, was special mention all-league.
"The first year, this is what happens," Smith said. "You try and bring in a new program. You try and establish some different things."
Senior defender Ethan Jenkins was first-team all-league, senior forward Ryan Husband was second-team all-league and junior forward Jordan Payne was honorable mention.
Marysville went 2-4-1 in the OCC-Central to finish sixth, behind Coffman (6-1), Liberty (5-2), Thomas (5-2), Davidson (4-2-1) and UA (4-3) and ahead of Westland (1-6) and Central Crossing (0-7).
Other players who can return next season are juniors Luke Kisor (midfielder), Andy Latimer (midfielder), Connor Richardson (midfielder), Brian Spaulding (goalie) and Jared Wolfe (midfielder), sophomores Joey Daugherty (midfielder), Justin Greilich (midfielder) and Jared Hartmann (midfielder) and freshmen Kyle Bosch (midfielder) and Tanner Bower (defender).
"There are a lot of positives to build from," Smith said. "You hate this for the seniors because they've been such a great group for my first year transitioning. I hate to see them go. They did a lot of things to try to establish some success for the program."