For the Columbus Academy field hockey team, the wait was worth it.
Freshman Hana Sinno's goal with 6 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in the second overtime lifted the Vikings to a 2-1 win over Watterson in the state championship game Nov. 3 at Upper Arlington.
It was the Vikings' ninth state title and first since 2006, when they defeated Watterson 4-0 in the final.
"Coming into this season, people thought it was going to be a rebuilding year for us," said junior Charlotte Vaziri, who assisted on the winning goal. "We came into it with nothing to lose."
Academy, which also defeated Watterson 1-0 on Oct. 11, finished 19-0-1. Its lone blemish was a scoreless tie against Thomas Worthington on Oct. 9. Watterson finished 19-2.
"Charlotte did an amazing job getting me the ball," Sinno said of the winning goal. "We've put so many hours in in practice that it's just instinctive."
Vaziri scored the game's first goal as freshman Grace Geiger and junior Brie Stahl assisted with 4:03 remaining in the first half.
Watterson tied the game with 9:01 left in the second half when Alessandro Margello scored off a pass from Olivia Pardi.
The Vikings advanced to the title game with a 4-0 win over Cincinnati Ursuline Academy in a semifinal Nov. 2. Junior Paige Berliner and freshman Alyssa Edwards each scored two goals.
Academy was the state runner-up in 2008 and 2009 and a state semifinalist the past two seasons.
"It is amazing to win another title," coach Anne Horton said. "These girls have clicked together since day one and have carried that bond all season. It is very difficult to go all the way, so I give a special tribute to this team for making this happen. This is our ninth state championship -- it feels as special as the first one."
The Vikings will lose five seniors, including midfielder Courtney Deena, a University of Maryland recruit.
"It's amazing," Deena said of the state title. "My freshman year we were here (in the state final) and we only have two returning girls from that team (senior defender Casey Lange is the other).
"Watterson is a very strong team and they posed a very strong challenge and forced us to play our best game. What's good is that we have a strong respect for each other."
The Vikings won the Central Ohio Field Hockey League title at 10-0-1, ahead of Watterson (10-1).
Girls cross country team runs at state
The girls cross country team competed for the second consecutive season in the Division III state meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway, finishing 15th (310) of 16 teams, behind champion Liberty Center (101).
Last season, the Vikings finished 14th (321) in a 16-team field, behind champion Liberty Center (65).
"I think our girls got out competitively," coach Kelly Parker said. "Being their second year back here, it's kind of hard to know what to expect. We have two freshmen and a bunch of sophomores and one junior. We only lose one senior (Sarah Lazarus). With that being said, they ran well. They ran competitively and they ran smart. That's all you could ask for."
Sophomore Abby Wilson led Academy by finishing 26th (19 minutes, 17.27 seconds) of 141 runners. Last season, Wilson was 38th (19:53.96) of 150 runners.
"Girls got out really fast and I wanted to run my own race," Wilson said. "I didn't want to get caught up into it, but I took my mile faster than I ever have. The pain definitely set in earlier than I hoped."
Wilson said she had been fighting stomach cramping and queasiness in the days leading up to state.
Academy's other runners were junior Susan Peck (47th, 19:41.16), freshman Sydney Brault (83rd, 21:30.06), sophomore Sydnie Boykins (115th, 21:32.38), Lazarus (128th, 22:18.27), freshman Cobi Warstler (132nd, 22:33.95) and junior Grace Christiansen (137th, 23:28.24).
Academy was third (104) in the 15-team regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North behind champion Mount Gilead (92) and third (57) in the eight-team district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Watkins Memorial behind champion Grandview (45).
The Vikings were second (42) in the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 13 at Bryn Du Mansion behind Granville (28) and ahead of Bexley (82), Licking Valley (104), Newark Catholic (132), Heath (163), Lakewood (213) and Whitehall (230).
The boys team finished third in the league meet behind Granville (22) and Bexley (75) and ahead of Newark Catholic (126), Whitehall (126), Heath (140), Lakewood (144) and Licking Valley (175).
The Vikings were fifth (122) in the eight-team district 1 meet behind champion Liberty Union (44) as the top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to regional.
At regional, juniors Aron Aziz (30th, 17:48.61) and Ben Uchimura (46th, 18:14.21) competed.
Boys soccer team loses in regional semi
The boys soccer team lost to Mansfield Christian 3-2 on penalty kicks in a Division III regional semifinal Oct. 31 at Ashland.
The Vikings trailed 2-0 before Jake Tuckerman scored on a breakaway with 15 minutes remaining and Jack Lint scored with 5 minutes left.
Following two scoreless 15-minute overtimes, Mansfield Christian outscored Academy 6-5 on penalty kicks.
The Vikings finished 14-3-3.