The DeSales High School boys soccer team has continued to look dominant as it rolls through the season with the hope its preparation results in a third consecutive trip to the Division II state tournament.

The DeSales High School boys soccer team has continued to look dominant as it rolls through the season with the hope its preparation results in a third consecutive trip to the Division II state tournament.

The Stallions knocked off some of the top teams in the state before suffering their first loss Sept. 17, falling to Worthington Kilbourne 1-0.

"That might be one of those losses that we needed," said coach Dominic Romanelli, whose team has lost to Kilbourne in each of the last three seasons. "It brought them back to Earth. We go out and beat Davidson 3-0 (Aug. 27), but we're 0-3 against Kilbourne. We just didn't play well and that's OK. The key is, are we playing the way we're capable of playing when the (district) tournament begins?"

The Stallions have had some slow starts to games before going on to win convincingly. That was the case last Saturday as DeSales defeated New Albany 3-0. The game was tied at halftime before DeSales asserted itself in the second half.

"The main concern is we just don't come out hard," Romanelli said. "We're setting a foundation to win a state championship. We're not even close to it yet. We start slow and then after we get that first goal we're like a different team."

DeSales lost to Dayton Carroll 2-1 in a Division II state semifinal last season.

The Stallions defeated host Carroll 3-0 on Sept. 12. At the time Carroll was the top-ranked team in the Division II state poll. DeSales was second.

Now the Stallions are atop the poll with Carroll third. The second-ranked team is Bay Village Bay, which the Stallions played to a scoreless tie Aug. 29.

On Saturday, the Stallions will play perennial power Youngstown Mooney, which is 5-4-3 playing a difficult schedule like DeSales does. Mooney beat DeSales 1-0 last year, one of three-regular season setbacks for the Stallions.

In case the Stallions see some of these teams in the postseason, Romanelli has continued to experiment with the lineup. Against Carroll, several players were playing positions they'll most likely not be playing if DeSales advances deep in the postseason.

"Why would we show them everything now?" Romanelli said.

The Stallions will resume their game against Worthington Christian on Oct. 13. Those teams played 13 minutes on Sept. 8 before the game was postponed because of bad weather with the score tied at 1. Worthington Christian was the top-ranked team in the Division III state poll.

"It's going to be harder to play them a second time," Michael DiCesare said of Worthington Christian. "They already know what we like to do."

•The girls tennis team had its repeat bid for a CCL title take a turn for the worse after losing to Watterson 3-2 on Sept. 22.

Against Watterson, My Linh Li defeated Maureen Stevens in first singles (6-0, 7-5) and Kim My Li defeated Hayley Shepherd in second singles (6-2, 6-1).

DeSales then dropped a match to New Albany the following day 4-1.

"(Losing to Watterson) was disappointing," coach Pablo Russo said. "The next day we lost to New Albany 4-1, but we had a freshman (My Linh Li) take (Maddie Kobelt) to three sets."

The Stallions are 11-3 overall and 3-1 in the CCL with one more league match remaining against Columbus School for Girls. Watterson improved to 3-0 in the CCL with the win over DeSales with matches remaining against Ready and Hartley.

•The girls soccer team plays host to Watterson today with the winner capturing the CCL championship. The Stallions have won the CCL title for the last two seasons, including last year when they beat Watterson 2-1.

In 2007, the Stallions defeated Watterson in the regular season for the CCL title, but Watterson returned the favor in a Division I district semifinal.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the DeSales cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 23 -- Boys: Finished seventh (214) to Whetstone (34) in 13-team Whetstone Arrowhead Invitational; Girls: Finished fourth (103) to Watterson (40) in 10-team Whetstone Arrowhead Invitational.

Last Saturday -- Finished seventh (182) to Covington (Ky.) Catholic (50) in 14-team All-Ohio Catholic Varsity Race at Kettering Recreation Center; Girls: Finished seventh (178) to Rocky River Magnificat (17) in All-Ohio Catholic Women's Championship Race at Kettering Recreation Center

Saturday -- At Erin L. Nance Invitational at London Country Club

BOYS GOLF

Last Saturday -- Finished 11th (332) in 19-team Hilliard Invitational at Heritage as St. Charles (303) won

Last Monday -- Competed at Westerville Central in season finale

Last Tuesday -- Competed in Division II sectional. The top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the district tournament Monday at River Greens.

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 23 -- Lost to Watterson 167-197

Sept. 24 -- Finished second (178) to Watterson (160) in the third round of MOGGL tournament

Last Tuesday -- Competed against Dresden Tri-Valley, Gahanna and Hilliard Darby

Tuesday -- Division I sectional at The Links. The top three teams and three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the district tournament Oct. 13 at Bent Tree.

BOYS SOCCER

*Sept. 24 -- Defeated Watterson 5-0

Last Saturday -- Def. New Albany 3-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played St. Charles

Saturday -- Home vs. Youngstown Mooney. The Stallions lost 1-0 last year.

Of note: The Stallions were 7-1-2 overall and 3-0 in the CCL before last Tuesday

GIRLS SOCCER

*Sept. 22 -- Def. Worthington Christian 7-0

Sept. 24 -- Def. Worthington Kilbourne 3-1. Rachel Ross, Erin Doone and Alvi Shively scored. Jordan Barnett had three saves.

*Today -- Home vs. Watterson. The Stallions won 2-1 last year.

Oct. 8 -- At Hilliard Davidson. The Stallions won 1-0 last year.

Of note: The Stallions are 8-1-2 overall and 4-0 in the CCL.

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 22 -- Lost to Watterson 3-2

Sept. 23 -- Lost to New Albany 4-1

Last Tuesday -- Played CSG

Monday -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

Tuesday -- Home vs. Teays Valley

Of note: The Stallions were 11-3 overall and 3-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 22 -- Def. CSG 25-8, 25-16, 25-10

*Sept. 24 -- Lost to Ready 25-10, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18

Last Saturday -- Def. Athens 25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 25-23

*Tuesday -- At Watterson. The Stallions lost 25-14, 25-14, 25-14 on Sept. 10.

Of note: The Stallions are 8-5 overall and 3-4 in the CCL.

*CCL contest