The Watterson High School girls soccer team achieved two major objectives by rallying to beat visiting DeSales 2-1 in a CCL game Oct. 2.
First and foremost, the Eagles finished 4-0 in the CCL to win the league championship outright for just the third time in 11 years, with the others coming in 2002 and 2009. They shared the league title with DeSales in 2005, 2006 and 2010.
"Winning the CCL means a lot to us because our school takes a lot of pride in it," senior midfielder/defender Brittany Maisano said. "To beat DeSales in our last CCL game at home was pretty awesome because we have a huge rivalry with them that's just like Ohio State versus Michigan."
The win over DeSales also snapped a two-game losing streak before coach Alyx Portier headed to the Division I district tournament draw Oct. 7. The Eagles received the fifth seed behind Dublin Coffman, Pickerington North, Dublin Jerome and Hilliard Davidson and have a first-round bye. They will play host to Logan in the second round Oct. 18.
Last season, Watterson opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Logan in the second round, defeated third-seeded Pickerington North 2-1 in a district semifinal and beat sixth-seeded Dublin Scioto 1-0 (3-2 in penalty kicks) in a district final to capture its first district championship since 2008.
The Eagles then lost to Coffman 2-0 in a regional semifinal.
"Beating DeSales is definitely a huge confidence booster, especially coming off two hard-fought losses to Dublin Coffman (2-1 on Sept. 24) and Dublin Jerome (1-0 on Sept. 27)," Maisano said. "This game has given us a big shift of momentum heading into the tournament because we know we can beat good teams when we play well."
Watterson trailed DeSales 1-0 at halftime but tied the score midway through the second half on a goal by Polly Sellers. Allie Demboski then scored what proved to be the winning goal with 10 minutes left. Goalkeepers Marissa Wierzbicki (three) and McKenna Pitman (one) combined to make four saves.
"It was rainy all game and it was fun because our white jerseys were covered in mud afterward," Maisano said. "It was a real physical game. One of DeSales' players was taken away by paramedics after she collided with one of our players. And Cailey Eddingfield broke her nose when she collided with a DeSales player on a header.
"Everyone has been contributing for us. Allie Demboski and Cailey Eddingfield are playing well in the midfield, and (forwards) Ellie Ganz, Anne Montalto and Polly Sellers have helped us get a lot of (scoring) opportunities and goals. Andrea Regrut, Bryn McQuade and Coley Frommeyer have been a huge factor for our defense, and our goalies are doing an excellent job."
Ransone qualifies for state in boys golf
Senior Jon Ransone of the boys golf team shot a 75 in the Division II district tournament Oct. 3 at Granville Golf Course and won a one-hole playoff to secure one of two individual state-qualifying spots.
The top two teams and top two individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the state tournament, which will be held Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Ransone, Bexley's Grant Murphy and Johnstown's John Carlisle each shot a 75 and went to a playoff to determine which two would advance to state as individuals.
On the first playoff hole, Murphy and Ransone both bogeyed a par 4, which was one stroke better than Carlisle, to qualify for state.
"I started off kind of rough," Ransone said. "I was 2-over through four (holes), then just kind of scrambled throughout the day. Luckily, I finished even on my last five holes, which is the hardest part of the course, so I gained on the field there. It's all about staying positive because I wasn't quite hitting the ball well, but I hit some good putts when I needed to and had some good wedge shots, which saved me."
Watterson shot a 317 to place third of 12 teams behind state-qualifiers East Liverpool (314) and St. Clairsville (315).
"Actually, we thought the team, coming into (Oct. 3), we were guaranteed (to advance to state)," Ransone said. "We got ahead of ourselves. We thought if we showed up, we'd get through, which definitely wasn't the way to look at it. I think the underclassmen definitely learned that nothing's a guarantee, so hopefully we can all learn from this next year.
"We thought we were the best. We knew we could (get to state), but I think we kind of took things for granted."
Also competing for the Eagles were senior Robbie Camp (79), junior Seth Cones (81), sophomore David Shepherd (82) and senior Bobby Bryant (83).
Last season at state at NorthStar, Ransone shot a team-best 167 over 36 holes as the Eagles placed fifth (698) of 12 teams behind champion Springfield Kenton Ridge (677). He hopes to improve his score well enough to earn all-state honors.
"I played OK (at state) last year," Ransone said. "I learned a lot (about) how to play in those conditions, so I think I'll be ready for it this year."
Watterson finished ninth (335) in the 16-team Jerome Honorary Invitational on Oct. 6 at Riviera behind champion Upper Arlington (304).