Olentangy Liberty High School field hockey coach Gena Bailey said her team may have been a bit overwhelmed by the pressure of playing in a district final, but she believes the Patriots will have other opportunities to win a district championship.

Olentangy Liberty High School field hockey coach Gena Bailey said her team may have been a bit overwhelmed by the pressure of playing in a district final, but she believes the Patriots will have other opportunities to win a district championship.

The Patriots lost to eight-time state champion Columbus Academy 4-0 in their first district final appearance last Saturday at Dublin Scioto to finish 14-4-1.

"Teams like Watterson and (Thomas Worthington) and Academy, they know how to handle the pressure and how to prepare for this game," Bailey said. "This is our first time. It's not like we're not going to be back. Liberty will be back, one step at a time. But there's a first time for everything and the first time you do it you're going to make mistakes."

Liberty had beaten Academy 1-0 on Sept. 4. But Academy, which improved to 15-1-2 and advanced to face Thomas in a state semifinal on Friday at Upper Arlington, took an early lead in the rematch, scoring five minutes into the game, and controlled play throughout.

"(The players) have nothing to be ashamed about," Bailey said. "They made it here, and that's a heck of an accomplishment. They're in the top eight. There are girls out there who would die to be in our position, to be in the district final. Would I have liked for the game to have gone a lot better? Absolutely, but the girls played their hearts out."

Liberty, which established a program record for victories in a season, topping its 13-5 mark from a year ago, opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over Toledo Maumee Country Day on Oct. 15 and defeated Bexley 2-1 in a district semifinal Oct. 21.

The Patriots lose five seniors in Brittany Burga (defender), Maria Fortunato (midfielder), Erica Musson (forward), Brenna Novak (midfielder) and Katie O'Sullivan (midfielder). Musson led the team with 23 goals.

"I'm losing Erica and Brittany, my two captains, who have done an excellent job for me, and I'm losing all of my experienced (midfielders)," Bailey said. "But I've got a great junior class and sophomore class coming up and I've got a whole bunch of incoming freshmen, which is a heck of a thing to look forward to."

Expected to return are juniors Emily Case (forward), Emily Frost (forward), Kelsey Musson (forward), Brogan Pilkington (forward), Cassie Rohde (forward) and Katie Wright (goalie) and sophomores Katie Dye (forward), Torie Dye (midfielder/forward), Erinn Gharrity (defender), Sarah Kuney (defender) and K.T. Tallirico (defender).

Katie Dye (9) and Case (7) were second and third on the team in goals. Pilkington had four.

•Olentangy finished 5-9-1 after a 2-1 loss to Dublin Coffman in a play-in game to the district tournament Oct. 13.

The Braves lose eight seniors in Taylor Frim, Kayla Griffin, Kelsey Laughlin, Tera Parrella, Brittany Pozzani, Caitlin Saupe, Megan Schroeder and Kaitlyn Winegarner.

Expected to return are juniors Kathleen Fenstermaker, Samantha Frazee and Molly Gilbert, sophomores Kelsey Cunningham, Emily Manganello, Kaitlin Sherry and Megan Valentine and freshmen Loren Armstrong, Elizabeth Bargdill, Cortney Doyle, Jordan Endres, Kaela Roeder, Arianna Yant and Marlys Young.

•Orange finished 2-12 after a 14-0 loss to Academy in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 14.

The Pioneers had no seniors and expect to return juniors Jenna Sahutske (midfielder), Arielle Schoen (midfielder), Brittany Stone (midfielder) and Holly Walton (midfielder), sophomores Bailey Metzger (defender) and Chelsea Moran (defender) and freshmen Jennie Button (midfielder), Lindsay D'Aiuto (midfielder), Jessie Forrester (forward), Amanda Herrmann (forward), Nicole Jackman (midfielder), Keila Perez (defender), Jean Marie Peters (forward) and Ali Phillips (goalie).

At a glance

LIBERTY

•Record: 14-4-1

•Seniors lost: Brittany Burga, Maria Fortunato, Erica Musson, Brenna Novak and Katie O'Sullivan

•Key returnees: Emily Case, Katie Dye, Erinn Gharrity, Kelsey Musson, Brogan Pilkington and Katie Wright

OLENTANGY

•Record: 5-9-1

•Seniors lost: Taylor Frim, Kayla Griffin, Kelsey Laughlin, Tera Parrella, Brittany Pozzani, Caitlin Saupe, Megan Schroeder and Kaitlyn Winegarner

•Key returnees: Melanie Brady, Jordan Endres and Marlys Young

ORANGE

•Record: 2-12

•Seniors lost: None

•Key returnees: Jean Marie Peters, Ali Phillips, Jenna Sahutske and Arielle Schoen