Orange girls reach district semi
The Olentangy Orange High School girls soccer team thought an 11-0 victory over Newark in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16 was the perfect way to end the home portion of its schedule.
Two nights later, the Pioneers found a better way.
A 1-0 victory at ninth-seeded Marysville in a second-round game, coupled with Hilliard Bradley's 2-1 upset of seventh-seeded Dublin Scioto in double overtime, returned the Pioneers to their home field Oct. 23 for a district semifinal against Bradley.
"We knew there was a slim chance we'd come back home," coach Jen Odebrecht said. "I like to know how things are going to play out, so I had grumbled about the rule change that the higher-seeded team, not the top team on the bracket, hosts games. And now we get to benefit from it."
Against Marysville, junior forward Sophie Level scored the game's only goal by finishing a rebound off a corner kick with 25 minutes, 39 seconds to play in the first half. Sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Brunke's eight saves made the lead stand.
"We came out and played like it was the last game of the season," said Odebrecht, whose team was 9-5-3 before playing Bradley. "We've been in a lot of close games this year, and those paid off. All the girls understood the best version of themselves had to be out there."
The semifinal winner plays top-seeded Dublin Coffman or Watkins Memorial in a district final at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Canal Winchester. The district champion will play New Albany, Pickerington North, Westerville Central or Westerville South in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30.
That winner will play in a regional final Nov. 3.
Of those teams, the Pioneers lost to New Albany 3-1 on Aug. 28, defeated Westerville South 3-0 on Sept. 20 and tied Westerville Central at 2 on Sept. 27.
Record-setting win for Patriots
That the top-seeded Liberty boys team defeated Whetstone 8-0 in a second-round Division I district tournament game Oct. 20 was important in its own right, but the Patriots achieved two records during the victory.
Luke Crea's goal with 2 minutes remaining was the Patriots' 77th of the season, breaking the program record set in 2009. The win was Liberty's 10th by shutout this year, also a new best in the program's 10-year history.
"When you do something like (the shutout record), credit goes to a lot of people," coach Rick Collins said. "I feel (goalkeeper) Anderson (deAndrade) is one of the best keepers in the area regardless of division, and our back line has done a great job of staying organized. They've really taken care of business on the defensive end."
Liberty took a 16-1 record into a home district semifinal against Lancaster on Oct. 24. The winner will play 11th-seeded Thomas Worthington or Pickerington North in a district final at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Westerville North. The district champion will play Orange, Reynoldsburg, Westerville North or Westerville South in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, and that winner will play in a regional final Nov. 3.
Of those teams, Liberty beat Orange 1-0 on Aug. 21 and North 1-0 on Oct. 11. Thomas handed Liberty its only regular-season loss, 2-1 on Oct. 9.
All school district teams advance
Liberty's girls, Orange's boys and both Olentangy teams also advanced to Division I district semifinal games this week.
The Patriots defeated Delaware 10-0 in a second-round game Oct. 20 to improve to 9-6-2. They visited sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a district semifinal Oct. 23 and would play third-seeded Dublin Jerome or Grove City in a district final at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Canal Winchester. That winner would play Hilliard Davidson, Olentangy, Thomas or Watterson in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. Liberty defeated Thomas 2-0 on Oct. 11 and lost to Davidson (2-0 on Sept. 25), Jerome (8-1 on Oct. 13) and Grove City (1-0 on Sept. 27) during the regular season.
Orange's boys routed Newark 11-0 in a second-round game Oct. 20 to advance to a home district semifinal against 12th-seeded Westerville South on Oct. 24. The winner will play seventh-seeded Westerville North or Reynoldsburg in a district final at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Westerville North or a neutral site. The Pioneers entered this week at 11-4-2.
The Olentangy girls, who were 7-5-4 entering this week, played fifth-seeded Watterson in a district semifinal Oct. 23 after beating Westerville North 2-1 in a second-round game Oct. 18. The winner will play Davidson or Thomas in a district final at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Canal Winchester.
The Braves boys improved to 10-6-1 with an 8-0 win over Newark in a second-round game Oct. 20. They played Hilliard Darby in a district semifinal Oct. 24, and the winner will play second-seeded Gahanna or Canal Winchester in a district final at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Westerville South. That winner will play Coffman, Pickerington Central, St. Charles or Westerville Central in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Olentangy lost to Gahanna 2-0 on Sept. 6 and Westerville Central 4-2 on Aug. 30.