With the composure befitting a top seed, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys soccer team made sure its bracket of the Division I district tournament went according to form.

With the composure befitting a top seed, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys soccer team made sure its bracket of the Division I district tournament went according to form.

And with the experience of having reached the state final a year ago, the Patriots treated a 4-1 win over Pickerington North in a district final Oct. 27 at Westerville Central as a benchmark en route to their ultimate goal.

"It's still monumental for us as a team," said senior forward Zach Matheny, who scored twice against North as the Patriots won their second consecutive district title. "We expect to win as a team, but it's great to be back here again and move on."

The Patriots improved to 18-1 and advanced to face Westerville North in a regional semifinal on Oct. 31.

Matheny scored three minutes into the game to give Liberty a 1-0 lead. Pickerington North, which was seeded 13th, tied it with 13:22 left in the first half on a goal by Derrick Reedus Jr., but the Patriots took advantage of having the wind at their back in the second half. Matheny scored with 33:48 left and Kyle Baum and Devin Collins scored on penalty kicks in a five-minute span to put the game out of reach.

"We went against the wind intentionally (in the first half). We won the toss and wanted to defend against the wind," coach Rick Collins said. "We talked about being patient in the second half and just working the ball around, then countering quickly. Things just came together once we went up 2-1."

The regional semifinal winner will play Gahanna or Dublin Coffman in a regional final at noon Saturday, Nov. 3, at a site to be determined. The regional champion will play Cincinnati St. Xavier, Huber Heights Wayne, Mason or West Chester Lakota West in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. The state final will be Nov. 10 at Crew Stadium.

Liberty defeated Gahanna 4-0 on Aug. 25 and beat Coffman 6-0 on Oct. 2.

The Patriots lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius 4-2 in the state final last season and were ranked second in this year's final state poll behind St. Ignatius.

"Last year, everything was new. This year, we've been there," Collins said. "A lot of these guys were on that team last year, so we have the experience. They know how to play at that level. The big thing is we need to keep focusing on ourselves. If we can play the way we're capable of playing, I think we can beat any team in the state."

Orange girls can't overcome rough start

The Orange girls team's postseason run came to an end with a 4-1 loss to top-seeded Coffman in a Division I district final Oct. 27 at Canal Winchester.

The Shamrocks, ranked second in the final state poll, scored three goals in the first 15 minutes.

Senior forward Carly Swisher scored and sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Brunke had nine saves for the Pioneers, who finished 10-6-3.

"The surprising thing was we put ourselves in a hole so early," coach Jen Odebrecht said. "Once we settled in, we looked quite good. But we just got caught on our heels so quickly. When you look at the first 15 minutes versus the last 65, it's still a little tough on us that we came out so flat."

Seeded 13th, the Pioneers opened the tournament with an 11-0 win over Newark on Oct. 16. They then defeated ninth-seeded Marysville 1-0 in the second round Oct. 18 and beat Hilliard Bradley 2-1 in a district semifinal Oct. 23 before falling to Coffman.

Junior forward Stephanie Lewis scored both goals against Bradley and finished the season with a team-high 14. She was assisted on both goals against the Jaguars by senior defender Taylor DeLara.

Orange loses six seniors in DeLara, Swisher, Brittany Barber (midfielder), Bailey Castillo (midfielder), Lauren Clowes (defender) and Sam Vaughan (defender). Vaughan missed the season because of a knee injury.

Expected to return are Brunke, Lewis, juniors Emily Burton (defender), Tanner Gray (defender), Sophie Level (forward), Cortney Lichtenburg (defender) and Cori O'Boyle (midfielder) and sophomores Emily Beaver (midfielder), Gabby Hopkins (defender/goalie), Amy Luce (defender), Taylor Momburg (defender), Abbey Simonds (forward/defender), Alexis Simon (midfielder) and Alivia Van Hoose (midfielder).

The Pioneers went 3-1-2 in the OCC-Capital Division to place third, behind New Albany (6-0) and Olentangy (4-2) and ahead of Big Walnut (3-3), Watkins Memorial (2-3-1), Delaware (1-4-1) and Mount Vernon (0-6). Franklin Heights did not play a league schedule.

Brunke and DeLara were named first-team all-league. Lewis and Swisher were second-team all-league and Burton was honorable mention.

"This group of seniors was aware of making their mark," Odebrecht said. "We've never really been in the top 10 or been one of those teams that gets talked about a lot, but this class took us to two straight district finals and set some high standards."

Orange boys fall in district final

The sixth-seeded Orange boys team lost to seventh-seeded Westerville North 2-0 in a Division I district final Oct. 27 at Gahanna to finish 12-5-2.

Senior goalie Zach Arefi had 10 saves for Orange, which advanced to the district final by defeating 12th-seeded Westerville South 3-2 in a district semifinal Oct. 24.

Other area teamsfall in district semis

The Liberty girls team, Olentangy boys team and Olentangy girls team all finished their seasons in a Division I district semifinal.

The 10th-seeded Liberty girls team lost to sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 2-1 on Oct. 23 to finish 9-7-2. Elizabeth Castro scored for the Patriots.

Also seeded 10th, the Olentangy boys team lost to third-seeded Hilliard Darby 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 24 to finish 10-7-1, and the Olentangy girls team, seeded 14th, finished 7-6-4 after losing 2-0 to fifth-seeded Watterson on Oct. 23.