The Olentangy Liberty High School field hockey team defeated 16th-seeded Olentangy Orange 8-0 in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 14 at home.
The fourth-seeded Patriots improved to 12-2-2 overall before playing host to seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome in a semifinal Oct. 22.
Attacker Mara Hunter, midfielder Dani Bursinger and forward Gwen Whitfield each scored twice against Orange. Midfielder Kendall Hunker and attacker Gaby Perez each scored once.
"(This was) a team effort and the game provided us an important opportunity to test out different player combinations and to allow a lot of players a good amount of playing time," coach Marianne Flannery said.
With a victory over Jerome, Liberty would advance to a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at Jerome against top-seeded Thomas Worthington or 12th-seeded Granville. The winner moves on to a state semifinal Nov. 1 at Upper Arlington.
"I believe if we execute fundamentals and really keep communications up, we can really make things interesting in the coming weeks," Flannery said.
The Patriots earned two impressive wins late in the regular season, beating 2012 state semifinalist Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 1-0 on Sept. 28 as attacker Karri Stadulis scored and goalkeeper Maddie Passarella had 15 saves, and defeating Columbus Academy 2-1 on Oct. 8 as Bursinger and Perez scored and Passarella had seven saves.
Academy beat Liberty 1-0 in a district final last year on the way to winning the state title.
Liberty finished second (5-1-1) in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division behind Thomas (7-0), after losing to the Cardinals 2-1 on Oct. 2.
Pioneers end season with loss to Liberty
Orange finished 1-13 overall after losing to Liberty in the district tournament.
The Pioneers went 1-6 in the COFHL-West.
"Going into the (tournament) game, our starting goalie, Cierra Beaumier, was out with a back injury, starting defender Mackenzie Siebert was out with a concussion and starting midfielder Kailey Collett was out with a knee injury," coach Erin Otten said. "Our injuries made us weak going into the game, but Liberty outplayed us regardless."
Braves fall to Aces in district opener
Olentangy opened the district tournament Oct. 15 with a 1-0 loss at Granville.
Goalkeeper Madison Barnes had one save for the 13th-seeded Braves, who finished 4-9-2 overall.
Olentangy, which had defeated Granville 2-1 on Sept. 19, went 2-5 in the COFHL-West.
"Beating a team twice that is pretty evenly matched up with your team is very difficult to do," coach Allison Neff said. "Our senior midfielders, Alyssa Lucas and Kasia Placek, played one of the best games I've seen both of them play."