After struggling through most of the season, the Reynoldsburg High School boys soccer team seems to be peaking at the right time.

After struggling through most of the season, the Reynoldsburg High School boys soccer team seems to be peaking at the right time.

The Raiders defeated Delaware 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 20 and then surprised Mount Vernon 2-0 last Saturday to advance to last Wednesday's district semifinal against Dublin Scioto.

"Right now, we're playing with a lot of confidence," coach Justin Lewis said. "We're playing our best soccer right at the end of the season."

It's Reynoldsburg's seventh trip to the district semifinal in nine years.

The Raiders used a stingy defense and an opportunistic offense to beat the Pacers. Reynoldsburg allowed one goal in its last three games before last Wednesday.

The Raiders were 2-1 in games decided by one goal with both wins coming against the Pacers. After defeating Delaware 1-0 on Sept. 25, Reynoldsburg found itself trailing 1-0 in the first half, but Alec Everest scored 12 minutes into the second half and Flowers scored 10 seconds into overtime to lift Reynoldsburg out of the play-in round.

•Youth and inexperience were two things working against the girls soccer team. The Raiders, who had nine freshmen on the roster, finished 2-14-1 after losing to Westerville North 8-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament on Oct. 19.

"It's tough when you have 13 and 14-year-olds going against girls who were 17-18," coach Dana Ortman said. "It was good for them to get a taste of what it is like in our league. They had to grow up pretty quickly."

The season started with a 9-0 win over Johnstown on Aug. 23.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, that game provided 39 percent of their offense for the year. An 8-3 win over Westland on Sept. 9 was the team's only other win.

Reynoldsburg was outscored 45-5 in OCC-Ohio contests and took eighth in the league at 0-7 behind champion Pickerington North (7-0), Gahanna (6-1), Pickerington Central (5-2), Grove City (4-3), Lancaster (3-4), Newark (2-5) and Groveport (1-6).

The Raiders lose senior Toni Munvan, who split time between defender and forward. She was injured most of the season.

Expected back in the midfield are juniors Dess Aideyman and Lindsey Matthews, sophomores Sonya Maher and Christa Zellefrow, and freshmen Katie Broehm, Rachel Hodnett, Kelsey Fisher and Rachel Streib. Back at forward should be juniors Ali Gibson and Aliyah Zantt and freshman Alex Thorn (eight goals). Gibson and Zellefrow also were injured a lot of the season.

Junior Aleia Lewis and freshman Catherine Gundelfinge are expected to return after finishing the season as goalkeepers. Expected back on defense are juniors Sara Rutherford and Kelsey Adams and freshmen Allison Blackburn, Kelsey Johnson and Aimee Ortega .

"The good thing with having a young team is we have 19 letterwinners coming back," said Ortman, who was hired last summer to take over the team. "I'm looking forward to having a full offseason with them and getting them into the weight room."

At a glance

GIRLS

•Record: 2-14-1 overall, 0-7 (eighth) in OCC-Ohio

•Senior lost: Toni Munvan

•Key returnees: Katie Broehm, Ali Gibson, Sarah Rutherford, Alex Thorn and Christa Zellefrow

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg boys soccer team:

Oct. 20 - Defeated Delaware 2-1 in overtime in first round of Division I district tournament

Last Saturday - Def. Mount Vernon 2-0

Last Wednesday - Played Dublin Scioto in district semifinal. Winner plays top-seeded Gahanna or Marysville in a district final Saturday at Westerville Central. That winner plays a regional semifinal Tuesday at Dublin Coffman. Possible opponents include Pickerington North, Dublin Jerome, New Albany and Westerville Central

Of note: The Raiders were 9-6-3 overall before last Wednesday.