The Columbus Academy field hockey team earned a return trip to the state tournament following a 2-1 double overtime win over Watterson in a district final Oct. 26 at Dublin Jerome High School.
Paige Berliner’s goal with 6 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the second overtime proved to be the game-winner. Brie Stahl assisted.
The Vikings improved to 16-2-1 and will be seeking their 10th state title.
“It’s a tough way to go out (for Watterson),” said Academy coach Anne Horton, whose team beat Watterson 2-1 in double overtime in the state title game last season. “I’ve been on that side. It’s heart-wrenching when you’re that close. Watterson did such a great job tonight. The second half they turned it on like fire and our kids found a way to hang in there.”
The Vikings opened the scoring in the rematch on Lottie Smith’s goal with 13:53 left in the first half.
Watterson tied the game at 1 on Stephanie Polletta’s goal with 18:53 remaining in the second half.
Academy goalkeeper Sarah Guendert had seven saves and Watterson goalie Bridget Wagy had one save.
“We always have games like this against Academy,” Watterson coach Janet Baird said. “We bring out the best in them.”
Watterson finished the season 13-6-1.
Thomas Worthington 4, Olentangy Liberty 2
For the third time in four seasons, Thomas will compete in the state tournament.
The Cardinals fell behind 2-1 with 25 minutes remaining on Liberty junior attacker Gaby Perez’s second goal of the game, but Cardinals sophomore midfielder/attacker Hana Sinno tied it with 20 minutes left and junior attacker Christina Mertz scored what proved to be the game-winner with 12:51 remaining.
Senior attacker Maddie Goelz tacked on a goal with 1:41 to go for the Cardinals, who improved to 18-0-1. Senior midfielder Nina Devine scored in the first half for Thomas.
Liberty, which was looking for its first district title, finished 13-3-2.