Girls Soccer

Pickerington North edges Watterson for regional title, trip to state


Pickerington High School North girls soccer coach Greg Van Kannel will take the outcome of the game that he initially described as “boring,” mainly because his team gets to play at least one more time this season.

The Panthers benefited from an own goal early in the second half and forward Megan Marasco provided insurance by scoring with 17 minutes, 27 seconds left as North defeated Watterson 2-0 in a Division I regional final Nov. 2 at Gahanna.

“It was just a boring game … well, maybe not boring, but slow,” Van Kannel said. “It was just a slow game, back and forth, and I think we just came out in the second half energized a little bit. We played as well as we could have the first half, but we were just lethargic and we are beat up a little bit. The second half was great. We had good hustle on the first (goal) and the second one was really beautiful.”

Ranked third in the final state poll, North improved to 19-0-1 and will play Mason in a state semifinal Nov. 5 at a site to be determined. The state final is Nov. 8 at Crew Stadium.

Mason, which was ranked ninth in the state poll, defeated the Panthers 1-0 in overtime in a state semifinal last year.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead against Watterson with 34:18 left when a shot by Marasco was redirected into the net by an Eagles defender. Minutes later, Marasco took a crossing pass from forward Morgan Bittengle, won a one-on-one battle with a defender and scored from about 20 yards to make it 2-0.

Goalkeeper Marissa Wierzbicki made two saves for Watterson, which finished 13-3-4. North goalie Hannah Wilson had six saves.