The Upper Arlington High School girls soccer team finds itself in a familiar spot among the state's top teams heading into October.

The Upper Arlington High School girls soccer team finds itself in a familiar spot among the state's top teams heading into October.

Before last Tuesday's OCC-Central Division game against Westland, the Golden Bears had been dominating at 9-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the league with a defense that had allowed just two goals.

UA has been impressive, but a stretch of five games to close the regular season which begins today at Westerville Central should be enough to prove whether the Golden Bears deserve the top seed in the Division I district tournament.

"We know we have some big games coming up, but I think we're a really good team under pressure," midfielder Lara Ross said. "We've got plenty of talent and I don't think any of these games will make or break us. It's just a matter of how well we play in the tournament."

Central was 5-4-0 overall before last Tuesday. What follows is a league showdown Tuesday at Hilliard Davidson, which is sixth in the Division I state poll and was 8-0-2 overall before last Tuesday.

The Golden Bears finish the regular season against visiting Pickerington North (6-2 before last Tuesday) on Oct. 2 followed by OCC-Central opponent Dublin Coffman (6-0-1, 3-0-1) on Oct. 7 and Toledo St. Ursula (3-3-2) on Oct. 11.

"They're going to be high-pressure league games and you're going to get that tournament feel," coach Bob McGee said. "I think for us we really have to focus on us as a team. We've got to be a team that gets better every day because if you don't at this point in the season you're going to get stagnant and fall behind."

Last season UA and Davidson played to a scoreless tie. The Wildcats reached a Division I regional final where they fell to Pickerington North 2-1 in overtime.

"They've lost some big-name players from that team, but they return 12 seniors and a lot of their players know the system," McGee said. "They're playing a team style of soccer and that makes a big difference."

What's been the difference for the Golden Bears this season comes at the offensive end. The team averaged 1.17 goals per game last year, compared to 3.1 this season.

•After suffering through four games without a victory, the boys team before last Tuesday's league contest against Westland had won two in a row over Bexley (2-0 on Sept. 13) and OCC-Central rival Central Crossing (11-0 on Sept. 16).

At 4-4-2 and 2-1-1 before last Tuesday, the Bears begin the toughest stretch of their schedule.

UA faces DeSales (9-1 before last Tuesday), the top-ranked team in Division II in the state, today before meeting defending state champion Hilliard Davidson (8-1-1) on Tuesday in a bid to stay alive in the league standings.

"It's hard to talk about momentum when you're playing the best teams in the area," coach Curt Bixel said. "Every game has represented a challenge for our guys, but I know they like it that way and I think we're getting better. We've been competitive in every game, and our worst loss has been by two goals to Worthington Kilbourne (2-0 on Sept. 2)."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the UA boys and girls soccer teams:

BOYS

*Sept. 16 -- Defeated Central Crossing 11-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westland

Today -- At DeSales. The Stallions wereranked first in the Division II state poll last week.

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. The Wildcats are the defending Division I state champions.

Of note: The Golden Bears were 4-4-2 overall and 2-1-1 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

GIRLS

*Sept. 16 -- Def. Central Crossing 8-0

Sept. 18 -- Def. Pickerington Central 2-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westland

Today -- At Westerville Central

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Davidson. UA is third in the Division I state poll and Davidson is sixth.

Of note: The Golden Bears were 9-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game