The Upper Arlington High School field hockey team posted a winning record for the eighth consecutive season.

The Upper Arlington High School field hockey team posted a winning record for the eighth consecutive season.

The Golden Bears, who lost to Columbus Academy 4-1 in a district semifinal Oct. 21, finished 10-5-2 under second-year coach McKenzie Hufford. That's a slight improvement over last season, when they finished 9-8-1.

"I think (the season) definitely exceeded my expectations," Hufford said. "Obviously, as a coach, you want to go a little further (in the tournament). But overall, I think our program is growing. It's coming around."

Academy ended UA's season a year ago in a district semifinal 5-1. Hufford said the final score in this year's postseason meeting, however, was not an indication of how competitive the game was.

"It doesn't reflect the effort my girls gave," said Hufford, whose team opened the tournament with a 5-0 victory over Granville on Oct. 14. "The girls played very, very tough for the first 45 minutes."

Academy, which had beaten UA 3-1 in the regular season Sept. 23, took a 1-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game before senior forward Kalli Sisterhen tied the score midway through the first half. The game remained tied until Academy's Mia Wise scored with 14:22 left in the second half.

The Vikings added two goals in the final 11 minutes.

"When (Academy) put in the second goal, I think the girls started to panic," Hufford said. "They started to play panic hockey."

"I thought we played excellent in the first half," junior forward Susan Dappen said. "We stayed right with them. We played well until the last 10, 15 minutes. That's when we started to break down."

According to Hufford, the tournament loss to Academy does not detract from what the Bears accomplished.

"We had a great group of girls," she said. "We had no superstars. We just worked as a team and our passing skills were phenomenal. We even got compliments from other coaches about our passing skills."

UA loses six seniors in Sisterhen, Lindsay Gardner (midfielder), Colina Hilyard (midfielder), Ashley Johnson (midfielder), Katie Maisenbacher (forward) and Nicolette Tangi (forward). Johnson and Maisenbacher were not regular starters.

Tangi (9) and Sisterhen (8) ranked second and third on the team in goals.

"We're losing some nice seniors," Hufford said. "The girls brought a lot of character and a lot of skills to the team."

Expected to return are Dappen, juniors Danielle Endicott (midfielder), Kelsey Kessler (midfielder), Alice O'Neill (defender), Erin Williams (forward) and Caroline Wulf (defender), sophomores Emily Fitz (forward), Kristy Helscel (defender), Emily Messick (forward) and Sydney Stype (goalie) and freshman Madison Collins (defender). Dappen led the team with 14 goals and Messick was fourth on the team with six. Stype had 10 shutouts.

"It does look good for next year," Dappen said. "We're losing no defenders. They were a wall for us. That will be our strong point next year because our defense saved us this year."

At a glance

•Record: 10-5-2

•Seniors lost: Lindsay Gardner, Colina Hilyard, Ashley Johnson, Katie Maisenbacher, Kalli Sisterhen and Nicolette Tangi

•Key returnees: Susan Dappen, Kelsey Kessler, Emily Messick, Alice O'Neill and Sydney Stype