Upper Arlington girls defend Ohio Cup title
The state's top high school girls water polo teams prepared for the postseason by competing in the Ohio Cup Tournament on Sept. 15 and 16 at Worthington.
Upper Arlington went 5-0 to defend its title. The Golden Bears defeated Cincinnati Sycamore 9-3 in the championship game.
Thirteen varsity teams, eight junior varsity teams and nine men's college/masters open teams participated.
UA, the defending state champion, opened the Ohio Cup final by taking a 5-1 lead over Sycamore. Emily Annen, Sarah Mamo and Jenny Smith each scored two goals, and Julie Dierker, Gracie Long and Betsy Trace had one apiece.
Smith had 11 goals in the tournament, while Long had 10 and Annen had seven.
Goalkeeper Shea Stiebler made seven saves in the final and had 24 for the tournament, as UA outscored its opponents 63-13. Although his team is 17-0, coach Dan Peterkoski said it still can improve.
"I don't coach them to be Ohio Cup champions, I don't coach them to be state champions, I coach them to develop into good teams and good athletes," said Peterkoski, whose team defeated Thomas Worthington 15-10 in last year's state final to finish 27-1. "If we do that then everything else takes care of itself, so when they're not playing up to my expectations or doing things that we work on, it gets frustrating and I'm going to let them know."
The Bears now will look to defend their title in the Beast of the East Invitational to be held Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22, in Reading, Pa.
"That will be a true measure of what we are and where we need to get to," Peterkoski said.
The top two teams from the North and South regionals, which will be held Oct. 19 and 20, qualify for state.
The state tournament will be held Oct. 26 and 27 at Mason.