The third-seeded Worthington Kilbourne High School girls soccer team lost to seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome 4-2 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 21 to finish 13-2-3 overall.
Morgan Herbert scored three goals and Kellen Shields had one for the Celtics, who went on to finish 13-6 after losing to Watterson 2-0 in a final last Saturday.
Allowing Shields to score on a penalty kick in the first eight minutes set the tone. Kilbourne battled back with Taylor Miller and Kendyl Reed, an Ohio State signee, scoring to make it 3-2. But Herbert redirected Shields' free kick to close the scoring.
"It's all about heart," said coach Courtney Irwin, whose team also went 4-0-3 in the OCC-Central Division to tie Upper Arlington (5-1-1) for second behind Hilliard Davidson (5-0-2) and ahead of Dublin Coffman (3-1-3), Hilliard Darby (2-3-2), Thomas Worthington (2-5), Central Crossing (0-5-1) and Westland (0-6). "We played hard. My kids never held their heads low. They came out and fought to the bitter end."
The Wolves gave up 13 goals all season, with four being the most in one game. They had 12 shutouts, and had a nine-game stretch from Sept. 2 to Oct. 2 during which then went 6-0-3 and outscored the opposition a combined 32-1.
The Wolves will lose senior forwards Reed and Emily Smith, senior midfielders Nithya Kumar, Taylor Miller and Alison Miller and senior defenders Rachel Bodine and Vicki Wehner. Reed was the OCC-Central Player of the Year and first-team all-district. Smith was second-team all-OCC and Kumar received honorable mention.
"The thing that will stand out is the commitment everyone made," said junior goalkeeper Devon Tabata, who tore an ACL in a collision with Herbert in the semifinal. "At the beginning of the season everyone wrote down their goals as a team and as an individual. We set our goals high and reached them for the most part."
From the OCC-Central, UA and Davidson won district titles last Saturday and Coffman was a runner-up.
The Wolves expect to rebuild their offense around juniors Maggie Sullivan and Kristen Bond at forward and juniors Olivia Hein and Tatum Mounts and sophomore Lauren Rossi and Sammi Adams in the midfield. Juniors Kristen Bond, Corey McClellan and Holly Walton and sophomore Danielle Reymann are expected back on defense, with Tabata in goal backed up by freshman Marissa Elliott.
Tabata was first-team all-league and second-team all-district and Walton was second-team all-OCC.
"The defense is the area where we have most of our pieces back with Devon, Holly and Danielle all returning starters and Bond saw a decent amount of playing time," Irwin said. "Offensively we might have to change some things around, but it's nice to know we have some very capable younger players who learned a tremendous amount this season."
At a glance
•Record: 13-2-3 overall, 4-0-3 (tied for second) in OCC-Central
•Seniors lost: Rachel Bodine, Nithya Kumar, Alison Miller, Taylor Miller, Kendyl Reed, Emily Smith and Vicki Wehner
•Key returnees: Sammi Adams, Corey McClellan, Maggie Sullivan, Devon Tabata and Holly Walton