For the second season in a row, the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls soccer team had to settle for being a Division I district runner-up.
The 14th-seeded Wolves lost to third-seeded Hilliard Davidson 3-0 in a final Oct. 26 at Canal Winchester to finish 12-7-2.
"It's a tough way to end the season again, reaching this level and then not playing well," said coach Courtney Irwin, whose team lost to Dublin Jerome 7-0 in a district final last year. "I think we were defensively a little timid and that caused some breakdowns. It seemed like the girls went into the game playing not to lose rather than playing to win.
"But I can't be disappointed or dissatisfied in the fact that we made consecutive appearances in the final. I'm very, very proud of my team and our five seniors."
Davidson took a 1-0 lead with 14 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first half, when forward Ashley Blake directed a bouncing ball in the box off of her right shin and off the right post and into the net.
"That was a huge goal because it settled us down and, when you're the favorite, you need to score first," Davidson coach Joe Divida said. "Once that went in, we started to play better. I think it reminded us that we were the favorites and we had done this last year. We had the experience of winning last year and playing in the regional."
Junior goalkeeper Alex Lawrence provided Kilbourne a spark late in the first half, stopping a penalty kick by Chelsea Miller to keep the deficit at one goal heading into halftime.
Three minutes into the second half, the Wolves had a prime scoring opportunity as Davidson's defenders were caught out of position, but a Wildcats defender managed to partially redirect a shot by forward Kelley Zebrowski.
Davidson made it 2-0 with 21:01 left on a goal by midfielder Erin Duffy.
Kilbourne missed another scoring chance when senior defender Celeste Fushimi-Karns, who will continue her playing career at Ohio University, sent a 27-yard direct kick over the net with 16 minutes remaining.
Blake finished the scoring with 9:41 left, tapping in a rebound.
"We only have five seniors and half of my 18-player, regular-season roster were freshmen and sophomores, so I'm hoping we continue to get back here and advance to the next level in the coming years," Irwin said.
Thomas girls fall in district semifinal
The Thomas girls team lost to seventh-seeded and host Jerome 3-0 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 22 to finish 11-6-2.
Goalie Bethany Geiser had 12 saves for the ninth-seeded Cardinals, who managed only two shots on goal.
Thomas had advanced to a semifinal by defeating 30th-seeded Delaware 6-1 in the first round Oct. 15 and 29th-seeded Reynoldsburg 4-0 in the second round Oct. 17.
Cards boys upended in district semifinal
The Thomas boys team lost to ninth-seeded Westerville Central 4-1 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 23 to finish 11-6-1 overall.
Seeded 10th, Thomas had a first-round bye and defeated 45th-seeded Groveport 5-1 in the second round Oct. 19 before falling to Westerville Central.
Kilbourne boys lose to St. Charles
The Kilbourne boys team lost to 12th-seeded St. Charles 1-0 in overtime in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 23 to finish 9-4-5 overall.
Seeded eighth, the Wolves had a first-round bye and defeated 43rd-seeded Columbus West 2-0 in the second round Oct. 19 before falling to St. Charles.