The sequence that led to its only goal and strong defensive play helped the Worthington Christian High School boys soccer team capture its ninth consecutive Division III district championship.
Seeded third, the Warriors beat second-seeded Grandview 1-0 in a district final Oct. 26 at Canal Winchester, as senior forward Sam Condon scored off a pass from sophomore midfielder Joe Long with 9 minutes, 45 seconds left and junior goalkeeper Jake Kress had five saves.
"Joey did a great job with the ball and I was able to get it up and in," Condon said. "We've had trouble with set pieces all year and we knew that was (Grandview's) strength. Our defense really came up big and kept them from scoring."
The Warriors improved to 13-3-2 and played Columbus Academy in a regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Dublin Jerome. Academy was the top seed in the district and was fourth in the final state poll.
"It was an even game and we had trouble getting over the hump (against Grandview)," coach Dan Roads said. "We were confident and felt like it was only a matter of time, even if it went to overtime or a shootout."
Worthington Christian, which was seventh in the final state poll, lost to Academy 2-0 on Sept. 28 but was 7-0-1 since that loss entering its rematch with the Vikings.
The semifinal winner will play Berlin Hiland or Wheelersburg in a regional final at noon Saturday, Nov. 2, at Zanesville. Hiland was 13-3-3 and Wheelersburg was 11-3-5 before meeting in a semifinal Oct. 30.
The regional champion faces Cincinnati Country Day, Cincinnati Summit Country Day, Cincinnati Seven Hills or Springfield Catholic Central in a state semifinal Wednesday, Nov. 6, at a site to be determined. The state final is Nov. 9 at Crew Stadium.
Worthington Christian lost in a state semifinal last season but won state titles in 2006, '09 and '11.
Volleyball team falls in district final
The third-seeded girls volleyball team lost to second-seeded Shekinah Christian 25-10, 25-17, 16-25, 25-16 in a Division IV district final Oct. 26 at Big Walnut to finish 17-9.
Worthington Christian beat sixth-seeded Harvest Prep 21-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-12 in a district semifinal Oct. 24 at Big Walnut. With the win, the Warriors avenged a five-game loss to Harvest Prep in a district semifinal last season.
Senior outside hitter Maggie Cunningham and freshman outside hitter Sarah Foor led the way in the rematch with Harvest Prep, according to coach Matt Liston.
"We lost to (Harvest Prep) in a semi last year and we wanted to come back and do well against them this year," Liston said. "It was our best match of the season. We watched Shekinah (in its district semifinal Oct. 24) and sometime between Thursday and Saturday they took their vitamins or something. Our girls gave them a real good shot, but we just couldn't pull it out. They don't let anything drop."
Watterson ends season at regional
Matt Watterson of the boys cross country team ended his season in the Division III regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
The senior placed 30th (17:44.86) of 122 runners as the top 16 qualified for the state meet Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway. The Warriors' only regional qualifier, he also finished 30th at regional last year.
"The wind was definitely a big factor," Watterson said. "I was right about where I needed to be (early in the race). I was with a pack at the (first) mile, but I was taking on most of the wind."
The boys team placed sixth in the seven-team MSL-Ohio Division meet Oct. 12 behind champion Bexley (38) and the girls were last (136) in the five-team league meet behind champion Academy (45).
At district Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial, the boys finished 13th (345) of 21 teams as Fredericktown (67) won, and the girls placed 10th (296) of 14 teams as Columbus School for Girls (50) won.
Watterson placed 16th (17:19.73) at district to earn the final regional-qualifying berth.
Junior Joel Bertelsen, who was the Warriors' No. 2 finisher at district (27th, 17:42.62), is expected to be the top returnee for the boys team next year. Also expected back for the boys team are sophomore Noah Mallory and freshmen Jeff Baacke, Liam Bruce and Taylor Dittman.
The girls team did not have any regional qualifiers.
Junior Emily Howard (49th, 22:03.46) and senior Sarah Sharp (50th, 22:05.38) led the Warriors at district. Others expected to return are junior Natalie Rohrig, sophomore Tori Wilde and freshmen Ava Lewis and Sarah Maloney.
Most of girls soccer team expected back
Although it ended earlier than expected, the girls soccer team's season wasn't without significant accomplishments.
The Warriors were seeded first for the Division III district tournament, were ranked first in the final state poll and captured their first league title.
Worthington Christian lost to fourth-seeded and eventual district champion Academy 2-0 in the second round of the tournament Oct. 17 to finish 14-2-1 overall.
The Warriors went 6-0 in the MSL-Ohio, finishing ahead of Grandview (4-1-1), Bexley (4-2), Academy (3-2-1), West Jefferson (2-4), London (1-5) and Madison Plains (0-6).
Worthington Christian loses two seniors in Sami Jones (goalie) and Taylor Klass (defender).
Expected to return are juniors Paxton Hood (defender), Devon Jones (forward), Hadley Jones (sweeper), Shirley Rettstatt (midfielder), Kasey Richards (stopper) and Lauren Weygandt (midfielder) and freshmen Bridgette Rettstatt (midfielder) and Kirsten Frazier (forward).
"All four of our defenders in the back (did) well this year," coach Shari Welsh said. "We had shutouts in every conference game. Our defense gave up 39 goals last year and (14) this year, and five of those came in one game."
Devon Jones had 27 goals and nine assists and will enter her senior season with 70 career goals.
Weygandt had 10 goals and 19 assists, Bridgette Rettstatt had 12 goals and 10 assists and Sami Jones had 52 saves.