Wellington School girls soccer coach Lindsey Smith hasn't had to struggle to find leadership this fall.
In her second season as coach, the Jaguars emerged as a team that entered the Division III postseason looking to challenge for a district title.
After earning the fourth seed for the district tournament, Wellington opened Oct. 17 at home against 14th-seeded Tree of Life.
Seniors Zoe Beatty, Lizzy Chester, Olivia Penegor, Jacquie Sierzputowski and Jakaysha Williams have led a resurgence for the Jaguars, who entered the postseason with an 11-4-1 record after winning five games last season.
"This senior class has created a culture where every player on the team feels valued and appreciated," Smith said. "The team chemistry has been strong and the players genuinely play for each other, with a common goal and purpose."
The first-round winner plays sixth-seeded Johnstown or 11th-seeded Ready in the second round Thursday, Oct. 19, at the site of the better seed. That winner faces top-seeded Grandview, eighth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or ninth-seeded West Jefferson in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the site of the better seed.
The district final is Oct. 28.
Wellington beat Bloom-Carroll 4-3 on Oct. 10 in its regular-season finale.
Through 16 games, Williams had 21 goals and eight assists, Beatty had six goals and 12 assists,
Penegor had 11 goals and six assists and junior Catherine Zallanta had 11 goals and three assists.
Boys soccer team opens postseason
The boys soccer team was seeded fourth for the Division III district tournament.
The Jaguars opened the postseason Oct. 18 at home against 12th-seeded Liberty Union, with the winner playing sixth-seeded Madison Christian or 13th-seeded Northridge in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the site of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 28.
Wellington closed the regular season with a 4-1 win over Hartley on Oct. 10 and was 9-5-2 entering the tournament. Brad Biehl scored two goals against the Hawks and had 20 goals and six assists through 16 games.
Also in the regular season, Eli Dulle had 13 goals and seven assists and Jordan Livits had four goals and 12 assists.
Tennis team has strong season
After winning four matches last season, the girls tennis team proved to be one of the district's top Division II programs this fall.
The Jaguars went 10-4 overall and were the district runner-up in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament.
Wellington was runner-up at 5-1 (37 points) in its first season in the MSL-Ohio Division, behind Columbus Academy (51, 6-0) and ahead of Bexley (27, 4-2), Worthington Christian (24, 3-3), London (22, 2-4), Grandview (5, 1-5) and Whitehall (0, 0-6).
"We've come a long way from last year," coach Rebecca Hinze said. "The league really brought us to another level of competitiveness."
The Jaguars advanced all three of their singles players and both of their doubles teams to the district tournament Oct. 12 at Columbus School for Girls.
Sophomore Akua Antwi-Woods lost to Academy's Sydni Ratliff 6-0, 6-0 in the district final Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington, as only the champion advanced to state.
Also in singles at district, junior Isabella Vegas lost to Antwi-Woods 6-2, 6-2 in a semifinal and sophomore Camille Olmstead lost to Ratliff 6-0, 6-0 in a first-round match.
In doubles at district, seniors Brianna Masters and Sarah Zimmerman lost to Academy's Lexis Hughes and Maddie Tuckerman 6-1, 6-2 in the first round and senior Sydney Wurapa and sophomore Jordan Wurapa lost to Academy's Georgie Tuckerman and Himaja Reddy 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.
At a sectional Oct. 6 and 7 at CSG, Antwi-Woods beat Jonathan Alder's Mikayla Holland 6-0, 6-1 for the singles title and Vegas beat Olmstead 6-1, 6-2 in the third-place match, while the Wurapa sisters beat Masters and Zimmerman 6-2, 6-2 to place third.
"(Antwi-Woods) is back to tennis after a two-year injury, so I think she has a lot to be proud of," Hinze said. "She continually gets better. She's already got lots of plans (for the offseason.
"We have some strong eighth-graders coming up next year, so I'm hopeful about next season, that we'll be as strong or stronger."