The Delaware Hayes High School girls soccer team had a strong finish to its season.
The Pacers surrendered 13 goals while opening 1-4-1, but outscored their opponents 32-16 over the final 12 contests, in which they went 8-2-2.
Seeded 19th of 42 teams, Delaware defeated 21st-seeded Central Crossing 3-2 in overtime in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16 as Grace Miller scored 56 seconds into overtime. The Pacers then lost to 16th-seeded Marysville 3-1 in the second round Oct. 19 to finish 9-6-3 overall.
It marked the program's first winning season since going 8-6-2 in 2004.
"We really had a strong second half to the season and that was because we started playing as a unit," coach Bradd Smiley said. "When we began playing collectively, we began to have success. That's something these girls can apply to other parts of their lives today and moving forward."
Delaware went 1-3-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to tie Dublin Scioto for fifth, behind Dublin Jerome (5-0-1), Hilliard Darby (5-1), Hilliard Bradley (3-2-1) and Thomas Worthington (2-3-1) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (0-5-1).
The Pacers are losing 10 seniors in Ahdrin Bordner (goalkeeper), Shelby Carlson (defender), Madeline Hayes (forward), Emilie Kinney (defender), Lauren McMillin (defender), Reagan Olson (defender), Maddie Smith (midfielder), Kaylee Travis (forward), Kelsey Travis (midfielder) and Maddy Wilson (midfielder).
Bordner suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason.
Expected to return are juniors Sydney Breese (midfielder), Grace Miller (forward) and Emma Vessels (forward), sophomores Savanna Deibert (defender), Sydney McMillin (midfielder), Abby Weller (goalie) and Payje Wilson (forward) and freshman Mckenzie Hayes (midfielder).
Girls volleyball team reaches district semi
The girls volleyball team reached a Division I district semifinal for the second year in a row.
The 13th-seeded Pacers were 16-7 before playing second-seeded Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 26 at Whitehall. They opened the district tournament with a 25-18, 13-25, 25-16, 22-25, 15-8 win over 20th-seeded Watkins Memorial in a second-round match Oct. 19 at home.
The semifinal winner played seventh-seeded Gahanna or 10th-seeded Watterson in a district final Oct. 28 at Whitehall. The district champion faces DeSales or Olentangy in a regional semifinal Thursday, Nov. 2, at Kilbourne.
In district seeding, DeSales was third and Olentangy was eighth.
The regional semifinal winner will play Dublin Coffman, Olentangy Orange, Pickerington North or Pickerington Central in the regional final Saturday, Nov. 4, at Kilbourne. In district seeding, Coffman was first, Orange was fourth, North was fifth and Central was ninth.
The regional champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 9 at Wright State University.
Last season, Delaware reached a district semifinal for the first time since 2004 but lost to top-seeded Coffman 25-11, 25-14, 25-18. It was the first season since 2011 that the Pacers won a postseason match.
Runners end season at district
The season ended for the cross country teams in the Division I district meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial.
The girls placed 13th (321 points) in the 18-team district 3 race behind champion Hilliard Davidson (25). Big Walnut (195) was the sixth and final qualifier for the regional meet Oct. 28 at Pickerington North.
Freshman Lauren English fell one spot shy of advancing to regional, as she finished 25th of 125 runners in 20 minutes, 6.79 seconds. Marietta's Ciara Space was 24th (20:05.28).
Also competing for Delaware were senior Grace Fowler (36th, 20:34.82), freshman Brynn McGrail (63rd, 21:24.62), freshman Becca Young (94th, 22:55.7), senior Ashley Woller (103rd, 23:11.85), sophomore MaryBeth Zimmerman (105th, 23:14.23) and junior Emily Gray (115th, 24:03.78).
"Lauren, Grace and Brynn had big (personal records), so that was good," coach Jim Bibler said. "We finished right where we were projected. The end of the season was so warm. We usually have some cool races where people have really good days and it pumps them up for the end of the season.
"We had three freshmen run varsity all season and I think they were mentally and physically done. So we have had better days at districts, but there was a lot of great effort in there, so I'm happy."
The boys finished 15th (454) in the 17-team district 2 race, behind champion Pickerington North (56). Granville (141) earned the fifth and final regional-qualifying berth.
Competing for the Pacers were junior Avery Latta (77th, 18:14.05), freshman Padraig Mumper (78th, 18:16.54), senior Nick O'Bryant (96th, 19:00.94), freshman Gary Weckerly (100th, 19:12.6), senior Anthony Matus (103rd, 19:24.81), junior Lucas Pape (107th, 19:43.13) and sophomore Eric Puthoff (109th, 20:06.28).
Teays Valley's Ryan Fleming (16:43.53) was the 20th and final regional qualifier.
"We are making some steady improvement and we always want to run our best at the end of the season, so I am happy with that," Bibler said.
Both teams placed seventh in the OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 14 at Darby.
The girls (158) finished behind Thomas (47), Darby (74), Bradley (88), Jerome (94), Kilbourne (101) and Scioto (110), while the boys (224) placed behind Thomas (36), Jerome (61), Darby (81), Scioto (83), Kilbourne (108) and Bradley (143).
English (15th, 20:45.23) made third-team all-league.
Football team closes season
The football team closed the season Oct. 27 at home against Bradley, losing 35-7.
The Pacers ended their season 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal after losing to Darby 35-0 on Oct. 20, their fourth loss in five games following a 2-2 start.
"We looked good early (against Darby), but we made some young mistakes and had some turnovers that just piled things on," coach Mike Golden. "But we started eight sophomores and a freshman, so the future is bright for Delaware."
The Pacers moved the ball into Darby territory on two of their first three possessions, but came up empty. The game was scoreless through the first quarter, but the Panthers got rolling in the second quarter, scoring 21 points. Darby led 35-0 through three quarters.
Freshman quarterback Blake Eiland rushed for 48 yards and threw for 61 yards on 8-for-15 passing but was intercepted three times. The Pacers also lost two fumbles.