Winning district titles has become the standard for the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls soccer teams.
The Bobcats lived up to their top-seeded billing Oct. 28 at Gahanna, capturing Division III championships in contrasting styles.
The girls won their third district title in four seasons by defeating second-seeded Columbus Academy 1-0 in a shootout.
"(Winning a district title) is the single goal," said girls coach Mike Merna, whose team lost to the Vikings 5-4 on Oct. 7 at Mapfre Stadium in MSL-Ohio Division play. "(Academy) won the league. Winning the league is important, but winning (district) is really what we're playing for."
The boys won their fourth consecutive district championship by also beating a second seed, rolling past Grove City Christian 4-1.
"I can only speak for the last two years, but we're trying to put in a blueprint for a style of play that's not built around one or two really good players," second-year boys coach James Gerdes said. "Everyone learns the system and we can rotate players in and out. The players are getting used to that style of play and we can build on that in the future."
The girls played in a regional semifinal Oct. 31 against Zanesville Rosecrans at Lakewood. The fifth-ranked Bobcats entered the contest with a 16-2-1 record.
The winner advanced to a regional final Saturday, Nov. 4, against sixth-ranked Wheelersburg or Lynchburg-Clay at a neutral site to be determined. Grandview has not played either team this season, but defeated Lynchburg-Clay 2-1 in a regional semifinal in 2015 on its way to a state semifinal, which it lost to eventual champion Cincinnati Summit Country Day 2-0.
The regional champion advances to a state semifinal Tuesday, Nov. 7, at a neutral site to be determined. Possible opponents are top-ranked Summit Country Day, seventh-ranked Cincinnati Madeira, eighth-ranked West Liberty-Salem and Sidney Lehman Catholic.
The state final is Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.
"We want to keep this going for the seniors," junior goalkeeper Ruby Gentile said. "I think we really have to stay focused and work hard in practice. Those are the keys for us."
The second-ranked boys team was 15-0-4 before playing its regional semifinal Nov. 1 against Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley at Lexington.
The winner plays McDermott Northwest or South Webster in a regional final Saturday, Nov. 4, at a neutral site to be determined. Grandview has not played either team this season.
The regional champion plays in a state semifinal Wednesday, Nov. 8, at a neutral site to be determined. Top-ranked Summit Country Day, fifth-ranked Dayton Christian, Madeira and Troy Christian are possible opponents.
The state final is Nov. 11 at Mapfre Stadium.
"Our game plan this year was to use our speed and to play really creative possession-based soccer," Gerdes said. "We have a lot of talented individuals, but we really have to build on our teamwork and build for each other."
The boys led Grove City Christian 2-1 before scoring twice in the final three minutes.
"It feels really good to have won district titles from our freshman year to senior year because we're the first class to do it," said senior forward Wes Ryan, who scored twice in the district final. "We all did it together, and we want to keep the season going."
Indigo London and Ben Kelley also scored. Goalie Jake Kelley had four saves.
In a district semifinal Oct. 24, the host Bobcats defeated 11th-seeded Tree of Life 5-0 as Manny Day scored twice. London, Ryan and Johnny Volker all scored once.
In its district final, the girls team outlasted Academy on penalty kicks. Gentile said it was a matter of staying focused in the one-on-one shootout format, which the Bobcats won 4-2.
"Our coaches always tell us that if I make just one save (in a shootout), it will help us," said Gentile, who had 14 saves in the game. "I just try to make that one save."
Maddie Arndt, Hallie Georskey, Kirsten Lower and Tia Thomas scored in the shootout.
On Oct. 25, Anna Dobies and Maddy James scored as Grandview defeated sixth-seeded Johnstown 2-1 in a district semifinal at home. Gentile had three saves.