For the second time in three seasons, the Olentangy Liberty High School girls soccer team’s season ended with a loss in a Division I state semifinal to Loveland.

The Patriots were unable to hold a late lead and lost 2-1 in overtime to the Tigers on Nov. 7 at Centerville.

Loveland, ranked second in the final state poll, improved to 21-1 and will play Perrysburg in the state final Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium. Liberty finished 13-6-3.

“They’re a team that never quits, that’s very evident, and they caught us on a moment when we weren’t marking,” Patriots coach Kristen McMahon said. “At that point, both teams are exhausted, and they had a runner come in on a cross and she found the back of the net.”

Loveland’s Sarah Harter crossed the ball to the center of the field and Colleen Swift scored the winning goal with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in the first overtime.

With the game scoreless, Liberty goalkeeper Riley Cartwright made a save off a header with 26:20 remaining in the second half and then made a diving save with 22:45 left.

Then with 19:40 remaining, Laura Bichsel scored off a rebound to give Liberty a 1-0 lead.

“Laura Bichsel (is) one of those kids that works extremely hard, so it’s not surprising she found the open net,” McMahon said.

Loveland tied the game with 3:43 left as Brice Grieshop scored on a header during a flurry around the goal following a corner kick.

In 2015, the Patriots lost to Loveland 3-1 in a state semifinal at the same venue. The Tigers went on to lose to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 1-0 in the state final.


Cincinnati Indian Hill 4, Big Walnut 0

Big Walnut entered its Division II state semifinal Nov. 7 riding a defense that had shut out 16 opponents this season, but Indian Hill shocked the Golden Eagles with two early goals on its way to a 4-0 victory at Kettering Fairmont.

Indian Hill improved to 21-0-1 and will play Mentor Lake Catholic in the state final Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium. Big Walnut finished 16-3-4.

“They threw some haymaker punches, and we had to play from behind,” Golden Eagles coach Drew Pitzer said. “We never lost hope, but we just didn’t have it.”

—Scott Gerfen


Cincinnati Summit Country Day 3, Grandview 1

Colleen McIlvenna scored a pair of goals, both coming on assists by Lily Melink, to lead top-ranked Summit Country Day past fifth-ranked Grandview in a Division III state semifinal Nov. 7 at Beavercreek.

The Silver Knights improved to 21-1 and will play Kirtland in the state final Nov. 10 at Mapfre Stadium. The Bobcats finished 18-3-1.

“They are the No. 1 team in the state, but we gave them a game,” Grandview coach Mike Merna said. “You could tell by the way they celebrated afterward. We played a great game defensively.”

Anna Dobies scored on a corner kick with 31:49 left in the first half to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.

Summit Country Day’s Maddie Brault tied the game with 9:32 left in the first half, and McIlvenna scored twice in the first nine minutes of the second half.

Grandview goalie Ruby Gentile made 18 saves.

“We played well defensively, but it’s tough when they have the ball on their end 70 of the 80 minutes,” Merna said. “We held up well considering that.”

—Scott Hennen