The Pickerington High School North girls soccer team prolonged its season with a 4-2 win over Olentangy in a Division I regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Dublin Jerome, its second two-goal win against the Braves in 26 days.
Four players scored for North, which improved to 15-1-3 and advanced to play Watterson in the regional final Nov. 3 at Jerome.
For the Panthers to reach their second state tournament in three years, they will have to fix what went wrong in an earlier contest against Watterson. The Eagles handed North its only loss this season, 2-1 on Sept. 15 at Otterbein.
“We came out a little slow (against Olentangy), but when we got on the board, it increased our intensity,” said Panthers forward Alicia Donley, who gave North the lead for good at 2-1 with a quick goal off a turnover with 6 minutes, 4 seconds left in the first half. “We’re excited to move on. (Watterson) played as a team probably better than any team we’ve seen. They know how to work together. It’s one game. Anything can happen.”
Kylee Beinecke scored both goals for Olentangy, which also lost to North 2-0 on Oct. 4 and finished 14-4-2. Beinecke gave the Braves the early lead less than nine minutes into the game on a shot from about 30 yards out that sneaked past the outstretched arms of Panthers goalkeeper Grace Kenyon.
North’s Camryn Dees tied the game less than six minutes later.
Tori Haggit and Avery Hart, who suffered an ankle injury during the Panthers’ 2-1 district final win over New Albany on Oct. 27, each scored in the second half.
Beinecke added her second goal with 15 minutes to play.
Kenyon made five saves, while Olentangy goalie Katie Scott stopped 10 shots.
“We tried to increase our level of pressure on the ball,” Braves coach Earl Devanny said. “At times, we were successful at that and at other times, it was a challenge.”
Watterson 3, Dublin Jerome 1
In their first appearance in the regional tournament since 2013, the Eagles took an early 2-0 lead and added a late goal to top the Celtics in a Division I regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Westerville Central.
Watterson, which was the district’s No. 1 seed, improved to 17-1-2 and will face Pickerington North, which was seeded second in the district, in the regional final Nov. 3 at Jerome. The regional champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 6.
Jerome finished 15-4-1.
“We always talk about coming out with lots of energy and we focus on it a lot,” Eagles freshman midfielder Gabriella Rotolo said. “I think we just need to keep doing what we’re doing, improve one percent each day in practice.”
Emma Schossler scored an unassisted goal for Watterson in the game’s third minute, and Rotolo made it 2-0 one minute later off a pass from Sammy Francis.
Jerome, which was the regional runner-up last season, cut its deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Sam Poptic with 35:10 remaining.
Rotolo headed in a goal with 14 minutes to go to complete the scoring, with Francis assisting on the goal.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision II
Big Walnut 2, Chillicothe Unioto 0
Kimberly Serna scored both goals — one in the first half and one in the second — to lead the Golden Eagles past the Shermans in a Division II regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Bloom-Carroll.
It was the 12th shutout of the season for Big Walnut, which improved to 13-2-4 and advanced to play New Concord John Glenn in a regional final Nov. 3 at a neutral site. The regional champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 6.
The Golden Eagles also beat Unioto in a regional semifinal last season, winning 1-0, en route to reaching a state semifinal.
—Patrick DolanDivision III
Zanesville Rosecrans 2, Grandview 1 (SO)
The Bobcats were outscored 3-1 in a shootout against the Bishops in a Division III regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Lakewood to finish 15-3-2.
Rosecrans improved to 15-2-3 and advanced to play Albany Alexander in a regional final Nov. 3 at a neutral site.
The game was tied at 1 after regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods. The Bishops made three of their five shots in the shootout, while Adelle Bechtel scored for Grandview.
Claire Creeks scored for the Bishops with 10:18 seconds left in the second half. Carlie Orr tied the game for the Bobcats with 17 seconds left in regulation.
Rosecrans goalie Makaela McLaughlin had 13 saves and Grandview goalie Ruby Gentile had five.
“We played well against Columbus Academy (in a 1-0 shootout win in a district semifinal Oct. 24) and Worthington Christian (a 2-0 win in a district final Oct. 27), but we didn’t play as well tonight,” Grandview coach Mike Merna said. “We were second to balls all night and we were a little bit flat.”