The Bexley High School boys soccer team may have been slowed by the muck and mire of Brookhaven's field, but it could not be stopped.

The Bexley High School boys soccer team may have been slowed by the muck and mire of Brookhaven's field, but it could not be stopped.

Led by junior midfielder/forward Jacob Hodge, the Lions scored three goals in a 10-minute span midway through the first half and rolled to a 7-0 win over the third-seeded Bearcats in the second round of the Division II district tournament on Oct. 20.

"The most important thing was to get on them early," said Hodge, who scored three goals. "Brook-haven is a very skilled team, but getting ahead of them early seemed to demoralize them."

Eighth-seeded Bexley was 7-9-2 before facing fifth-seeded Watterson in a district semifinal Oct. 25. Brookhaven finished 14-3.

"Jacob played very well," coach Greg Kullman said. "He found openings and took care of his opportunities. The conditions weren't ideal. It took some time to build things up and find opportunities for how we wanted to play."

The win was the second shutout of the tournament for the Lions, who defeated Marion-Franklin 16-0 in the first round on Oct. 18.

Bexley was 7-5-2 in its last 14 games before playing Watterson. The Lions lost their first four games by a combined 9-1 score, falling to Watterson 1-0 on Aug. 22, Westerville South 3-0 on Aug. 24, Olentangy 3-1 on Aug. 27 and Gahanna 2-0 on Aug. 29.

All four of those opponents advanced to a district semifinal in Division I or II.

"Our record isn't great, but our schedule was difficult," Kullman said. "We've gotten better. We were dedicated to looking past wins and losses and challenging ourselves to get better in the tournament."

"The beginning of the season started out rough, but I really feel like we're starting to get it together," Hodge said. "We're motivated to get the win and working for each other."

The district semifinal winner will play fourth-seeded Granville or Jonathan Alder in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Westerville North. The Lions tied the Blue Aces at 1 on Sept. 6 but haven't played Jonathan Alder.

•With the way the girls team had been creating opportunities off its set pieces in the first half against Bloom-Carroll in the second round of the Division II district tournament on Oct. 22, coach Jared Dombrowski figured it was just a matter of time before the Lions scored off one.

Bexley scored two of its three goals in the second half off set pieces en route to a 3-0 victory to improve to 12-5-1. It was the Lions' 11th shutout this season.

"We were dangerous on our set pieces all day," Dombrowski said. "Things started to click once we realized what was at stake. If we allowed them to play their game, they were going to stick with us. If we played our game, then we were going to be fine. That's how it turned out."

Jill Clark opened the scoring, heading in a direct free kick. Sophie Schottenstein then headed in a Mackenzie Bolon corner kick to give the Lions a 2-0 lead. Later, Bexley was awarded a penalty kick after Kellie Dempsey was brought down in the box and Niki Urell scored on the penalty kick.

The Lions, who beat Beechcroft 13-0 in the first round of the tournament Oct. 19, played top-seeded DeSales in a district semifinal on Oct. 26. The winner plays second-seeded Jonathan Alder or third-seeded Granville in a district final at noon Saturday, Oct. 29, at Dublin Coffman.

The district champion plays Chillicothe, Chillicothe Unioto, Circleville or Vincent Warren in a regional semifinal on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at a site to be determined.

Bexley beat Jonathan Alder 1-0 on Oct. 1 and beat Granville 1-0 on Oct. 13. The Lions defeated Circleville 3-0 on Aug. 23 but have not played the other three potential regional semifinal opponents.