As was the case during its regular-season contest with Olentangy Liberty, the Watterson High School field hockey team created more than its share of scoring opportunities in its postseason matchup with the Patriots.

As was the case during its regular-season contest with Olentangy Liberty, the Watterson High School field hockey team created more than its share of scoring opportunities in its postseason matchup with the Patriots.

Finding the back of the cage, though, proved to be a difficult task in both meetings.

The second-seeded Eagles, who tied Liberty at 1 on Sept. 15, lost to the third-seeded and host Patriots 2-1 in a district final Oct. 29.

Liberty improved to 15-3-1 and advanced to a state semifinal for the first time, and Watterson finished 15-2-1.

Patriots goalkeeper Katie Flanagan had 34 saves in the regular-season game and 20 in the rematch.

"We actually had some really good shots," Eagles coach Janet Baird said. "When there was a second on the clock, our girls were still working, and that's all you can ask from your team."

Goalie Caroline Golonka had nine saves for Watterson, which fell behind 1-0 with 19 minutes left in the first half on a goal by the Patriots' Mara Hunter.

The Eagles' Avery Dixon tied the score with 11:13 to go before halftime, and the game remained tied until Liberty's Katie Pione scored the game-winning goal with six minutes left.

"Our defensive line just got beat (on the final goal)," Baird said.

Watterson beat eighth-seeded Upper Arlington 3-0 in a district semifinal Oct. 25 as Ellen Geyer, Claire Sweeney and Mary Schons each scored.

Volleyball team falls to Pioneers

The 14th-seeded girls volleyball team lost to fifth-seeded Olentangy Orange 25-23, 25-22, 25-19 in a Division I district final Oct. 29 at Franklin Heights.

It marks the second consecutive district runner-up finish for the Eagles, who finished 14-12.

Watterson pulled a pair of minor upsets to reach the district final.

After winning at 12th-seeded Grove City 28-30, 25-13, 25-20, 25-19 on Oct. 20, the Eagles defeated 10th-seeded Pickerington North 25-19, 25-20, 25-11 in a district semifinal Oct. 26 at Franklin Heights.

Against Pickerington North, Grace Hetterscheidt had 10 kills, Josie Vondran had 10 digs and 24 assists and Anna Hamrock had 16 serves received.

Girls soccer team loses district final

The eighth-seeded girls soccer team lost to fourth-seeded Dublin Jerome 3-0 in a Division I district final Oct. 29 at Gahanna to finish 10-3-5.

"We came off our warmup and just weren't focused and got caught on our heels," coach Alex Portier said.

Jerome took a 1-0 lead with 27:47 left in the first half on a goal by Riley Mullady and made it 2-0 two minutes later.

Goalkeeper Christina Simmons had five saves against the Celtics, who improved to 14-3-2.

Watterson defeated sixth-seeded Hilliard Davidson 2-1 in a district semifinal Oct. 25 behind goals from Juliana Rotolo and Emily Ganz.

Jerome held Ganz, who finished with 23 goals and 14 assists, off the scoreboard.

"(Jerome's) forwards are just a little faster than our back line," Portier said. "We couldn't find Emily up front. She still was dangerous."

Football team loses season finale

During its final game of the season, the football team put together one of its best offensive performances.

The Eagles lost to Cincinnati Winton Woods 34-27 on Oct. 28 to finish 3-7.

It marks the third time in four seasons that Watterson has finished with a losing record and has missed the playoffs.

The Eagles took a 13-0 lead on touchdown runs of 77 and 27 yards by Nick Bowen, but then gave up four consecutive touchdowns to Winton Woods.

Watterson cut its deficit to 28-20 on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cole Andrews to Charlie Spencer before Winton Woods' Lorenzo Gist scored his fourth touchdown of the game, a 23-yard run, with 3:08 remaining.

Andrews hit Anthony Mershad for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 1:22 left to complete the Eagles' scoring.

Watterson finished with 264 yards of offense, as Andrews threw for 100 yards, Bowen had 12 carries for 117 yards and Adam Kasun added 47 yards on 12 carries.

Jack Frecker had 5.5 tackles and Perry Finnegan, Will Fortkamp and Cort Marbaugh each had five tackles to lead the Eagles' defense.

Cross country season ends at regional

All three cross country runners competing in the Division I regional meet Oct. 29 at Pickerington North had their seasons end.

In the boys regional, junior Nick Kuraly finished 63rd in 17 minutes, 27.37 seconds as the top 20 individuals advanced to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 5, at National Trail Raceway.

In the girls regional, senior Sam Mikula finished 43rd (20:50.93) and classmate Anna Stinnett was 51st (20:56.87).

Mikula also is a member of the girls soccer team but elected to compete in the cross country race. The 20th-place finisher was Hilliard Darby's Kayla Mayer, who ran 20:16.25.

Boys soccer team takes steps forward

After winning just six games a year ago, the boys soccer team improved to 9-7-3 overall.

The fifth-seeded Eagles lost at third-seeded Hartley 2-0 in a district semifinal Oct. 25 after beating 24th-seeded Columbus South 13-1 on Oct. 17 and 11th-seeded Bexley 4-1 on Oct. 20 in home games in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Watterson went 7-3-1 over its first 11 games before battling injuries to several key players during the season's final three weeks, with senior Nate Meyers (defender) and junior Kevin Laming (center back) among those who were hobbling.

"Our season was clicking along pretty well, but then we ended up with a bunch of starters going down due to injuries," coach Ed Mikula said.

Watterson placed third (2-2) in the CCL behind co-champions DeSales and St. Charles (3-0-1) and ahead of Hartley (1-3) and Ready (0-4).

The Eagles are losing nine seniors, led by first-team all-CCL selections Matt Adams (midfielder) and Meyers as well as second-team all-league choice Nick Rocci (forward). Adams was first-team all-district and Meyers was second team.

Among the expected return-ees are juniors Gilberto Quintero (midfielder) and Bryant Pratt (goalie). Pratt was named third-team all-district and first-team all-league, while Quintero led the team with 10 goals and was second-team all-league.

Adams and junior D.J. Brown (forward/midfielder) both scored nine goals.

Others eligible to return include Laming, juniors Liam Aman (midfielder/forward), Tom Anglim (defender), Zach Gilbert (midfielder), Eamon McDonough (defender) and John Viola (midfielder) and sophomore Jack Nyhus (defender).

"We had 33 goals last year and we scored 46 this year," Mikula said. "Last year we gave up 34 and this year we gave up 30. I've got nine seniors and seven were starters, but I already know the people who are going to plug those holes. I'm looking forward to next year."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek