The Gahanna Lincoln High School boys and girls soccer teams took the first steps in what each hopes is a long tournament run by easily winning their opening postseason games.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School boys and girls soccer teams took the first steps in what each hopes is a long tournament run by easily winning their opening postseason games.

Both squads were expecting things to begin getting tougher with their Division I district semifinal matchups earlier this week.

After winning 4-1 over Marysville in a second-round game on Oct. 22, the boys team faced Westerville South on Oct. 26 with the winner moving on to a district final at noon Saturday, Oct. 29, at Westerville Central.

The girls team began the pursuit of its first district championship by beating City League runner-up Whetstone 7-0 on Oct. 20 in a second-round game. The win moved the Lions into a district semifinal Oct. 25 against Pickerington Central, with the winner playing for a district title at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Thomas Worthington.

For the second-seeded boys team, the tournament opener provided an opportunity to shake off the rust after having a week off.

Andrew Schwall scored three goals and Jeremy Fernandes scored one to help the Lions improve to 16-1.

"I thought we played pretty well," boys coach Dwayne Marshall said. "We haven't played since (Oct. 15), and it was especially hard this week because we took Monday and Tuesday off and Wednesday the weather was so bad. Even with that many days off, fortunately we did pretty well."

The Gahanna-South winner will play Worthington Kilbourne or Watkins Memorial for a district title.

In 2009, Gahanna beat Kilbourne 3-0 and played Watkins Memorial to a scoreless tie during the regular season. The tie against the Warriors proved to be the only blemish of the Lions' 22-0-1 season that included the state title.

Watkins Memorial was 6-9-2 and Kilbourne was 7-3-7 before their district-semifinal matchup Oct. 26.

"I think we have a dangerous bracket," Marshall said.

The girls team's victory over Whetstone provided a tune-up for several reserve players, according to coach Jason Hardin.

Rachel Justice scored three goals and Kari Weinland added two to lead the way.

Gahanna defeated Pickerington Central 9-3 on Sept. 13. If the Lions won the tournament matchup with the Tigers on Oct. 25, they would face Hilliard Davidson or Westerville North for a district title.

Gahanna beat Davidson 3-2 on Sept. 17. North won the last meeting with the Lions 8-0 in the regular-season finale in 2007. That season the Lions went 6-8-1.

Gahanna is seeded fourth, Davidson is fifth and North is 10th. Davidson was 11-3-3 and North was 7-5-3 before their matchup.

"We wanted to stay sharp and stay focused because these girls have high expectations this postseason," Hardin said. "It's a one-game season now. Davidson's a good team. We were able to score three goals on them and we know they're going to make some adjustments if we play them again. Westerville North is always a good team and (coach) Tim Lawrence always has their team prepared."

•HONORS - Weinland, a junior who according to Hardin has more than 30 assists this season, was named the OCC-Ohio Division Player of the Year.

Senior Ashley Gogolin and junior Maggie Mayo both made first-team all-league, while seniors Abby Grooms, Taylor Law and Annika Nilsen were named second team, junior Megan Barrick was special mention and freshman Erica Schrader made honorable mention.

For the boys team, senior David Witkoff and juniors Joe Chandler and Alex Crognale both made first-team all-league. Schwall, a junior, and seniors Louis Naiman and Andrew McClure were second team, senior Khary Fitzgerald was special mention and Fernandes made honorable mention.

According to Marshall, the league Player of the Year in the OCC-Ohio has yet to be announced.