First-year coach James Gerdes had his Grandview Heights High School boys soccer team playing at the top of its game, but the Bobcats couldn't get past their regional nemesis.

First-year coach James Gerdes had his Grandview Heights High School boys soccer team playing at the top of its game, but the Bobcats couldn't get past their regional nemesis.

For the second consecutive season, the Bobcats were ousted by Zanesville Rosecrans in a Division III regional final, losing 2-1 on Nov. 5 at White Field in Newark.

Grandview finished 12-5-4 overall after reaching its third consecutive regional championship game. It defeated Rosecrans 2-1 in a shootout in 2014 and lost to the Bishops 5-1 last season.

"I'm speechless. We played exactly how we wanted to play the game," Gerdes said. "Credit their goalkeeper (Keagan McLaughlin). He was absolutely incredible, but we created so many chances that we just have to knock a few of them in and we didn't finish."

McLaughlin made 16 saves, none bigger than when he dived left to stop a penalty kick by senior midfielder Kaleb Orr with 17 minutes, 50 seconds left.

The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead when senior forward Breon Backus scored off an assist from junior forward Wes Ryan two minutes after Orr's penalty kick.

Grandview dominated throughout, holding a 17-8 advantage in shots on goal, a 32-10 edge in total shots, a 15-3 margin in corner kicks and a 7-3 edge in free kicks.

The Bishops scored goals four minutes apart, the second with 8:05 left by Michael Gibson.

"It hurts," Gerdes said. "You dominate the game. In reality, there was only one team out there playing to win the game -- until the final 12 minutes. They weren't playing to win in the flow of the game in regulation. But that's soccer. They made it work."

On Nov. 2, Ryan scored 27 seconds into overtime and junior goalie Jake Kelley made eight saves as the Bobcats defeated Wellington 3-2 in a regional semifinal at Hilliard Bradley.

"Manny Day got the ball through to me and I went past their defender and scored," said Ryan, who also had a first-half goal. "We were ready to go (in overtime). We wanted to get it over with."

Grandview led 2-0 at halftime, with junior midfielder Indigo London scoring the other goal.

"Wes Ryan is one of the best players in the area," Wellington coach J.J. Bain said. "He communicated well with his teammate and beat our defender to put it in."

The Bobcats won their third consecutive district title by defeating top-seeded Worthington Christian 2-1 in the championship game Oct. 29 at Olentangy Orange.

Fifth-seeded Grandview had a first-round bye before defeating 19th-seeded East Knox 13-0 on Oct. 22 in the second round and fourth-seeded Grove City Christian 3-0 on Oct. 26 in a district semifinal.

Grandview tied Bexley for second (5-2) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Worthington Christian (7-0) and ahead of Columbus Academy (4-2-1), Whitehall (3-4), Grove City Christian (2-4-1), West Jefferson (1-6) and London (0-7).

Backus, defender Alan Field (second-team all-league), Orr (first-team all-league) and midfielder Atom Slaughter comprised the senior class.

Expected to return are juniors Eli Evans (midfielder), Dylan Gerdes (defender), Eli Hall (defender), Ben Kelley (midfielder), Jake Kelley, Ben Murphy (defender), Ryan (first-team all-league) and Johnny Volker (midfielder; second-team all-league), sophomores Sam Freeman (midfielder), Jake Hollar (defender) and Christian Lynch (defender) and freshmen Manny Day (forward), Ross Day (midfielder; honorable mention all-league) and Lance Trares (goalie).

"It was a good season, although it was very much a transition season," Gerdes said. "With this new coaching staff, we're playing a little different style. For us, it's all about possession. It took our players awhile to get used to it. Toward the end of the season, we were peaking.

"With a year under their belts with this style, I'm expecting to start stronger next year. With the guys we've got coming back, I am looking forward to some exciting times."

Miller competes in state meet

Chris Miller capped his freshman season for the boys cross country team by finishing 64th (17:01.6) in the Division III state meet Nov. 5 at National Trail Raceway.

"I think Chris had a great showing for a freshman and he ran as expected," second-year coach Chris Szabo said. "He wasn't too bad (in terms of nerves). He has a good head on his shoulders. You look at his whole season and he was predictable from week to week.

"It was definitely a good experience for him. I told him that no matter what he did (at state) that he would learn from it and be better."

Miller reached state by finishing 16th (17:13.79) in the regional meet Oct. 29 at Pickerington North as the top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced. The Bobcats finished ninth (268) of 17 teams behind champion Leesburg Fairfield (71).

Junior Liam Kerr (42nd, 17:50.66), sophomore Gavin Van Horn (71st, 18:27.53), junior Andrew Bergmann (88th, 18:49.19), sophomore Quinn Tillett (102nd, 19:14.12), junior Cameron Hunter (108th, 19:22.73) and sophomore Iain McCormick (115th, 19:43.74) also competed at regional.

Miller finished third (17:08.48) in the district 2 race Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial, helping the Bobcats place third (89) of nine teams behind champion Academy (27). The top four teams advanced to regional.

The girls team finished seventh (245) of 20 teams at district behind champion Galion Northmor (77). Junior Sarah Marrone (30th, 21:12.68) led the Bobcats, followed by freshman Emmalyn Kukura (41st, 21:35.57), freshman Liza DeVere (43rd, 21:41.58), senior Evelyn Brown (66th, 22:57.74), junior Avani Kumar (72nd, 23:13.75), senior Emma Berlin (78th, 23:29.0) and freshman Izzy Evans (99th, 24:27.91).

In the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 15 at London Country Club, the boys were third (75) behind Academy (35) and Bexley (48) and ahead of London (115), Whitehall (123) and Worthington Christian (129). The girls were third (77) behind Bexley (35) and Academy (36) and ahead of London (90) and Whitehall (116).

"I'm pretty pleased overall with how the season has gone," Szabo said. "Everybody had their times improve over the course of the season, and we kept making strides."

Claypool earns honor for girls soccer team

Maria Claypool was named MSL-Ohio Player of the Year for the girls soccer team, which finished 12-3-3 overall and 2-0-3 in the league.

The senior forward led the Bobcats with 16 goals and seven assists.

Grandview finished second in the league behind Worthington Christian (4-0-1) and ahead of Academy (2-1-2), Bexley (2-1-2), West Jefferson (1-4) and London (0-5).

The second-seeded Bobcats lost to third-seeded Academy in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 25. The teams played to a scoreless tie through two overtimes before Grandview lost 5-4 in a shootout.

Grandview had a first-round bye before defeating eighth-seeded Ready 2-0 on Oct. 19 in the second round.

Midfielder Molly Smith (3 assists) was first-team all-league and defender Paige Crabill was on the second team as they helped Claypool lead a 10-player senior class.

Junior forward Maddy James (7 goals, 6 assists) was second-team all-league and junior defender Anna Dobies, junior defender Kirsten Lower and sophomore midfielder Olivia Girardi (5 goals, 1 assist) all made honorable mention.

Also expected back are sophomores Maddie Arndt (midfielder), Adelle Bechtel (defender), Ruby Gentile (goalie; 34 saves) and Whitney Schaefer (midfielder) and freshmen Hallie Georskey (midfielder; 7 goals, 3 assists), Addi Holcomb (goalie) and Maddy Morosky (defender).

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