Deflecting credit for his team's eight-game winning streak entering this week, Pickerington High School North boys soccer coach Darrin Monhollen said the adjustments his team made at midseason hardly were complicated.

Deflecting credit for his team's eight-game winning streak entering this week, Pickerington High School North boys soccer coach Darrin Monhollen said the adjustments his team made at midseason hardly were complicated.

"Anybody that's astute as far as soccer can figure out what we're doing, but this formation (a 4-3-3) plays to our strength," he said. "We're just hoping to make a nice run in the playoffs."

Mired with a 4-5 record in mid-September, the Panthers won their last six games of the regular season and the first two games of the Division I district tournament, beating Lancaster 4-1 on Oct. 20 at Canal Winchester and defeating host Canal Winchester 2-1 in the second round two nights later.

North took a 12-5 record into a district semifinal Oct. 26 at Olentangy Liberty. The semifinal winner will play Hilliard Bradley or Olentangy Orange in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Reynoldsburg.

Senior Zach Monhollen and juniors Marlon Pugh, Tommy Harr and JoJo Stephen have led the forward attack for the Panthers. Through 17 games, Monhollen had a team-high 13 goals and senior midfielder Spencer Bentley had seven.

Harr, who was injured early in the season, lauded Pugh and Stephen's play in particular. Neither played varsity in 2010.

"I couldn't play my main role, so Marlon really stepped in and played the forward role very well," Harr said. "He still is. JoJo has been solid up top, too."

Not wanting to take even the slightest risk of tampering with success, coach Monhollen decided to slot his team into a first-round game for the first time in 20 years of coaching. The move paid off, as North won amid a cold, driving rain in a game postponed a day and moved to the neutral site because rain rendered North's field unplayable.

"I felt we were on a roll, so I wanted to play that early game and not take nine days off (from a 2-1 win over New Albany in the regular-season finale Oct. 13)," coach Monhollen said.

•The Central and North girls teams also advanced through the first weekend of the Division I district tournament.

Junior forward Lizzie Awuah scored the last of her four goals in overtime Oct. 22 as the Tigers defeated visiting Olentangy Liberty 4-3 in their second-round game Oct. 22. That win, which was the Tigers' seventh consecutive and improved them to 11-5-1 overall, advanced Central to a district semifinal Oct. 25 at OCC-Ohio Division champion Gahanna, the district's fourth seed.

The semifinal winner will play fifth-seeded Hilliard Davidson or 10th-seeded Westerville North in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Westerville North.

Central didn't play Davidson or Westerville North during the regular season. The district champion will play Dublin Jerome, New Albany, Olentangy Orange or Upper Arlington in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Dublin Scioto.

North, the district's third seed, beat visiting Mount Vernon 8-0 in a second-round game Oct. 22. The Panthers were 12-2-3 before playing Watterson in a district semifinal on Oct. 26. The semifinal winner plays eighth-seeded Thomas Worthington or Dublin Scioto in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Westerville Central.

The Panthers didn't Thomas or Scioto during the regular season, but they did play one of their potential regional semifinal opponents - Dublin Coffman, the district's second seed. The regional semifinal, which also could be against ninth-seeded Grove City, Hilliard Bradley or Westerville Central, will be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Coffman.

North defeated host Coffman 2-0 on Oct. 6.

•The Central boys team's season ended Oct. 22 with a 5-1 loss to Worthington Kilbourne in a Division I second-round game.

Dillon Ricketts scored his 10th goal of the season in the loss, which snapped a five-game winning streak. The Tigers went 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the OCC-Ohio, tying for second with North behind Gahanna (7-0) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (3-3-1), Grove City (2-5), Lancaster (2-5), Groveport (1-4-2) and Newark (1-5-1).

Central will lose seven seniors - Tiffin University-recruit forward Tony Grozdanovski, who missed much of the season with ACL, MCL and meniscus tears; outside back Kevin Ibrahim, midfielders Brandon Koch, Austin Ladd, Dalton Ludwig, Avery Patton and Kashif Ullah. Expected returnees include junior outside backs Nate Buccilla and Zack Schumach, Ricketts, junior sweeper Logan Federer, sophomore goalkeeper Andy Taylor, sophomore defender Brandon Sanchez, sophomore forward/midfielders Joe Abbarno and Brian Krieg and freshman starting goalkeeper Collin Federer.

Ricketts had two three-goal games this season, in a 3-0 win over Reynoldsburg on Oct. 11 and a 6-0 win over Newark on Sept. 27.