As the Pickerington High School North girls soccer team trudged off the turf Nov. 8 at Doug Adams Stadium in Xenia, the Panthers couldn't believe it had happened again.

As the Pickerington High School North girls soccer team trudged off the turf Nov. 8 at Doug Adams Stadium in Xenia, the Panthers couldn't believe it had happened again.

A few Panthers even sat on the field in shock, not wanting to leave.

North's season came to an end in a manner coach Greg Van Kannel and his oldest players have seen too often for their liking. The Panthers lost to Springboro 1-0 in overtime in a Division I state semifinal that night, marking the third time in five years that their season has ended by that score in overtime at that stage of the postseason.

Springboro forward Lauren Uptegrove scored the winning goal off a throw-in 3 minutes, 21 seconds into overtime.

"I don't know if we were tired, but it was a great cross and a great chest bump for (Uptegrove). It was a great goal," Van Kannel said. "It was just a battle. When you get to this level, it will be a goal here or a mishap there, a great play by either team (that will decide it). They got the great play tonight, I guess."

North also lost 1-0 in overtime in state semifinals to another Warren County school, Mason, in 2012 and 2013.

The Panthers finished 18-3-1 overall and had an 11-game winning streak snapped by Springboro, which made its first state tournament appearance and went on to lose to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 2-0 in the state final Nov. 12 at Mapfre Stadium.

"We might be looked at as underdogs and we wanted to prove everybody wrong," said Uptegrove, who took a chest pass from teammate Paige Elliott, laid the ball at her feet and scored from about 8 yards. "Sometimes we get flustered and we don't move the ball as we should and don't always do well under pressure. But when we get the ball on the turf and just play, we find our way upfield a lot better and get to the point where we can punch the ball through."

Sophomore goalkeeper Grace Kenyon made six saves for the Panthers, who allowed only 14 goals all season and posted 12 shutouts.

North's long winning streak was highlighted by its 10th district championship and fifth regional title in the program's 14 seasons, and came after its only regular-season losses. The Panthers lost to Gahanna 2-1 on Sept. 20 in a match that ultimately decided the OCC-Ohio Division championship, and fell to Olentangy Liberty 1-0 on Sept. 22.

"We had a bad week that one week and I was proud of the way we came back and took care of business," Van Kannel said. "I wish we'd have had one more game, but that's life. We made a great run and we had a good time doing it. We just have to come back again."

The Panthers expect to return several key players, including their top two scorers in sophomore forward Avery Hart (17 goals) and junior forward Makenzie Kelly (15) as well as Kenyon in goal.

North's seniors include forward Cameron Shedenhelm, a Kent State University commit who scored 14 goals and finished her career with 60, and linchpins in the defense in all-league selections Izzy Reibold and Karmen Sigman.

Shedenhelm was named first-team all-league and all-district as well as second-team all-state and is on the ThisWeek Super 12 team. Reibold was first-team all-league and third-team all-district.

Hart, Kelly and sophomore midfielder Camryn Dees were second-team all-league, Sigman was special mention all-league and senior midfielder Nikie Anderson made honorable mention all-league.

North finished second (4-1) in the OCC-Ohio behind Gahanna (5-0) and ahead of Grove City (3-2), Reynoldsburg (1-3-1), Pickerington Central (0-3-2) and Lancaster (0-4-1).

Seeded third in the 42-team district tournament, the Panthers defeated 17th-seeded Upper Arlington 4-1 in a second-round game Oct. 20, beat 15th-seeded Grove City 4-0 in a semifinal Oct. 25 and came from behind to beat seventh-seeded Hilliard Darby 3-1 in a district final Oct. 29.

Shedenhelm scored the winning goal with eight seconds left in overtime as North beat Dublin Jerome 1-0 in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Gahanna. Dees' goal off a corner kick was the only goal of a regional final, as the Panthers avenged their only league loss, edging Gahanna 1-0 on Nov. 5 at Hilliard Bradley.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave