The Thomas Worthington High School girls water polo team capped its 25th-year anniversary by winning one of the biggest games in school history.

The Thomas Worthington High School girls water polo team capped its 25th-year anniversary by winning one of the biggest games in school history.

Katie Allison's goal with 40 seconds remaining lifted the Cardinals to a 12-11 win over Upper Arlington in the state title game last Saturday at Mason High School.

The Cardinals, who earned their first state title since 1988, ended the season at 24-8.

"This is a big deal for the school, for the program," Thomas coach Kimi Segarra said. "This will motivate more ladies to come and play with us."

Thomas advanced to the title game with an 11-10 win against Milford last Friday.

That win set up a rematch with UA, as the teams met for the fourth time this season. The win gave the Cardinals a split with their top competitors.

"We worked very hard for the last two and a half months of the season to make it happen," Segarra said. "It was worth it."

Allison led Thomas with three goals and an assist, with her biggest contribution coming in the game after a UA foul.

"I looked up and the goalie was on the far side of the goal and the other half of the goal was wide open, so I went for it," Allison said.

Claudia Smith added three goals, and Lauren Porteus and Becca Hammond added two goals and two assists apiece.

Annie Blackman and Amanda Hitzemann each had a goal.

Goalie Carly Porteus made 10 saves.

Segarra noted a key to beating UA was containing Golden Bears' standout senior Kasi Vazquez. The Cardinals limited Vazquez to just one goal.

"We really locked down UA's best player," Segarra said. "We played great defense. That was the key of the game."

Against Milford, Allison led the team with four goals, followed by Lauren Porteus with three.

Carly Porteus made four saves.

"We had two tough games," Segarra said. "(Last Saturday) we were dominating the game until the last 1:30. We were up by two goals. Unfortunately, they made two shots from outside and they tied the game."

Last season, the Cardinals reached the state semifinals, but had to settle for third place.

"Last season was definitely motivation to come back and get it," Allison said. "Working on communication and getting a good feel for everybody on the team were keys."

•The boys team also reached the state title game but fell to Upper Arlington 9-8 in double overtime.

John Spangler's goal with 1:20 remaining in the second overtime lifted the Golden Bears to their first state title since 2004.

Overtime consists of two, three-minute periods.

Thomas ended at 18-6.

Against UA, Sam Reeder led the Cardinals with three goals, followed by Trevor Johnson with two, and Walid Choueiki, Phil Mueller and Kyle Blocher with one apiece.

Goalie Salim Choueiki stopped 15 shots.

"The game against UA was really tough," Johnson said. "We played some great defense and made some great offensive plays. Our boys really fought hard and in the end it was a heartbreaking loss. I can't describe how much we wanted to win that game, but I'm very proud of our team. We had a great season and many great memories. Being state runners-up is something to be proud of, especially when you only lose to a team by one goal in overtime."

Thomas' weekend began with a 12-10 overtime win against Milford last Friday.

Johnson sparked the win with four goals. Walid Choueiki and Reeder chipped in with three goals apiece.

Salim Choueiki was kept busy in goal, as he recorded 19 saves.

"Our goal at the beginning of the year was to win a state title," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't quite come away with the win. There were many great teams this year in the state tournament and we feel honored and privileged to have made it to the state championship game."