Before the season began, many expected Upper Arlington High School girls water polo team to meet Thomas Worthington in the state final.

Before the season began, many expected Upper Arlington High School girls water polo team to meet Thomas Worthington in the state final.

Both teams lived up to those expectations, with the Golden Bears winning the program's 12th state title by beating the Cardinals 15-10 in the championship game on Oct. 22 at Mason.

The Bears finished 27-1, with their lone setback being a 10-9 loss to Thomas in the season-opening UA Invitational on Aug. 20.

"At the beginning of the year, I think everybody had predicted that it would be those two teams in the state championship," coach Dan Peterkoski said. "We lost to them the first weekend of the season and then our girls really went to work and never looked back."

It was the Bears' third state championship in four years and second in a row. They defeated Napoleon 15-8 in the state final last season.

"It was a great moment. It was great for all of our seniors, all of the players on our team," senior Kelly Stiebler said. "It was really special for the program because we just brought back the 12th championship. We're really proud of that. Not just accomplishing something for our class over the four years, but accomplishing something for the school, the community and for everybody."

Stiebler had nine goals and an assist against Thomas, followed by seniors Marissa Jaskot and Stephanie Turner with two goals apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Shea Stiebler, Kelly's sister, had nine blocks.

"It puts a cap on the season," Peterkoski said moments after being thrown in the pool by his players. "It makes the girls smile. After all the hard work they did, I'm more than happy to get wet."

Senior Katie Allison scored eight goals for Thomas, while Cardinals goalkeeper Carly Porteus had 10 blocks.

UA defeated Napoleon 13-11 in a state semifinal on Oct. 21.

Kelly Stiebler had three goals and five assists and Jaskot and Turner had three goals apiece. Senior Katie Johanni (6) and Shea Stiebler (3) combined for nine blocks.

Kelly Stiebler finished the season with 143 goals, 102 steals and 44 assists.

Thomas, which beat the Bears 12-11 in the 2009 state final, finished 25-6. The Cardinals defeated Milford 10-4 in the other semifinal.

Other seniors for UA were Lauren Comer and Beth Long.

"All the state titles are special," Peterkoski said. "It's all a different group of kids and it's a different senior class. It's something that you want to help the seniors earn and get before they leave."

•The boys team finished third in the state after beating Milford 12-9 in the consolation game on Oct. 22.

UA lost to St. Charles 14-13 in overtime in a semifinal on Oct. 21, as the Cardinals' Daniel Cogan scored the winning goal with 3.5 seconds left in overtime.

"It was a tough loss where we led most of the game and they scored with three seconds left in overtime to win," coach Jim Roberts said. "Both teams played at a very high level in what was probably the best (boys) game in Ohio this year."

Senior Andrew Rabe had a total of 11 goals in the state semifinal and consolation games to lead the Bears. He finished the season with a team-high 132 goals.

Other seniors are Marko Colovic, Adam Dodson, Ben Mastruserio and Sean Neri.

"The seniors have done a great job leading, building team unity and maintaining hope all year," Roberts said. "We are all disappointed with third, but I am proud of their effort and drive to succeed."

UA finished 24-9.

St. Charles defeated Toledo St. Francis 16-6 in the championship game for its second consecutive state title.