The last two high school state field hockey champions will battle in a state semifinal Friday at Upper Arlington.

The last two high school state field hockey champions will battle in a state semifinal Friday at Upper Arlington.

Thomas Worthington is the defending state champion who will play Columbus Academy. The Vikings won the title two years ago.

The teams, who played a 1-all tie Oct. 1 in the regular season, will enter with identical records of 16-1-2.

"Academy is a notoriously veteran team," coach Terri Simonetti-Frost said. "They know how to play in tournaments and they know what it takes to win, so it's going to be tough."

In the regular-season meeting, the Cardinals took the ball down the field and scored within the first minute of the game. The Vikings, seeking to regain momentum quickly, scored six minutes later.

"Academy is just tough. They're always in your face and around the ball," Simonetti-Frost said. "They have a great passing game and they're aggressive in the circle."

The Vikings advanced by beating Olentangy Liberty 4-0 last Saturday in the second Dublin bracket of the state-qualifying tournament.

Academy opened the postseason by beating Olentangy Orange on Oct. 1 and then downed Upper Arlington 4-1 on Oct. 21.

The winner Friday will advance to the state championship game, which is Saturday at Upper Arlington. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (12-4-3) and Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (15-2-1) play in the other semifinal.

Thomas defeated Hathaway Brown 2-1 on Sept. 27 and Mount Notre Dame 1-0 on Sept. 20.

The Cardinals earned their return trip to state by topping Watterson 1-0 in a shootout last Saturday at Dublin Scioto. The game was a rematch of last year's state championship, which Thomas won 3-0.

After the two scoreless overtimes, the teams went to penalty strokes and Thomas prevailed 4-3, with goals from Stephanie Littell, Anna Geissbuhler, Hannah Tikson and Courtney Reeder.

The format was much more complicated than in soccer or hockey, for instance. Both goalies were called multiple times for moving their feet before the stroker shot, leading to confusion among the teams, fans and referees.

"There was a bit of drama there at the end, and that sucks," Simonetti-Frost said. "In all retrospect, we still put in two legitimate goals and they only put one in without all the penalties against the goalies."

Thomas goalie Marissa Metcalf saved the fourth attempt, taken by Maria Swartz, to provide the win.

"First, I had to make sure that I didn't move, then I looked at (Swartz's) stick to see which side she was tilting it," Metcalf said. "She was tilting her stick toward the left side of the goal, so usually that means that's the way she would be going."

"I think we did some good things," Simonetti-Frost. "The kids played with a lot of heart. Any person who has played field hockey understands how difficult it is to play a full game and two overtimes. I think we should've finished sooner, but in the end we came out ahead."

•The season ended for Kilbourne on Oct. 15 when the Wolves lost to Bexley 2-0 in the second round of the state-qualifying tournament. Goalkeeper Danielle Hart made three saves.

The Wolves advanced to the second round by beating Dublin Scioto 2-0 on Oct. 13. Hart had six saves and Michelle Dutton and Katherine O'Harra supplied the goals.

Kilbourne finished 6-10-2.

Thomas' Courtney Reeder celebrates with her teammates last Saturday after defeating Watterson in a shootout.

Anna Simmons (right) battles Watterson's Molly Vlahakis for control of the ball.

Members of the Thomas field hockey team celebrate with goalie Marissa Metcalf, center, after she made the winning save in a 1-0 shootout win last Saturday over Watterson.