For the seventh consecutive season, the Centennial High School girls soccer team will play Whetstone in the City League championship game Thursday, Oct. 12, at Mapfre Stadium.
It will be the rubber match of this year's meetings after the teams split their two regular-season contests.
Whetstone won the most recent game, holding off the visiting Stars 1-0 on Oct. 3. Centennial applied pressure in the final five minutes but was unable to equal the goal scored by Whetstone's Jamie Bossenbroek midway through the second half.
"I thought we dominated possession in the second half, especially after we fell behind," coach Barb Melig said. "We had the better opportunities, but they converted on one of their few chances and we didn't. It's unfortunate, but that's soccer. We need to find a way to score.
"Stacey (Leach) tried her best, but the goalie (Olivia Evans) made a diving stop. We also hit a post and (Whetstone) made another stop late, too."
The Stars won the first meeting 2-1 on Sept. 19, snapping a 10-game losing streak to Whetstone as Gwen Moran scored the winner with about seven minutes left.
The teams have met in the City final every season. Centennial won the first event 1-0 in 2011, but the Braves have won the past five meetings, including 2-1 last season.
"We need to get sharper on our corners," Melig said. "I'm still pretty confident going into (the City final). Everyone played as hard as they could and we've got good chemistry. We just have to finish our chances."
Centennial was 6-6-1 overall and 4-1 in the City before playing Briggs in a makeup game Oct. 9.
After the City final, the Stars will turn their attention to the Division II district tournament, where they are seeded ninth of 16 teams and will play host to 10th-seeded Caledonia River Valley in the first round Monday, Oct. 16. The winner will play top-seeded Granville or 14th-seeded Heath in the second round Oct. 19 at the home of the higher seed.
Girls volleyball team
edged by Whetstone
The girls volleyball team refused to relinquish its grip on the City-North Division title until the final point of a decisive match Oct. 3 against Whetstone.
But in the end, the Stars fell to the host Braves 22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12. Whetstone clinched a spot in the City championship match Saturday, Oct. 14, at Eastmoor Academy, which won the City-South.
"We played them much tougher this time and our passing was much better," coach Britney Lewis said. "I think the girls competed hard and we had scouted them and knew what to expect. We just had some errors at the wrong times, but in a match this close, every error gets magnified."
Whetstone won the first meeting 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 on Sept. 7. It was the Stars' first loss to a City opponent since falling 25-27, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19 to Eastmoor in the City final in 2012.
"We knew it wouldn't be as easy as the first meeting," said Whetstone coach Errole Rembert, whose team was 13-0 in the City-North entering this week. "They definitely pushed us. We didn't pass well and that's a credit to what (Centennial was) doing. They made us play to the final whistle. In the first match, we took it to them and knocked the wind out of their sails and they didn't respond, but they sure did this time. They're much better."
Centennial defeated Beech-croft 25-5, 25-8, 25-8 on Oct. 5 and was 13-5 overall and 11-2 in the league before concluding the regular season Oct. 10 against Northland.
"We're going to try to fix some of the minor mistakes we made and get ready for the (Division I district tournament)," Lewis said. "The girls need to continue to work hard like they have been and stay focused and sharp mentally, because that's such a big part of the game."
The Stars will get another chance to beat Whetstone, as the teams will play in the first round of the district tournament Tuesday, Oct. 17. The Stars are seeded 38th and the host Braves are seeded 35th of 50 teams. The winner plays at third-seeded DeSales in the second round Oct. 19.
Weil wins sectional
Junior Zoey Weil will be seeking a return trip to the Division I state girls tennis tournament when she competes at district this week.
District begins Thursday, Oct. 12, at Hilliard Bradley and concludes Saturday, Oct. 14, at Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Weil won a sectional singles title at Reynoldsburg. She was the top seed and defeated second-seeded Cassie Alcala of Pickerington North 6-2, 6-1 in the final Oct. 7 after beating fourth-seeded Claire Ghidotti of Watterson 6-1, 6-2 earlier in the day.
Last season, Weil finished third at state.
"Zoey played awesome and didn't lose a game until her semifinal," coach Barb Stevenson said. "She has so much more finesse this year. ... Plus, she's serving great."
Also competing for the Stars at sectional were Julia Zeid and Maria Karakay in singles and the doubles teams of Nicole Kaiser and Lanie Niehoff and Emma Young and Ana Neruda.
"Maria Karakay won her first match, but Julia and the doubles teams both lost their first matches," Stevenson said. "I was happy for Maria. We're such a young group and they got some experience, so I'm pleased with them."
Football team looks
to get back in gear
The football team will seek to get its offense back in tune when it plays host to Linden-McKinley on Friday, Oct. 13.
After a 63-27 win over East on Sept. 29, the Stars' offense stalled during a 32-0 loss to Beechcroft on Oct. 6.
Both Centennial and Linden are 2-5 overall. The Stars are 1-2 in the City-North, while the Panthers lost to Northland 28-0 on Oct. 6 to fall to 0-3 in the league.
Linden is averaging 9.7 points per game and is led offensively by quarterback Daviontae Kendrix-Wilson. He ran for one touchdown and passed for another during a 47-12 loss to Mifflin on Sept. 29.
The Panthers are allowing an average of 25.1 points. The Stars, who won last year's meeting 20-0, are scoring 35.1 points per contest.
Boys soccer team
still eyeing .500
Entering this week, the boys soccer team still was trying to reach .500 after opening 1-4.
The Stars were 5-6-2 overall and 2-2-2 in the City-North before closing league play Oct. 9 against International. They closed the regular season Oct. 10 against Watterson.
Centennial tied Whetstone at 1 on Oct. 3 and beat Hartley 2-0 two days later when Jordan Walker scored twice and Alex Tierney made five saves.
The Stars now shift their focus to the Division II district tournament, where they are seeded 11th of 27 teams and play host to 21st-seeded River Valley in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 17. The winner advances to the second round Oct. 21 and plays fourth-seeded Columbus Academy or 26th-seeded Lakewood at the home of the higher seed.
Boys golf season
ends at sectional
Juniors Myles Martinez and Chris Sfikas represented the boys golf team in a Division I sectional tournament Oct. 3 at Turnberry.
Martinez shot a 111 to place 51st of 64 competitors and Sfikas was 53rd with a 117.
It marked the end of the season for the Stars, who finished second in the City after totaling 40 points combined in the regular season and in the league tournament Sept. 28 at Airport.
Whetstone won the title with 46 points after shooting a 192 in the tournament to finish ahead of the Stars (211), Walnut Ridge (246), Mifflin (269), Northland (270), Independence (281) and Briggs (284).
Completing the final standings were Walnut Ridge (34), Mifflin (28), Northland (18), West (12), Briggs (10), Independence (6) and South (0).
The Stars lose seniors Dhruvin Patel and Ethan Perry, who was honorable mention all-league.
Martinez and Sfikas were first-team all-league. Also expected to return is sophomore Evan Massey.