For the second consecutive year, Emma Brown is part of a potent scoring duo for the Olentangy High School field hockey team.
As a junior, Brown scored 15 goals, tying teammate Allison Martin for the program record.
Martin since has graduated and now plays at Slippery Rock, and now senior Elise Harder is Brown's sidekick on offense.
Brown had 15 goals and Harder 11 through 15 games, and Olentangy was on the cusp of breaking last year's program record for wins as it was 9-5-1 before wrapping up the regular season Oct. 11 against Bexley.
"Allison had three-quarters of my assists last year and now Elise is the one who can get the ball to me and I can finish," Brown said. "It's nice to have a teammate like that that you work so well with. Elise is phenomenal at seeing the field. She knows who is in front of her and she's good at getting the ball to the next person. I think I'm good at getting to the cage and finishing."
Entering the week, Brown had two games with at least three goals. She had three Aug. 30 in a 3-0 win over Dublin Scioto and a career-best four in a 7-0 win over Lancaster on Sept. 20.
"It's beautiful," coach Biz Brehm said. "Everybody got better last year and everybody, definitely Elise and Emma, moved as a unit. That's contagious with other girls on the field."
Brown said she plans to give up field hockey after the season and likely will play hockey in college, likely on the club level. She currently plays in the Dallas Stars Elite organization, meaning she travels to Texas twice a month during the season for practices and games and on other weekends meets up with the team in such varied locations as Chicago, Connecticut and Detroit.
"I think my hockey background helps as far as stick handling," Brown said. "I've been playing hockey since second or third grade and started field hockey as a sophomore. I love both of them."
Olentangy went 9-7-1 last year.
Seeded eighth for the 17-team district tournament, the Braves play host to 12th-seeded New Albany in a second-round game Tuesday, Oct. 17. The winner visits top-seeded Thomas Worthington or 17th-seeded Lancaster for a district semifinal Oct. 24.
Olentangy defeated New Albany 3-1 on Sept. 27 in a rematch of their first-round game last year, which the Braves lost 1-0 (4-2 on strokes).
"Everyone is going hard. We are working together really well," Brown said.
"Everybody wants to break that (wins) record again. We move the ball up the field well. Elise and Kat (Emery) can get the ball down the field and we worked together to fill Allison's shoes."
Tennis team's Jones preps for district
Kathleen Jones of the girls tennis team got to see exactly how far she has come since a painful end to last season when she defeated Watterson's Claire Ghidotti 6-1, 6-2 in the third-place match of a Division I sectional tournament Oct. 7 at Reynoldsburg.
Jones lost to Ghidotti 5-7, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5 in the first round at district last year, and is 2-1 against her so far this year.
Jones went 4-1 at sectional as the top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Thursday, Oct. 12, at Hilliard Bradley and Saturday, Oct. 14, at Upper Arlington.
"It was nice preparation for (district). It was good competition," Jones said. "I've definitely improved a lot mentally. Claire hit so many high moon balls at district last year and she did this year too, but I was much more patient this time around. I was able to wait them out and just be more consistent. I've gotten a lot more consistent."
Jones, a senior, is the Braves' only district qualifier.
Also competing but failing to advance were Priyanka Agochiya (3-1) and Vidya Puttagunta (0-1), and the doubles teams of Krista Graybill and Janie Miller (1-1) and Amanda Jones and Archita Sriram (1-1).
At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Boys golfer Wilson competes at district
Trey Wilson of the boys golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley, hoping to become the first Brave to make state since 2003 when Kyle Morris qualified as an individual and finished second.
Wilson, a senior, shot a 77 in a 13-team sectional Oct. 3 at Turnberry to advance. He led Olentangy to a team score of 320, tied for fourth with Pickerington North, but the Braves were edged for the final district team berth based on North having the better fifth-player score.
Dublin Jerome (280) won the sectional title, and the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
Also scoring for the Braves were Luke Boerner (78), Bryce Reed (81) and Cam Casto (84). Bennett Zeitner shot an 89.
Westerville Central (314) and Hilliard Davidson (319) earned the other team berths.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Girls golfers fall short at sectional
Sierra Cardi of the girls golf team was in contention for an individual berth to the Division I district tournament until the end of a sectional Oct. 3 at Royal American, shooting a 90.
The sophomore led Olentangy to a score of 391 and fifth of 10 teams behind champion Orange (298). The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
"The goal (for Cardi) was to maintain focus for the 18 holes and just play the best golf she could play. Her driving was on, chipping was good and putting was where she left a few strokes out there," coach Micah Conley said. "Sierra puts pressure on herself. She wants to do well. She had a few tough holes early but put them behind her."
Also scoring for the Braves were sophomore Sam Horton (96), senior Maddie Gwinn (102) and freshman Lauren Sommerfeld (103).
Liberty (327) and Watterson (365) earned the other team berths to district.
"Our top three or four girls were interchangeable; there was no set order for the entire season," said Conley, who was in his first season. "All of our top girls contributed every single round. We have a bright future. I'm excited about the talent that we have."
Olentangy went 8-12 in the OCC-Buckeye to finish fourth behind Orange (19-1), Liberty (17-3) and Westerville Central (12-8) and ahead of Westerville North (4-16) and Westerville South (0-20).
Below are the coming schedules for the Olentangy cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 14 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Big Walnut
Oct. 18 -- Home vs. 45th-seeded Marion Harding in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 46th-seeded Whitehall in second round Oct. 21. The Braves are seeded eighth.
Oct. 19 -- Home vs. 32nd-seeded Groveport or 36th-seeded Logan in second round of Division I district tournament. The Braves are seeded sixth.
Oct. 12 -- At Hilliard Darby
Oct. 19 -- Home vs. 34th-seeded Marysville or 40th-seeded Columbus West in second round of Division I district tournament. The Braves are seeded eighth.