The New Albany High School boys soccer team continued its dominant start with two more wins last week but entered this week still trying to take control of the OCC-Capital Division race.
The Eagles, who were ranked seventh in Division I in last week's state poll, were 12-0 overall and 3-0 in the league before playing Canal Winchester on Oct. 2.
New Albany won twice on the road last week, defeating Groveport 3-0 on Sept. 25 for its sixth consecutive shutout and beating Dublin Jerome 3-1 on Sept. 27. Drew Fischer scored twice against the Celtics, Noah Boffo added a goal and goalkeeper Joey Schroer made four saves.
Before Jerome scored in the second half, New Albany had not allowed a goal since late in an 8-1 home win over Pickerington Central on Sept. 4.
The Eagles outscored their first 12 opponents 53-4 and had yet to give up more than one goal in a game.
Canal Winchester also was 3-0 in the OCC-Capital before Oct. 2 and, at least on paper, figured to be the biggest roadblock for New Albany in its pursuit of a third consecutive league title. The Eagles finish league play Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Franklin Heights, which was 0-3 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on Oct. 2.
Runners stand out at Buck Creek meet
The boys and girls cross country teams both saw their fastest performances of the season and earned top-four finishes in the Jim Murray Memorial Invitational on Sept. 29 at Buck Creek State Park.
Ethan McNichols finished 14th in 16 minutes, 59.3 seconds, his first sub-17-minute effort this season, to lead the boys to 135 points and fourth of 27 teams behind champion Hilliard Davidson (72). Also scoring were Victor Orsinelli (24th, 17:27.8), Will Benseler (25th, 17:28), Colin Swincicki (27th, 17:29) and Luke Weibel (53rd, 18:16.6).
Sammie Sika of the girls team broke 20 minutes for the first time, placing ninth in 19:56.2 to lead the Eagles to third (109) of 16 teams as West Liberty-Salem won (47). Sika, a freshman who has been New Albany's top finisher in all seven of its races this season, was followed by Mary Carson (19th, 21:01.2), Lindsey Neff (22nd, 21:19.8), Meredith Given (27th, 21:26.9) and Monica Vale (34th, 21:44.7).
That was the last race the teams will run together until the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 13 at Lancaster. The boys ran in the Backwoods Invitational on Oct. 3 at Thornville Sheridan and the girls will participate in the Marion Harding Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Girls tennis team prepares for sectional
A postseason the girls tennis team hopes ends in a return to the Division I state tournament begins with a sectional Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, at Reynoldsburg.
The doubles team of Valentina DiLorenzo and Alexandra Vitellas is seeded first. New Albany's other doubles pairing consists of Maya Klein and Sophia Rosen.
Playing singles are Roshni Chandawarkar, Thalia Fuentes and Helen Wang.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 11 and 13 at Reynoldsburg.
New Albany will play the postseason without Kary Hollenbaugh and Madison Spiess, who also are members of the girls golf team. Hollenbaugh usually played first singles and Spiess rotated between singles and doubles.
The Eagles were 11-1 overall before playing Pickerington North on Oct. 1. They wrapped up their third consecutive OCC-Capital championship and 12th in 13 seasons with a 5-0 win over Groveport on Sept. 26.
Golf teams work to extend seasons
The boys and girls golf teams participated in Division I sectional tournaments Oct. 2.
The boys played at Denison Golf Club, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Apple Valley.
The girls were in a sectional at Westchester. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Cooks Creek.
From both district tournaments, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State.
The girls team will wrap up its regular season Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Pickerington North Fall Classic at Cooks Creek.
Below are the coming schedules for the New Albany cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 6 -- Girls: Marion Harding Invitational
*Oct. 9 -- At Granville
*Oct. 9 -- At Franklin Heights
Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights
Oct. 4, 6 -- Division I sectional tournament at Reynoldsburg
Oct. 9 -- At Olentangy Orange
*Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Groveport. The Eagles defeated the Cruisers 25-15, 25-27, 25-20, 25-18 on Sept. 13.
Oct. 6 -- Home vs. Licking Heights and Mount Vernon
*Oct. 9 -- At Canal Winchester. The Eagles defeated the Indians 25-9, 21-25, 21-25, 25-19, 15-9 on Sept. 20.