In a season of firsts, the Olentangy Berlin High School field hockey team earned two such milestones a little later than expected.
Although the Bears still had not won entering their Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division contest against Liberty on Oct. 3, they scored their first goal Sept. 26 against league-foe Dublin Scioto. The teams finished deadlocked at 1, marking the program's first tie.
Coach Maddy Goelz said it was just another step in the process.
"If you would have seen them in August, you wouldn't have recognized this team," said Goelz, whose team was 0-10-1 overall and 0-5-1 in the league after losing to Upper Arlington 4-0 on Oct. 1. "Now everyone has good transition on passes, and we're getting things down on the defensive end. We have shown tremendous improvement."
The scoring play had sophomore forward/midfielder Jenna Brennan passing to freshman forward/midfielder Olivia Eisenhower, who sent the ball to freshman forward Payton Aloi for the goal.
"We're really picking up in intensity and we're having more of an eagerness to score," Goelz said. "They are starting to understand what we need to do in order to get the ball to our attacking end. Now that we got the first goal out of the way, we should be able to score more."
The Bears followed up the tie with a 5-0 loss Sept. 28 to Granville, one of the top teams in the COFHL-East. Junior goalkeeper Olivia Himes had 14 saves.
"A lot of our girls have just started to pick up the sport," Goelz said. "Many of them haven't played before this year. I have been impressed with how fast they are picking up the sport and they keep getting better.
"We started (the season) working on defense then the midfield, and now we're working on the offensive end. We need to be taking one more step with the ball and thinking about the next play option. We need to be proactive with what the next play should be instead of just taking things one pass at a time."
Golf teams begin postseason play
The boys and girls golf teams began the postseason Oct. 2 with Division I sectional tournaments.
The boys competed in a sectional 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.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams qualify for state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
The boys finished eighth (332) in the 18-team OCC Shootout on Sept. 24 at Moundbuilders behind champion Orange (307). Bryce Reed and Central Crossing's Caleb Davern both shot 70 to tie for medalist honors.
The boys also compete Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Wedgewood Showcase.
The girls team had three individuals -- Sierra Cardi, Leila Raines and Michele Starner -- playing in a sectional at Mentel Memorial. The top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Cooks Creek.
At district, the top two players not on the two qualifying teams advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Below are the coming schedules for the Berlin field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 6 -- Home vs. Dayton Oakwood
Oct. 8 -- At Columbus School for Girls
Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Bexley
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Delaware
Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley
*Oct. 9 -- At Delaware
Oct. 4, 6 -- Division II sectional at CSG. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 11 at CSG and Oct. 13 at Reynoldsburg.
*Oct. 4 -- At Hilliard Darby. The Bears lost to the Panthers 25-14, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20 on Sept. 4.
*Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne. The Bears lost to the Wolves 25-13, 25-20, 25-16 on Sept. 6.