Although his team is having a down season by its standards, Hilliard Davidson High School boys soccer coach Dan Hoover thinks the Wildcats can atone for it in the postseason.
Davidson was 4-8-2 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Central Division before closing league play Oct. 9 against Marysville.
The Wildcats close the regular season Thursday, Oct. 11, at DeSales.
"I challenged them this year to play the most competitive teams in the Central District," Hoover said. "There were some good ones. They've worked hard. The results haven't quite been there as far as the win-loss column, but it's going to help us during the tournament."
Davidson is seeded 22nd of 48 teams in the Division I district tournament and plays host to 38th-seeded Whitehall in the first round Wednesday, Oct. 17. The winner plays at 16th-seeded Olentangy Orange in the second round Oct. 20.
"You always break the season up into two seasons," Hoover said. "We're getting ready to start our second season. ... We haven't quite hit our stride yet and I think we're about ready to."
Davidson finished 8-9-1 last year after four consecutive winning seasons. The Wildcats were Division I state runners-up in 2015, losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius 4-0 in the championship game, after reaching a regional semifinal in 2014. In 2016, Davidson finished as a district runner-up.
The Wildcats snapped a seven-game winless streak with an 8-1 win over Central Crossing on Sept. 25 and added a 7-0 win over Westland on Oct. 2 to even its mark in the league before playing Marysville.
Carter Ely scored three goals and Radames Rosales scored two against Central Crossing and Rosales, Charlie Riddle and Coby Stover each had two goals against Westland.
"We're all excited to go into the tournament," said Riddle, a junior defender. "A lot of our losses have been really unlucky. We've started to figure things out lately. It just took a long time for us to start figuring stuff out, but if we work hard enough and we start playing a little bit better, we can make a pretty good run in the tournament."
With 12 seniors winding down their prep careers, Riddle is hoping the underclassmen help make their final games memorable.
"Everyone who's not a senior knows how hard they've worked over the past four years," Riddle said. "We all want to work hard and send them out the right way for all the work they've put in for this program."
Hoover called a 1-0 loss to visiting Olentangy Liberty on Aug. 28 a good gauge for his team heading into the postseason. The Patriots are the top seed in the district.
"We just need to continue working on our finishing," Hoover said. "Defensively, I think we're fine. We have to take advantage of our opportunities. We're getting the set pieces. We just have to find a way to put it in between the posts."
Boys golf team competes at district
The boys golf team continued its streak of postseason success as it competed in its ninth consecutive Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
The Wildcats earned the district berth by placing third (315) in a 14-team sectional Oct. 2 at Denison Golf Club, behind Dublin Jerome (290) and Olentangy Orange (308). The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
Caleb Stimmel led Davidson with a 72, followed by Zach Burton (78), Grant Cowan (82), Cole Kazmerzak (83) and Jacob Drees (86).
"We are always happy to advance," coach Monte Rhoden said. "Our team score was very consistent with our season average, so most coaches want their players to do what they can when it counts."
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Girls golf team reaches district
The girls golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek.
The Wildcats qualified for district by finishing third (360) in an 11-team sectional Oct. 2 at Royal American, behind Orange (306) and Jerome (335). The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced.
Amelia Lee led Davidson with a 76, followed by Eleni Monroe (93), Kara Brabb (95), Kacy Harsh (96) and Abby Hale (101).
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Girls tennis team concludes season
The girls tennis team concluded its season by competing in a Division I sectional Oct. 5 at Bradley.
Junior Kaitlyn Quinn led the Wildcats, going 2-1 in singles to fall one win shy of qualifying for the district tournament Thursday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 13, at Reynoldsburg. The top four finishers in singles and doubles at sectional advanced.
Also in singles, senior Emma Wood went 1-1 and freshman Varnika Laveti went 0-1. In doubles, juniors Sophia Persad and Katherine Sarkel went 1-1 and senior Hannah McGivern and sophomore Maya Koob went 0-1.
"They fought hard here," first-year coach Erin Ortman said. "They knew the competition that they were coming up against and many of them rose to the occasion. We had three advance to the second round and one to the third round."
Junior Katie DeSanti and sophomores Meg Miller and Stasia VanGundy also are eligible to return.
Davidson finished 5-10 overall and went 3-2 in the OCC-Central to finish third behind champion Dublin Coffman (5-0).
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson cross country, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 13 -- OCC-Central meet at home
Oct. 11 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
Oct. 18 -- Home vs. 13th-seeded Bradley or 41st-seeded Franklin Heights in second round of Division I district tournament. The Wildcats are seeded sixth.
*Oct 11 -- At Marysville. The Wildcats defeated the Monarchs 20-
25, 25-7, 25-20, 25-21 on Sept. 25.
Oct. 15 -- At 17th-seeded Bradley in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 41st-seeded Central Crossing in second round Oct. 17. The Wildcats are seeded 24th.