One aspect of playing defense that Watterson High School girls soccer coach Scott Dempsey has preached to his team since he took over as coach in 2017 is that every player on the field must play a role.

Senior left back Kelsey Gleason, senior center back Audrey Shea and senior right back Lauren Lucki led the way as the Eagles allowed just four goals through their first 14 games.

Freshman defender Katie Youell and sophomore goalkeeper Annie McGraw also have played important roles.

"Our defense is pretty solid," Gleason said. "We play really well together, and that's the thing that makes us do so well. We communicate really well and we have a nice bond. It's been going really well for us. Our defense is pretty solid."

Watterson gave up its fifth goal of the season in a 2-1 victory over Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 11 and then lost 3-0 at Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit on Oct. 13.

In last week's Division I state poll, Walsh Jesuit was fifth and Watterson was sixth.

The Eagles are the No. 1 seed for the district tournament and play host to 33rd-seeded Hamilton Township or 35th-seeded Hartley in a second-round game Thursday, Oct. 18, at DeSales.

The winner plays 14th-seeded Marysville, 22nd-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or 38th-seeded Mount Vernon in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 27.

Watterson is 13-1-2, having played Hilliard Darby to a 1-all tie on Sept. 1 and Gahanna to a scoreless tie on Sept. 29.

"The girls obviously have worked real hard and have had a pretty successful season up to this point in time, so I think they felt like (getting the No. 1 seed) was a nice reward," Dempsey said. "We have three seniors in the back, and that makes a huge difference."

Football team hopes to build on victory

The football team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 37-6 victory over St. Charles on Oct. 12.

On Friday, Oct. 19, the Eagles will try to make it two in a row when they travel to Logan, which is just 1-7. The teams the Chieftains have lost to are a combined 46-10 and they've lost five games in a row since beating Pomeroy Meigs 45-35 on Sept. 7.

It will be Watterson's second game in a row with senior Grant Horvath at quarterback. Sophomore Jacob Hoying had been the starter for the first seven games but suffered a broken collarbone during a 24-21 loss at Youngstown Ursuline on Oct. 5.

Against St. Charles, Horvath completed 17 of 26 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns and rushed 15 times for 77 yards and one score. Lucas Colburn had four receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown and Tyler Young, Davis Boone and Antonio Auddino each had a touchdown reception.

"Grant had a really good night," coach Brian Kennedy said. "He's a senior, he's a captain and he played the way he needed to play. We were able to do a little bit more running with him. He's a good thrower, he's our starting middle linebacker and a leader. I was very impressed with him and our entire team."

Runners to open postseason action

After reaching the state meet for the first time since 1981 last fall, the boys cross country team begins the postseason Saturday, Oct. 20, with the Division II, district 2 meet at Hilliard Darby.

The top four teams and top 20 individuals advance to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.

Also on Oct. 20, the girls team will compete in the Division I, district 3 meet at Darby, with the top six teams and top 24 individuals advancing to regional.

On Oct. 13 at Otterbein, the girls team won its fourth CCL title in five seasons and the boys were league runners-up.

The girls scored 30 points to top a five-team field as Emily Latshaw was runner-up (20 minutes, 52.79 seconds), followed by Danielle Grim (third, 21:00.73), Brooklyn Brush (fourth, 21:20.33), Riley Connors (eighth, 21:46.65) and Emily Vais (13th, 22:05.4).

The boys scored 56 points to place behind St. Charles (28). Will Garey was seventh (17:41.06), followed by Cris Kubatko (eighth, 17:47.62), Dylan Tucker (ninth, 17:57.25), Max Latshaw (12th, 18:07.48) and David Druhan (20th, 18:53.74).

Boys soccer team preps for tourney

The boys soccer team opens the Division I district tournament Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11th-seeded Dublin Jerome or at home against 46th-seeded Walnut Ridge.

The winner plays second-seeded New Albany, 24th-seeded Groveport or 34th-seeded Westland on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 27.

The Eagles dropped to 3-9-4 with a 1-0 loss to Wellington on Oct. 13.

Volleyball team rolls into tourney

The girls volleyball team appeared to be hitting its stride heading into its Division I district tournament opener Oct. 15 at home against 39th-seeded Westerville South.

The winner played 16th-seeded Gahanna in the second round Oct. 17.

Seeded eighth, Watterson won its seventh match in a row and improved to 15-7 with a 26-24, 25-10, 25-20 win over Gahanna on Oct. 13. It was the sixth consecutive match in which the Eagles didn't lose a set.

On Oct. 10, Watterson beat Central Crossing 25-14, 25-16, 25-23.

The second-round winner plays sixth-seeded Pickerington Central, 14th-seeded Hamilton Township, 35th-seeded Whetstone or 38th-seeded Reynoldsburg in a district semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Whitehall. The district final is Oct. 27 at Whitehall.

Field hockey team opens postseason

The fourth-seeded field hockey team opened the district tournament Oct. 15 with a second-round game at 16th-seeded Dublin Scioto.

The winner plays sixth-seeded Olentangy Orange or 11th-seeded Jerome in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at a site to be determined. The district final is Oct. 27 at Olentangy Liberty.

The Eagles closed the regular season Oct. 10 with a 4-1 loss at three-time defending state champion Thomas Worthington to fall to 12-3-1.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek