The Westerville Central High School girls soccer team will look to carry a late surge into the Division I district tournament.
The Warhawks won their final two regular-season games and are 3-1-1 over their last five contests as they prepare to play host to 23rd-seeded Watkins Memorial in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18.
"We've definitely figured things out," said senior midfielder/forward Malia White, whose team is seeded 15th. "We've been passing to feet really well and we're finally figuring out the right runs to make. We're finally figuring out how to really connect as a team, move together and make sure everyone is involved and show how strong we can be."
The second-round winner plays eighth-seeded New Albany, 27th-seeded Delaware or 32nd-seeded Logan in a semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed. Central defeated Logan 6-0 on Aug. 17 and lost to New Albany 4-0 on Aug. 30.
"I felt (the tournament draw) worked out as well as it could, considering where we were seeded," coach Bobby Weimer said. "Obviously, if you're seeded 15th, it's not going to be a perfect draw and you know you're going to have to play some high-quality teams. But I was happy that we got a (first-round) bye, so we (had) a week to train and work on some things."
Central is 9-6-1 overall, bouncing back from a 3-9-6 record a season ago.
The Warhawks defeated Westerville South 3-0 on Oct. 9 in the regular-season finale. They lost to Westerville North 1-0 on Sept. 10.
"You want to be playing your best in October and right now we're playing as well as we've played all year," Weimer said. "I thought our game against South was our most complete game of the year where we put together a solid 80 minutes. We didn't have any periods where we lost our focus or organization."
Anna Bardwell, Margaret Owsiany and White scored against South, and goalkeeper Payton McCarthy had four saves.
White scored and McCarthy had nine saves in a 1-0 win over Big Walnut on Oct. 4.
White is hoping the team's nine seniors will have a positive ending to their prep careers.
"We talk about how this could be our last game and how we're going to put everything out there," White said. "We're trying to get the younger girls to feel that for us and know that this could be the last time we step on the field. We want to give it our all."
Central went 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye to tie South for fifth behind champion Olentangy (5-0).
Boys soccer team opens postseason
The eighth-seeded boys soccer team was 9-3-4 overall before playing 44th-seeded Newark in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 17.
The winner plays 47th-seeded Franklin Heights in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20, with that winner playing 10th-seeded Hilliard Darby, 17th-seeded Gahanna or 42nd-seeded Briggs in a semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seeded. The Warhawks lost to Gahanna 2-0 on Sept. 4.
Central closed the regular season by tying South at 1 on Oct. 9 and defeating Whitehall 4-1 on Oct. 11.
Stephen Gerardi scored two goals and Blake Barna and Adam Yusuf each had one against Whitehall. Borcila had three saves and Jack Fowler added one.
The Warhawks went 2-1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye to finish second behind Olentangy Liberty (5-0).
Girls volleyball team ready for tournament
The 20th-seeded girls volleyball team opens the Division I district tournament Thursday, Oct. 18, against seventh-seeded Grove City or 42nd-seeded Columbus West in a second-round match at the home of the better seed.
The Warhawks are 11-11 overall and went 4-6 in the OCC-Buckeye to finish fourth behind champion Liberty (10-0).
Cross country teams to compete at district
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 20, at Darby.
The boys will run in district 2. The top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
The girls will compete in district 2. The top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to regional.
Central prepared for the postseason by competing in the OCC-Buckeye meet Oct. 13 at Hilliard Davidson.
The boys finished fourth (119) behind Olentangy Orange (34), Liberty (47) and Olentangy (57) and ahead of South (130) and North (168). Haden Fulkerson finished 15th (17 minutes, .07 of a second) of 60 runners, followed by Chip Smith (21st, 17:11.6), Dominic Iquina (26th, 17:29.2), Matt Drexel (34th, 18:06.8) and Jacob Owens (35th, 18:07.2).
The girls finished fourth (108) behind Orange (38), Liberty (44) and Olentangy (93) and ahead of North (109) and South (133). Tara Will was seventh (19:32.8) of 55 runners, followed by Ashley Hockstok (15th, 20:15.7), Lauryn Chapman (21st, 20:40), Ellie Mallon (33rd, 21:27.8) and Remi Schultz (40th, 21:52.6).
Boys golf team competes at district
The boys golf team closed its season by finishing 12th (332) in the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley behind champion Dublin Jerome (293).
Sophomore Josh Qian tied for seventh of 72 golfers with a 75. Freshman Ryan Dollenmayer (83, tied for 47th), senior Mwangi Kihara (87, tied for 61st), sophomore Quinn Gallagher (87, tied for 61st) and senior Cory Blankenship (92, 70th) also competed.
Central went 8-8 in the four-round OCC-Buckeye tournament to finish third behind champion Liberty (14-2).
Qian was league Player of the Year with a 72.75 average and Dollenmayer (78) was second-team all-league.
Burks closes season at district tournament
Sophomore girls tennis player Levi Burks closed her season by losing her first-round match to Orange's Tyler Reed 6-1, 6-2 in the Division I district tournament Oct. 11 at Reynoldsburg.
"At the beginning of the season, it was our goal to get a kid to district and we got a kid to district," first-year coach Brad Baker said. "Obviously, we were hoping for better results, but we'll take it. I want to be part of the conversation in tennis and we got a kid here and that gets us on our way."
Burks advanced to district by finishing third in a sectional that concluded Oct. 6 at Hilliard Bradley.
Junior Madison Lane and sophomore Vivian Baker, the coach's daughter, also are eligible to return.
Central finished 11-6 overall and went 2-3 in the OCC-Buckeye to place fourth behind champion Orange (5-0).