The Westerville Central High School boys soccer team gave the area's top squad a stern test in a Division I district final Oct. 27 at Hartley.
It was the type of effort that coach Dave Pence has grown accustomed to seeing since he helped start the program when the school opened in 2003.
The eighth-seeded Warhawks led top-seeded Olentangy Liberty 1-0 at halftime before the Patriots pulled away for a 6-1 win to capture a district title.
Central finished 12-4-4 overall, and Pence credited his seven seniors for leading the team to its success.
"It's a great senior class," he said. "We started off the year rough and they took this team on their shoulders. We went 10-2-2 in our last 14 games and the two losses were to Liberty."
Senior midfielder Blake Barna opened the scoring in the district final with 29 seconds remaining in the first half.
"We put together a game plan that we knew was going to take a ton of energy out of our guys and we just prayed that we were going to be able to last the full 80 minutes and it just didn't happen," Pence said. "Our guys committed to exactly what we wanted to do. They executed it well and that's a good team we played."
Liberty scored a pair of goals in a five-minute span of the second half to take the lead for good.
Senior goalkeeper Jacob Borcila closed a stellar four-year prep career by making 13 saves. He was named OCC-Buckeye Division Player of the Year and first-team all-district.
"It was a phenomenal career from Jacob," Pence said. "He's the best we've ever had go through our program."
Borcila also is a kicker and punter for the football team, which visits Dublin Coffman on Friday, Nov. 2, for a Division I, Region 2 first-round playoff game.
Barna was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. Senior midfielder Stephen Gerardi, junior defender Tyrone Rukoro and sophomore midfielder Enrique Monzalvo were second-team all-league.
Freshman defender Brad Leonard was special mention all-league and senior defender Andrew Jaicks was honorable mention all-league.
Central reached the district final by beating 10th-seeded Hilliard Bradley 1-0 in a semifinal Oct. 24.
The Warhawks went 2-1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye to finish second behind Liberty (5-0). Central lost to the Patriots 2-0 on Oct. 1.
The Warhawks tied Westerville North at 1 on Sept. 11 and Westerville South at 1 on Oct. 9.
Cross country runners compete at regional
Three runners represented Central in Division I regional meets Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
For the boys, sophomore Haden Fulkerson finished 89th of 127 runners in 17 minutes, 44.5 seconds.
"It was a rough day," Fulkerson said. "It was pretty rainy and it was certainly very muddy. People were slipping all over. I saw a lot of people injured during and after the race, but it was a good way to end the season. I love that my teammates were here. It was a great experience, but the weather could have been a little bit better. Getting here was great."
For the girls, freshman Tara Will was 36th (20:22.2) and sophomore Ashley Hockstok was 59th (20:51) of 133 runners.
The top 20 individuals in both races advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.
Girls soccer team loses in semifinal
The girls soccer team saw its season end Oct. 23 with a 2-1, double-overtime loss at eighth-seeded New Albany in a Division I district semifinal.
Sophomore forward Margaret Owsiany scored to give the 15th-seeded Warhawks a 1-0 lead in the first half, but the Eagles rallied on a pair of goals by Kelis Brown, including the game-winner with 9:22 left in the second overtime.
Goalie Payton McCarthy, who was one of nine seniors on Warhawks, finished with 12 saves.
"We took them to the wire," said coach Bobby Weimer, whose team lost to New Albany 4-0 on Aug. 30. "We had a plan and we executed it. We did a great job. We played a little more direct this time (and) tried to be sound defensively. We played our best soccer at the end of the year, which is what we want, so I'm really proud of my kids."
Central finished 10-7-1 overall and went 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye to tie South for fifth behind champion Olentangy (5-0).
Senior midfielder/forward Malia White was first-team all-league, McCarthy was second-team all-league, junior midfielder Maria Givens was special mention all-league and junior midfielder/forward Kate Schimmel was honorable mention all-league.
Other players eligible to return include juniors Anna Bardwell (defender/midfielder), Nya Olmsted (defender/midfielder), Lindsay Schultz (midfielder) and Kendel Seabury (defender), sophomores Claire Lewis (defender) and Lauryn White (midfielder) and freshmen Taylor Hickman (goalie) and Megan Schimmel (midfielder/forward).
The Warhawks defeated South 3-0 on Oct. 9 and lost to North 1-0 on Sept. 10.