The Columbus Academy field hockey team is back on top.
The Vikings captured their first state championship since 2013 and Ohio-record 11th overall with a 3-0 win over Hudson in the state final Nov. 3 at Upper Arlington.
Academy, which lost 1-0 to Thomas Worthington in last year’s state final and also was state runner-up in 2014, finished 21-0. Hudson, which defeated three-time defending state champion Thomas 2-1 (3-2 in penalty strokes) in a state semifinal Nov. 2, finished 17-4.
“It’s been awhile,” said Academy coach Anne Horton, whose team also defeated Hudson during the regular season, 2-0 on Sept. 22. “We’ve been getting here and just couldn’t finish. The motto of this season was we were tired of being bridesmaids. We got to work and the kids just dug in and they were not to be denied this year. They were going to make it happen, so I’m so proud of them.”More video
•Columbus Academy’s Samantha Kass
Making its 12th state final appearance, Hudson was seeking its first state title since 1996 and fourth overall. The Explorers have been state runners-up nine times.
“The outcome is not what we had hoped for, but we gave our heart on the field and we left everything that we had on the field,” Hudson coach Louise Knox said. “The girls played to the end and they should be proud of their accomplishments this season. There was great determination and strength of will and it was a good game. It’s what you want to end the season with.”
Academy, which outscored its opponents 138-1 this season, took a 2-0 lead into halftime on goals by Carolyn Vaziri and Charlotte Adams. Jenny L’Hommedieu closed the scoring in the second half.
Hudson goalkeeper Sadie Mrakuzic kept her team in contention for most of the game, finishing with 16 saves. She made back-to-back sprawling saves midway through the second half to keep the score 2-0.
“Sadie had some great saves,” Knox said. “Sadie has been working hard all season and she’s continued to get stronger with each time we play a high-intensity game. She’s a great leader in the cage and in the circle and she did an awesome job today.”
Academy, which beat Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 2-0 in a state semifinal Nov. 2, turned in another strong defensive performance against Hudson, as goalie Alex Phelps had to make just one save.
“It’s unreal,” Vikings junior midfielder Kiersten Thomassey said of her team’s defensive play this season. “I think defense, for us, was what we all knew would win the games for us, so we focused on that first and then just built off of that.”