The Hilliard Davidson boys soccer team appears to be a serious contender for the OCC-Central Division championship after posting a 1-0 win over defending league champion Dublin Coffman on Sept. 10.
The Wildcats, who are seeking their first league title since 2015, were 6-1-2 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Central and had won five consecutive games before playing Upper Arlington on Sept. 17.
Last season, Davidson went 2-3 in the league to finish fourth behind champion Coffman (4-0-1). The Wildcats lost twice to the Shamrocks, falling 2-1 in the regular season and 4-0 in a Division I district semifinal to finish 6-11-2 overall.
Coffman went on to reach a regional semifinal, where it lost to St. Charles 3-0.
"My seniors had not beaten Coffman, so they can say now they beat Coffman," coach Dan Hoover said.
Carter Ely scored in the first half in the win over the Shamrocks and goalkeeper Lorenzo Nieves had seven saves.
"It was an amazing game. It was great," Ely said. "The boys just came together and we wanted it really bad. I was a little nervous. I thought we maybe should have put more in the net, but it worked out at the end."
The win also snapped a four-game losing streak to the Shamrocks.
"It's a great way to go out my senior year," Ely said. "We circled this game on the calendar after the last three years. We're not scared of them. We'll play them again and hopefully we'll get the same results."
Ely had three goals, Sean Carrier scored one and Nieves made four saves in a 4-0 win over Westerville South on Sept. 12.
"Lorenzo has been playing fantastic," Hoover said.
Davidson lost to Olentangy Liberty 4-1 on Aug. 27 and tied Bradley at 2 on Aug. 16 and Pickerington Central at 1 on Aug. 22. The Patriots are ranked third in the Division I state poll behind Medina and Cleveland St. Ignatius.
"I'm happy with the record," Hoover said. "We had some tough games right out of the gate. Bradley, there. That's a rival school. We should have (beaten) them, but we had a couple key mistakes early. We're heading in the right direction."
"I'm liking the season so far," Ely said. "We should have beaten Pickerington Central, but I'm happy with the season."
Through nine games, Ely led the team in scoring with 12 goals and three assists. Daiki Matsuoka had four goals and three assists and Carrier with four goals and two assists.
"Carter is having a great year, but we have to become more diverse and not so one-dimensional," Hoover said. "He's a special athlete. That kid will definitely be able to play at the next level, whatever level he wants to play."
Ely has received interest from Cincinnati, Ohio Wesleyan and Otterbein.
Boys golfers finish league play
The boys golf team finished third (327) in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Central tournament Sept. 11 at Darby Creek behind first-place UA (303).
Zach Burton led the Wildcats with a 72, followed by Zach Welch (81), Owen Ambrozy (85), Matt Jackson (89) and Cam Colman (95).
Burton made first-team all-league with a 74.75 average, while Welch (83.25) and Jackson (90) were honorable mention all-league.
Davidson finished third (12-8) in the overall league standings, behind UA (19-1) and Coffman (17-3) and ahead of Marysville (8-12), Central Crossing (4-16) and Westland (0-20).
Runners compete in Michigan meet
The cross country teams competed in the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 13 at Michigan State.
The girls finished third (132 points) of 38 teams, behind champion Beavercreek (86).
Lindsay Stull finished 13th of 346 runners in 18 minutes, 27.1 seconds, with Sophia Hoersten (23rd, 18:55.1), Keagan Gehring (34th, 19:19.7), Alyssa Mason (42nd, 19:38) and Sydney Petersen (43rd, 19:38.3) rounding out the scoring.
The boys finished sixth (270) of 39 teams, behind champion Brighton (Michigan) (119).
Conner Ackley placed 43rd (17:02.2) of 329 runners and Xavier Gallo was 44th (17:04.6) to lead Davidson. Also scoring were Alex Hudson (50th, 17:11.5), Nate Gilbert (74th, 17:24.5) and Noah Pease (83rd, 17:30.1).
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 21 -- Saturday Night Lights at Centerville
Sept. 21 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills Country Club
Sept. 23 -- OCC Shootout at Little Turtle
Sept. 25 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 21 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek
Sept. 19 -- At Dublin Jerome
*Sept. 24 -- At Central Crossing
Sept. 25 -- Home vs. Northland
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
Sept. 19 -- At Whetstone
Sept. 21 -- Kim Shepherd Doubles Classic at home
Sept. 23 -- Home vs. Wellington
Sept. 25 -- At Bexley
*Sept. 19 -- At Dublin Coffman. The Wildcats lost to the Shamrocks 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 on Sept. 3.
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington. The Wildcats lost to the Golden Bears 25-14, 25-23, 25-10 on Sept. 5.