Watterson field hockey coach Janet Baird described her team’s regular season as being “a little challenging” as it was hindered by injuries as well as youth and inexperience.
However, that didn’t keep the Eagles from putting themselves in position to make a postseason run.
Watterson had won four games in a row and was 11-4 before playing 16th-seeded Lancaster in the second round of the district tournament Oct. 16. The winner plays host to seventh-seeded Upper Arlington, eighth-seeded Olentangy Orange or 13th-seeded Hartley in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The third-seeded Eagles beat Orange 3-0 on Sept. 9, UA 4-1 on Sept. 18 and Hartley 6-1 on Aug. 21.
“(Heading into) the postseason, we (were) working on being a tight-knit unit, especially our defense,” said Baird, whose team has had four consecutive district runner-up finishes and has been to 16 consecutive district championship games. “We don’t have a lot of experience there and it’s been tough coming together and forming our chemistry back there, but we’re getting better with each game.”
Watterson is in the same bracket as second-seeded Thomas Worthington, which beat the Eagles 4-0 on Sept. 30. The teams would meet in a district final if the seeds hold up.
The only other area team the Eagles lost to was top-seeded and defending state champion Columbus Academy, 1-0 on Sept. 5.
Watterson closed the regular season Oct. 10 with a 6-0 win over Granville, as senior attacker Emily Dixon had three goals, junior attacker Alex Picolo scored two, sophomore attacker Grace Cantwell scored one and junior goalkeeper Caroline Dunham made three saves.
Sophomore attacker Zoe Coleman, junior midfielder Anne Marie Ruess and junior attacker Cailin O’Reilly have been other standouts, according to Baird.
“With injuries to our starting lineup, we haven’t had our starters together since before the first game,” Baird said. “That being said, I’m very pleased with how everyone on the team has come together to work hard and stay tough.”
Runners seeking strong postseason
The cross country teams will begin the postseason Saturday, Oct. 19, at Hilliard Darby.
The girls team, which will compete in the Division I, district 1 meet, defended its CCL championship Oct. 12 at Westerville Community Center by scoring 37 points to edge runner-up DeSales (38). Hartley (53) was third, followed by Ready (119).
Freshman Eden Brush has emerged as the team’s No. 1 runner and captured the individual league title in 20 minutes, 18.64 seconds.
Also competing for the Eagles were junior Averie Cunningham (seventh, 21:26), seniors Bridget Dougherty (eighth, 21:33.17) and Sarah Heink (10th, 21:39.31), freshman Lily Goodfellow (11th, 21:54.09), sophomore Riley Connors (12th, 21:59.06) and junior Brooklyn Brush (13th, 21:59.46).
“The heat the last few weeks really changed our training this year,” coach Matt McGowan said. “It will be interesting to see how the athletes respond. We always hope to get athletes and a team to the regionals. … (The) girls (team has) a strong 10 runners.”
The boys squad, which will compete in the Division II, district 2 meet, also won the CCL title Oct. 12, scoring 35 points to finish ahead of Hartley (46), St. Charles (59), DeSales (71) and Ready (155).
Junior Will Garey won the individual league title in 16:31.04, followed by sophomores Max Latshaw (fourth, 17:12.56) and Cris Lubatko (sixth, 17:27.9), senior Zach Kubatko (11th, 18:03.88), sophomores David Druhan (13th, 18:13.7) and Jake Vanausdle (24th, 18:53.3) and senior Jimmy Racher (26th, 19:12.26).
The top six teams and top 24 runners in both district races advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
“Both teams have a chance to advance to the regionals if we continue to improve and run well,” McGowan said.
Last season, the girls team finished eight at district and the boys squad finished fourth to advance to regional, where it finished 13th.
Tennis season ends at district
Both of the girls tennis team’s entrants in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Reynoldsburg had their seasons end with first-round losses.
Junior Caroline Goodlive lost to Dublin Coffman’s Dasha Chistyakova 6-1, 6-3 in singles and seniors Abbey Giesler and Margaret Baur lost to Coffman’s Claire Feit and Emily Yoshino 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-0 in doubles.
All three players were
making their first district appearance.
Goodlive played first singles most of this season for the Eagles, who went 8-8 overall and won the CCL championship at 3-0.
“I’ve been trying to be more consistent, especially on my serves and returns,” Goodlive said. “I’ve worked on my serve a lot and it’s definitely gotten better. We also had Margaret and Abbey make it to district, which is really exciting.”
Also competing in the postseason were seniors Caroline Bouchard and Layne Geswein, junior Isabella Roscoe and freshman Katherine Braidech.
In a sectional held Oct. 3 and 5 at Pickerington Central, Geswein and Braidech both lost in first-round singles matches and Bouchard and Roscoe lost in the second round in doubles.
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 16 – Played seventh-seeded Jonathan Alder or 19th-seeded Eastmoor Academy in second round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays third-seeded Granville or 20th-seeded Linden-McKinley in district semifinal Oct. 22 at site to be announced. The Eagles are seeded ninth.
Oct. 19 – Home vs. 32nd-seeded Logan or 33rd-seeded Lancaster in second round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 18th-seeded Thomas Worthington, 19th-seeded Hilliard Darby or 37th-seeded Central Crossing in district semifinal Oct. 23 at site to be announced. The Eagles are seeded sixth.
Oct. 14 – Played 47th-seeded Mifflin in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner played 46th-seeded Independence in second round Oct. 16. Winner plays 16th-seeded Olentangy, 36th-seeded Thomas Worthington or 37th-seeded Central Crossing in district semifinal Oct. 22 at Central Crossing. The Eagles are seeded third.