The Hilliard Davidson boys soccer team turned in a dominating defensive performance to earn its first OCC-Central Division title since 2015.
The Wildcats went 5-0 in league play, outscoring their opponents 20-0. They wrapped up the title with a 4-0 win at Marysville on Oct. 10.
"This was one of the first goals," said coach Dan Hoover, whose team is 12-2-2 overall. "These seniors really put it out there. They put a lot of hard work in and you see the results. We have our next goal in front of us."
Against Marysville, Carter Ely scored two goals, Daiki Matsuoka and Dylan Syvilayrack each scored one and goalkeeper Lorenzo Nieves had seven saves.
"Lorenzo has been a big clog for our defense," Hoover said. "He's playing fantastic right now and he's one of the reasons we gave up no goals in the OCC."
Upper Arlington (4-1) finished second in the OCC-Central, followed by Dublin Coffman (3-2), Marysville (2-3), Westland (1-4) and Central Crossing (0-5).
Davidson defeated UA 1-0 on Sept. 17 and Coffman 1-0 on Sept. 10.
"Our defense has shown what we can hold up against," senior midfielder Sean Carrier said. "We really dug it out. Some of the games weren't pretty, but we still got the offense we needed."
Davidson will look to carry the momentum of winning the league title into the Division I district tournament. Seeded sixth, the Wildcats have a first-round bye and will play fifth-seeded Dublin Scioto or 28th-seeded Canal Winchester in the second round Thursday, Oct. 17, at the home of the better seed.
The winner plays 13th-seeded Coffman, 18th-seeded Westerville North, 26th-seeded Darby or 51st-seeded Briggs in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 26.
"The (tournament) draw was interesting this year because there are a lot of teams that could beat up on each other on any given night," Hoover said. "The strategy of some teams on passing (during the draw) threw everyone into a frenzy. It was a weird draw meeting, but we're not afraid. We'll play anybody."
In addition to having already beaten Coffman, the Wildcats defeated Darby 4-1 on Aug. 29.
"I don't think we're done," Carrier said. "Our team has really bonded this year and we really want to take it as far as we can. We don't want this season to end. Our seniors and our underclassmen really get along well and we're going to do anything we can to extend it as long as we can."
After winning the league title in 2015, Davidson went on to reach the state final before losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius 4-0 to finish 18-2-3.
Hoover believes this year's team has established its own identity.
"They're two totally different teams," he said. "This is a much more engaged and physical team on the field. Athletically, we match up pretty well with other teams. It's hard to compare both teams."
Cross country teams roll to league titles
The boys and girls cross country teams cruised to OCC-Central titles Oct. 12 on their home course.
The boys team scored 26 points to finish well ahead of UA (61), Coffman (64), Marysville (90) and Westland (155).
Connor Ackley placed second of 45 runners in 13 minutes, 54.5 seconds, behind Coffman's Alex Dediu (15:54.5).
Also competing for the Wildcats were R.J. Sagrilla (fourth, 16:19.9), Nick Puhl (fifth, 16:20.3), Alex Hudson (seventh, 16:31.2), Mitchell Montgomery (eighth, 16:31.9), Nate Gilbert (ninth, 16:38.7), Noah Pease (11th, 16:45.3) and Xavier Gallo (14th, 16:52.8).
The girls team dominated the league meet, taking the top five spots and scoring 15 points to finish far ahead of Coffman (65), Marysville (68) and UA (95).
Lindsay Stull finished first (17:46.6) of 38 runners, with Sophia Hoersten (18:21.3), Sydney Petersen (18:50.9), Keagan Gehring (19:06.4) and Alyssa Mason (19:11.2) rounding out the top five.
Also competing were Ava Hoersten (seventh, 19:16.6), Justine Smith (eighth, 19:23.1) and Calla Edmonds (10th, 19:44.5).
Davidson is now preparing for the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 19, at Darby.
The boys are in district 1, from which the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North. The girls are in district 3, from which the top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to regional.
Girls soccer team opens postseason
The 12th-seeded girls soccer team had won six consecutive games and was 8-4-3 overall before playing 42nd-seeded Westland in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16.
The winner plays at 11th-seeded Grove City in the second round Saturday, Oct. 19, with that winner playing fourth-seeded Westerville North or 44th-seeded Franklin Heights in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23.
The district final is Oct. 26.
The Wildcats, who routed Westland 14-0 on Oct. 3 in an OCC-Central contest, closed the regular season with a 2-0 win over visiting Marysville on Oct. 10 to finish second in the league at 4-1, behind Coffman (5-0).
Alivia Wile and Kayla Stischok scored and goalie Audrey Gibson-Zweifel had nine saves against the Monarchs.
Girls volleyball team wins district opener
The 30th-seeded girls volleyball team improved to 7-16 with a 25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 25-20 victory over 27th-seeded Marysville in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 14.
The Wildcats, who had split two OCC-Central matches against Marysville during the regular season, played eighth-seeded Hartley in a second-round match Oct. 16, with that winner facing 13th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or 20th-seeded New Albany in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Whitehall. The district final is Oct. 26.