Notebook: St. Charles soccer team gains momentum with tournament wins

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
St. Charles' Kellen Karas (right) beats Hilliard Davidson's Will Baker to the ball earlier this season. The eighth-seeded Cardinals opened Division I district play with a 3-1 victory over 22nd-seeded Grove City on Oct. 20 and then defeated 21st-seeded Gahanna 3-0 on Oct. 22.

Coach Chris Vonau liked the way his St. Charles soccer team was playing after its Division I tournament opener and hoped it had the makings of a district champion for the fourth time in five seasons.

The eighth-seeded Cardinals took a step in the right direction by defeating 22nd-seeded Grove City 3-1 on Oct. 20 in the first round of district play. 

“I feel good, and we have a youthful team this year and some pivotal guys that we’re building around,” said Vonau, whose team then improved to 13-3-2 by defeating 21st-seeded Gahanna 3-0 on Oct. 22 in the second round. “We’re hitting our stride at the appropriate time. We really have a lot of momentum. 

“We have three freshmen and some sophomores on the team this year who are killing it. We have a sophomore in the center-back spot in Colin Sullivan and three freshmen littered around in (midfielder) Eli Bush, (forward) Cormac Bradley and (defender) Paddy O’Reilly.” 

Thomas Hohmann, Yannick Lambe and Danny Marino scored against Grove City, and goalie Charley Valachovic made 10 saves. 

“It was an all-around good effort,” Vonau said. “We were able to weather the storm.” 

The Cardinals played 11th-seeded Thomas Worthington on Oct. 29 in a district semifinal. The winner advanced to a final Saturday, Oct. 31, against top-seeded Dublin Jerome or 17th-seeded Big Walnut at the home field of the higher seed.

The district champion plays in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Nov. 4.

“Like every year, it sounds like a broken record, but we have to play our game to be successful,” Vonau said. “If we play our game, there is no team in the area we can’t beat. We have to keep the ball down and keep the ball moving and play for each other and tuck the ball in the back of the net.” 

•Owen Karas won the CCL meet for the St. Charles cross country team Oct. 17 at St. Matthew Athletic Fields. The senior completed the course in 15 minutes, 22.3 seconds to finish ahead of runner-up Will Garey (16:13.9) of Watterson. 

The Cardinals finished third (56 points) behind DeSales (44) and Watterson (45) and ahead of Hartley (94) and Ready (140). 

Daniel Ferguson (12th, 17:58.9), William Ferris (13th, 17:59.6), Colin Hayter (14th 18:01.6) and Andrew Dunn (16th, 18:07.9) also scored. 

The Cardinals competed in the Division I, district 3 race Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby, with the top six teams and top 24 individuals advancing to the regional Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North.

•Fabi Corso led the Columbus School for Girls cross country team in the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 17 at Buckeye Valley.  

The freshman finished third in 20:05.1, behind Bexley’s Claire MacDonald (19:53.7) and Columbus Academy’s Regan Cornelius (20:00.4). 

Lauren Sloan (20th, 23:14.3), Grace Chomic (21st, 23:21.6), Esther Woda (31st, 25:37.8) and Neva Schehl (35th, 26:48.5) also scored. 

The Unicorns competed in the Division II, district 1 race Oct. 24 at Darby. The top three teams and top 12 individuals advanced to the regional Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North.

Forward Kayla Badyna-Carpenter was one of five seniors for the CSG field hockey team, which finished 2-11-2. Badyna-Carpenter led the team with three goals.

•The CSG field hockey team lost 3-1 at 14th-seeded Dublin Scioto on Oct. 19 in its district tournament opener. 

Junior forward Sarah Lonser scored for the 15th-seeded Unicorns, who finished 2-11-2 overall and ninth (0-6-2) in the COFHL-East behind champion Watterson (8-0). Senior goalie Olivia Barry-Wilson has seven saves and finished the season with 132. 

CSG had five seniors — all starters — in defender Gabby Anthony, forward Kayla Badyna-Carpenter (team-leading 3 goals, 1 assist), Barry-Wilson, defender Jolien Kusi and defender Charlotte Love. 

Some of the key performers expected to return include juniors Lonser (1 goal, 1 assist) and Gia Noel Manokas (forward), sophomores Jacey Cassandra (midfielder; 2 goals, 2 assists) and C.C. McLarty (defender) and freshman Morgan Halpern (midfielder; 1 goal).

•The Bexley boys soccer team opened the Division II district tournament Oct. 22 at home against ninth-seeded Hartley in the first round, but did not play its varsity lineup and lost 3-0 to finish 3-9-3 overall.

The fifth-seeded Lions played the contest with j.v. players after the varsity was exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus Oct. 10 in a 1-0 loss to Whitehall to finish 1-4-1 in the MSL-Ohio.

•The Bexley field hockey team finished 6-9-1 overall after losing 1-0 at home to 12th-seeded Lancaster on Oct. 20 in its district tournament opener. 

The Lions finished eighth (1-7) in the COFHL-East behind champion Watterson (8-0). 

Junior goalie Sally Sauer had two saves against Lancaster for 11th-seeded Bexley, which was led by 18th-year coach Kara Whitlatch. 

Whitlatch said other top players expected back are juniors Lainey Dorrian (defender), Sauer and Adelaide Zamensky (midfielder), sophomores Evie Holzhall (defender), Maddy Krasnow (forward/midfielder), Bea Meeks (defender) and Caroline Whitlatch (forward) and freshman Frankie Zehnal (forward). 

shennen@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekHennen 

BEXLEY FIELD HOCKEY 

•Record: 6-9-1 overall 

•COFHL-East standings: Watterson (8-0), Columbus Academy (7-1), New Albany (6-2), Worthington Kilbourne (5-3), Granville (3-4-1), Lancaster (3-5), Hartley (1-6-1), Bexley (1-7), CSG (0-6-2) 

•Seniors lost: Dasi Bandler, Audra Fleming, Eimear McCann, Juliette Schiff, Phoebe Snowdon and Abby Solove 

•Key returnees: Lainey Dorrian, Evie Holzhall, Maddy Krasnow, Bea Meeks, Sally Sauer, Caroline Whitlatch, Adelaide Zamensky and Frankie Zehnal 

•Postseason: Lost to Lancaster 1-0 in first round of district tournament 

CSG FIELD HOCKEY 

•Record: 2-11-2 overall 

•Seniors lost: Gabby Anthony, Kayla Badyna-Carpenter, Olivia Barry-Wilson, Jolien Kusi and Charlotte Love 

•Key returnees: Jacey Cassandra, Morgan Halpern, Sarah Lonser, C.C. McLarty and Gia Noel Manokas 

•Postseason: Lost to Dublin Scioto 3-1 in second round of district tournament