Delaware Hayes Roundup: Girls soccer squad earns first league championship

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Hannah Halstead helped the Delaware Hayes girls soccer team capture its first league title. The Pacers finished 7-0 in the OCC-Capital Division and are now preparing for the Division I district tournament.

For the first time, the Delaware Hayes girls soccer team is a league champion.

The Pacers clinched the OCC-Capital Division title with a 6-1 home victory over Canal Winchester on Oct. 6.

“We were all shocked,” junior defender and three-year starter Hannah Halstead said. “(Coach Bradd Smiley) had always been pushing us throughout this whole season, and we knew in the back of our heads we could all do it. But it’s never happened before, so we were all kind of surprised when it did happen.” 

Delaware completed a 7-0 run through the league and improved to 13-2 overall by routing host Franklin Heights 16-3 on Oct. 13.

Halstead said team unity has made a difference this season, especially after the Pacers went 1-5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal in 2018 and 1-4-2 in the league last year. OCC realignment moved Delaware to the OCC-Capital.

“We’ve all gotten along this year,” Halstead said. “In the past years I’ve been here, there’s been groups that split up in the team. And this year, we’ve all connected as a team and we’ve been all talking together and not separating into little groups. So I feel like that has helped us on the field.” 

Senior midfielder Mckenzie Hayes, a three-year starter, said the Pacers have been playing with a selfless attitude.

“The big thing is we’re all playing for each other, we’re not playing for individual parts,” she said. “In previous years we relied on certain players, or certain players wanted to play for themselves. But I think everyone this year is team oriented, and we all really like each other. And there’s no drama, that’s probably the biggest thing.” 

Through 14 games, junior forward Ava Bruns was leading the Pacers in scoring with 11 goals and seven assists. Senior forward Maddy Green had eight goals, followed by senior forward Alyssa Griner with six and sophomore midfielder Aubrey Griner with five. 

Senior goalie K.J. Hudson had 50 saves. 

The Pacers wrapped up the regular season with a home game against Newark on Oct. 15 and are the ninth seed for the Division I district tournament. Delaware has a first-round bye and will play host to 12th-seeded Grove City on Saturday, Oct. 24. 

“I think we’re feeling really excited and looking forward to the tournament. I’m hoping we can do well there, too,” Hayes said. “We’re going to give it everything we got. It might be our last game together. So we’re going to put everything out there, and everything we’ve been working for all season goes into that game.”

Junior Mark Sulek led the Delaware boys golf team with an 81 in a Division I sectional tournament Oct. 6 at Darby Creek.

Dye finishes

21st at district 

Junior girls golfer Hayley Dye tied for 21st (83) of 54 players in the Division I district tournament Oct. 13 at New Albany Links.

“I struggled a lot, but I kept myself in there,” Dye said. “I’m definitely going to work really hard to make it out (to the state tournament) next year. I’m definitely going to work on my mental game. That let me down today more than anything.”

The Pacers finished fourth (385) in a sectional Oct. 6 at Royal American as Dublin Jerome (322), Upper Arlington (340) and Hilliard Darby (371) advanced to district. 

Dye finished second (71) behind Olentangy Berlin’s Mia Raines (70) to earn one of three individual-qualifying berths to district.

Senior Faith Eden (92) had the second-highest score for Delaware at sectional. 

The Pacers finished second (24-4) in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament behind Jerome (28-0) as Dye shared Player of the Year honors with Jerome’s Audrey Ryu.

Eden earned second-team all-league, while juniors Lauren Girouard and Isabel Crissinger were honorable mention all-league. 

Also eligible to return is junior Madison Brickler.

The boys team ended its season by finishing sixth (328) in a Division I sectional Oct. 6 at Darby Creek behind champion St. Charles (297). 

Junior Mark Sulek led the Pacers with an 81 as he tied for 21st of 72 golfers. Senior Ben Madden and junior Colin Bibler both shot 82 to tie for 24th, and junior Brady Gazarek had an 83 to tie for 28th. 

The Pacers finished 24-3 in the four-round OCC-Capital tournament and were co-champions with Worthington Kilbourne (21-0), which missed the first round due to the school district's temporary suspension of athletics because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

Sulek and Gazarek were first-team all-league. Bibler and junior Tyler Brown were second-team all-league, and Madden was third-team all-league. 

Tennis team ends 

season at sectional

The girls tennis team concluded its season in a Division I sectional held Oct. 8 and 10 at Hilliard Davidson.

In singles, senior Alana Kay advanced to the second round while seniors Grace Martin and Lily Tope fell in the first round.

In doubles, juniors Eliza Riggs and Sophia Midura won two matches and senior Meredith Keller and junior Chloe Kanally lost their first match. 

Riggs and Midura earned first-team all-league honors at first doubles. Tope was second-team all-league at third singles, and Keller and Kanally were third-team all-league at second doubles.

The Pacers finished 9-12 overall and placed fourth (4-3) in the OCC-Capital behind champion Big Walnut (7-0).

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

BOYS GOLF 

OCC-Capital standings: Worthington Kilbourne (21-0), Delaware (24-3), Big Walnut (19-8), Dublin Scioto (16-11), Westerville North (13-14), Canal Winchester (8-19), Westerville South (4-23), Franklin Heights (0-27)

Senior lost: Ben Madden

Key returnees: Colin Bibler, Tyler Brown, Brady Gazarek and Mark Sulek

Postseason: Sixth (328) at sectional behind champion St. Charles (297)

GIRLS GOLF 

OCC-Cardinal standings: Dublin Jerome (28-0), Delaware (24-4), Hilliard Darby (18-10), Olentangy Berlin (16-12), Hilliard Bradley (14-14), Scioto (8-20), Kilbourne (3-25), Thomas Worthington (1-27)

Seniors lost: Faith Eden and Gabrielle Weckerly

Key returnees: Isabel Crissinger, Hayley Dye and Lauren Girouard

Postseason: Fourth (385) at sectional behind champion Jerome (322)

GIRLS TENNIS 

Record: 9-12 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Big Walnut (7-0), Kilbourne (6-1), Scioto (5-2), Delaware (4-3), Westerville North (3-4), Westerville South (2-5), Canal Winchester (1-6), Franklin Heights (0-7) 

Seniors lost: Alena Clark, Alana Kay, Meredith Keller, Grace Martin and Lily Tope

Key returnees: Chloe Kanally, Sophia Midura and Eliza Riggs