Columbus Academy Roundup: Field hockey team falls in state semifinal

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Columbus Academy's Regan Cornelius and Watterson's Anne Marie Ruess collide during a state semifinal Nov. 5 at Thomas Worthington. The Vikings lost 1-0 in double overtime. Cornelius was one of nine seniors in the program.

As her players consoled each other, Columbus Academy field hockey coach Anne Horton reflected on another strong season for her team.

Playing in their 25th state tournament, the Vikings saw their season end with a 1-0 double-overtime loss to Watterson in a semifinal Nov. 5 at Thomas Worthington.

Academy finished 18-2 overall, with both losses coming against the Eagles. Watterson beat the Vikings 3-1 on Sept. 9 on its way to winning the COFHL-East Division title at 8-0 as Academy (7-1) settled for second.

The Vikings had won back-to-back league titles.

“It was such a great season,” Horton said. “I can’t ask for more. We had great senior leadership. The kids formed a great bond on and off the field. When you’re looking at what you’re trying to accomplish as a team, we did that. It’s not always wins and losses.”

Alex Picolo’s goal with 1 minute, 53 seconds remaining in the second overtime sent Watterson into the state final Nov. 7 against Hudson.

Senior goalie Sarah Silver had three saves for Academy.

“I thought our kids played hard,” Horton said. “I thought we left it on the field. Our defense was outstanding and came up with goal-line saves on multiple occasions. We did what we had to do to try to put us in a position to win and you have to convert when you have those opportunities. We didn’t do that and they did and we’re going home.”

The Vikings, who have won 24 district titles, were seeking their third consecutive state title and 13th overall.

Academy will lose nine players to graduation, including midfielder Regan Cornelius, who has committed to Northwestern.

“It’s a bummer to go out, but every girl on that field gave it their all,” Cornelius said. “We had our opportunities. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”

The Vikings, who outscored their opponents 101-6 this season, reached the state tournament with a 1-0 win over visiting New Albany in a district final Oct. 31. Junior attacker Avery Mitchell’s goal as time expired in the third quarter was the difference.

Junior midfielder Carolyn Vaziri assisted.

Academy was the top seed in the district and the Eagles were seeded fourth.

Other players eligible to return are juniors Annabelle Huyghe (attacker/midfielder), Claudia Klingbeil (attacker), Mya Falkenhain (defender/midfielder), Sophia MacDonald (attacker), Charlotte Rose (midfielder/defender), Ella Morris (defender) and Maya Walter (defender/midfielder), sophomores Megan Klingerman (defender), Maren Lawrence (midfielder) and Adeti Mohanselvan (attacker) and freshman Emma Reynolds (attacker/midfielder).

“We try to move on,” Horton said. “These seniors have left their mark. They’ve helped create the opportunity for next year and hopefully these girls will be ready to fight again.”

Boys soccer team

loses in regional semi

The boys soccer team saw its season end in a 2-1 overtime loss to Botkins in a Division III regional semifinal Nov. 4 at home.

The Vikings, who lost to Tipp City Tippecanoe 1-0 in a Division II state semifinal last season, finished 10-7-2.

Xavier Monnin head-directed Nathan Schneider’s throw-in past Academy goalie Luke Budzik with 5:32 remaining in the first overtime for the winning goal.

Academy took a 1-0 lead with 39:11 left in the second half when Charlie Tuckerman converted on a penalty kick after being fouled.

Academy had opportunities to add to its lead, but could not convert.

“Soccer is a game of inches,” coach Ron Leach said. “We hit the bar a couple of times, the ball rolls a different way and unfortunately that’s how it goes sometimes. I wish we would have put the second goal in. We had the chances. We had great shots. An inch down, an inch to the side and the ball is in.”

Senior Robert Mills runs after making a catch against Harvest Prep on Oct. 24 in a Division V, Region 19 quarterfinal. The Vikings lost 20-17 to finish 6-2 overall. Academy won the MSL-Ohio Division title at 5-0.

League title highlights

football team's season

The football team’s season was highlighted by winning its first outright MSL-Ohio title, going 5-0 to finish one game ahead of Harvest Prep and Liberty Union (both 4-1).

It was the Vikings’ third MSL title. They shared championships in 2009 and 2017.

Academy finished 6-2 overall, losing to Harvest Prep 20-17 in a Division V, Region 19 quarterfinal Oct. 24 at home.

The Vikings defeated Harvest Prep 20-10 on Sept. 4 on their way to winning the league title.

“We had a fantastic year,” coach Robin Miller said. “There were plenty of days, especially early on, when we didn’t know if we would be there the next day and they never got hung up on that. They just kept working. They did everything that was asked. They were a privilege to coach and that’s why I was sad at the end. I wasn’t sad that we lost, I was just sad that it was over.”

The 14-player senior class was led by quarterback Brady Hess, who completed 72 of 126 passes for 900 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 330 yards and five touchdowns on 57 carries.

Senior Sam Huyghe (WR/DB) had 40 catches for 570 yards and six touchdowns, and senior Durell Moultrie (WR/DB) had 18 receptions for 225 yards and one score. Moultrie also had 22 carries for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Drake Bellisari (RB/LB) had 74 carries for 410 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Junior Carter James (RB/DB) had 43 carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns before being lost for the season with an ACL injury suffered in a 31-7 win over Bexley on Sept. 17.

“Drake Bellisari stepped right in and didn’t miss a beat,” Miller said. “He just brings a different element. He’s just so explosive. Our running back group is strong. It’s by far our deepest position and just about all of them are back next year, so we’re very excited about our running game.”

Other key players eligible to return include juniors Jake Carlin (WR/DB), Matthew Comisar (OL/DL), Parker Logan (RB/LB), Gyvnn Mendenhall (OL/DL), Kevin Reeves (TE/DL) and Henry Rubey (QB/DB) and sophomores Jake Calodney (RB/LB), Miles Friedman (OL/DL) and E.J. Jenkins (WR/DB).

“We know how lucky we are that we were able to have a season and it’s a credit to the kids that they never blinked,” Miller said. “Whatever the headache, pain in the butt, they just said we’ll do it.”

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

FIELD HOCKEY

Record: 18-2 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), Columbus School for Girls (0-6-2)

Seniors lost: Charlotte Adams, Zoey Black, Regan Cornelius, Sarah Klingerman, Suzanna L’Hommedieu, Anjali Rangi, Ashley Reynolds, Sona Santry and Sarah Silver

Key returnees: Mya Falkenhain, Avery Mitchell, Adeti Mohanselvan, Carolyn Vaziri and Maya Walter

Postseason: Defeated Dublin Coffman 10-0; def. Olentangy 7-0; def. New Albany 1-0; lost to Watterson 1-0 in state semifinal

FOOTBALL

Record: 6-2 overall

MSL-Ohio standings: Academy (5-0), Harvest Prep and Liberty Union (both 4-1), Buckeye Valley (3-2), Bexley and Whitehall (both 1-4), Grandview (0-6)

Seniors lost: Vaughn Armour, Matthew Derzon, Manny Eribo, Daniel Farber, Keir Gorospe, Brady Hess, Jonah Houston, Sam Huyghe, Graham Mallory, Robert Mills, Durell Moultrie, Ethan Stahl, Chris Sugar and Miles Walter

Key returnees: Drake Bellisari, Jake Carlin, Jake Calodney, Matt Comisar, Miles Friedman, Carter James, E.J. Jenkins, Parker Logan, Gyvnn Mendenhall, Kevin Reeves and Henry Rubey

Postseason: Def. Coshocton 45-21; lost to Harvest Prep 20-17 in Division V, Region 19 quarterfinal