Boys Soccer: District finals roundup

ThisWeek Sports Staff
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Ethan Archer and Thomas Worthington won a Division I district title Oct. 31, defeating Dublin Jerome 1-0 (4-3 shootout).

Thomas Worthington 1, Dublin Jerome 0 (4-3 shootout)

Seeded 11th, Thomas Worthington upset top-seeded host Dublin Jerome to win a Division I title Oct. 31.

The Cardinals, who lost to Westerville Central 3-2 in double overtime in the second round last season, improved to 11-6-2 and will play host to Olentangy Berlin on Wednesday, Nov. 4, in a regional semifinal. 

“We’re feeling a lot of emotion,” coach David Fairchild said. “Our plans were to be in this game last year, but we came up short. We got upset early in the tournament. So when we got in the tournament this year, we were really focused. This is where we want to be, and this is where this program should be.” 

Caleb Opoku, Ethan Archer, Eli Hitzhusen and Mohamed Gamamou each scored in the shootout, and goalie R.J. Stoller made a save on Jerome’s final kick. 

Simon Cole, Andrew Butcher and Nick Campagni scored for the Celtics, who finished 16-3-2.  

“Today we had some really good chances, but we couldn’t find the back of the net,” Celtics coach Nathan Maust said. 

--Stephen Borgna

Pickerington North 1, Olentangy Liberty 0

North coach Darrin Monhollen figured his fourth-seeded team would play Liberty in a Division I final as soon as the tournament drawing was completed, considering the third-seeded Patriots set up the potential matchup by passing and then following the Panthers into their bracket.

The two teams were at a stalemate Oct. 31 at Liberty until North’s Evan Yurko scored off a pass from Tim Zack with 10 minutes, 3 seconds to go.

The Panthers then held on to improve to 16-2-1 and advance to a regional semifinal Nov. 4 at New Albany. 

“I just knew after all the practice where I had to be and Tim played a beautiful ball in, and I put it away,” Yurko said. “All that hard work finally pays off now.”

Liberty, which finished 15-2-1, had good scoring opportunities in the final three minutes. Jack Cruise had a shot on goal stopped by goalie Ty Bowden with 2:35 to go, and Ryan Bonanno missed on a shot with 2:10 remaining.

It was the second district title in three seasons for North.

“We’re just real proud,” Monhollen said. “This time of year you just gut it out and get a win and move on to the next round. We’re very proud of our boys and the way they played.”

--Jarrod Ulrey

New Albany 3, Upper Arlington 1 

Calvin Criger, Jack Poulos and Derrick Ellwood each scored a goal as host and second-seeded New Albany erased an early deficit and defeated 10th-seeded Upper Arlington to win its first district title since 2016.

Theo Constantinides won an early one-on-one to put the Golden Bears ahead 1-0, but Criger tied it five minutes later. Poulos, who came up from junior varsity late in the regular season, scored the eventual winning goal a minute into the second half. Ellwood added an insurance goal with less than two minutes left.

New Albany improved to 15-3-1, and UA finished 9-5-4.

--Dave Purpura

Olentangy Berlin 2, Westerville Central 1

In just its third season, Berlin earned its first district title, rallying past the visiting Warhawks.

After Central’s Trent Wendling scored in the first half, Mason Morris and Gavin Kiener scored for the fifth-seeded Bears early in the second half for a 2-1 lead.

Berlin goalie Connor Sexton had six saves, including one in the closing seconds.

“This team is very special,” Berlin coach Joshua Diehl said. “It’s been a process and this team has been like family. It was pretty cool to see them lock into some adversity from how we played in the first half to how we played in the second half. I’m really proud of them. I’m just extremely happy.”

The Bears improved to 15-2-2 and Central, which was seeded 16th, finished the season 11-8.

--Frank DiRenna

DeSales 2, Watterson 1

Andrew Shaffer’s goal with 14:30 to play, his 20th of the season, was the game-winner as host and third-seeded DeSales won a Division II final.

The Stallions’ Alex Shaffer scored nine minutes into the game, and the sixth-seeded Eagles tied it 14 minutes later on Mitchell Musaraca’s goal.

Gabe Weikert made eight saves for DeSales, which improved to 10-8-1 and will visit Tipp City Tippecanoe for a regional semifinal Nov. 4.

Michael Segreto had 11 saves for Watterson, which finished 3-10-4.

--Dave Purpura

Granville 3, Hartley 2 (OT)

The season for ninth-seeded Hartley ended with a loss to top-seeded Granville in a Division II final.

The Blue Aces scored the game-winner with 4:26 left in overtime on a goal by Davis Helman as they won their first district title since 2002.

Nahom Chegen scored both goals for the Hawks. 

Hartley, which led 2-1 before Granville tied it late in the first half, finished 5-10-1 and the Aces improved to 11-3-5.

--Jarrod Ulrey

Grandview 1, Worthington Christian 0 (4-2 shootout)

Second-seeded Grandview won its seventh consecutive Division III district championship by outlasting top-seeded Worthington Christian.

The Bobcats improved to 12-3-1 and will play Nov. 4 at Berlin Hiland in a regional semifinal. Grandview lost to Worthington Christian 2-1 on Sept. 5 in MSL-Ohio play.

In the shootout, the first four Grandview players -- Adam Bechtel, Jack Mollette, Leo Marcellana and Connor Hayes -- all scored. Goalie Owen Carter had nine saves.

Trent Wenger and Zach Thomas scored in the shootout for the Warriors, who finished 13-5-1. Goalie Ethan Kraynak had four saves.

Columbus Academy 3, Fairbanks 1

The Vikings earned a return trip to regional play with a win over Fairbanks in a Division III final at Academy.

Grant Edwards and Leo Kass scored first-half goals to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead. Charlie Tuckerman closed the scoring for third-seeded Academy in the second half.

Goalie Luke Budzik had four saves for the Vikings.

Academy improved to 10-6-2 and will play host to Botkins in a regional semifinal Nov. 4.

Fourth-seeded Fairbanks closed 13-3-3.

--Frank DiRenna

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