Girls Soccer: Regional semifinals roundup

ThisWeek Sports Staff
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Watterson 2, Pickerington North 1 (shootout)

With her team competing in its second shootout in less than a week, Maddy Bellisari came through for the Watterson girls soccer team Nov. 3 against visiting Pickerington North in a Division I girls soccer regional semifinal.

Bellisari was the Eagles’ fifth shooter and converted to give them a 4-3 win in the shootout after the teams were tied at 1 at the end of two overtimes. 

North missed two shots and Watterson missed one in the shootout before Bellisari wrapped up the win.

The Eagles improved to 17-2-1 and will play Olentangy for the regional title Nov. 7, while the Panthers finished 13-4-3.

"I was just thinking I need to make this to help my team out because we were all nervous and definitely deserved to win this game," Bellisari said. "We fought for this."

The Watterson girls soccer team jumps on top of Maddy Bellisari (31) after she scored the final penalty kick in a shootout to defeat Pickerington North on Nov. 3 in a Division I regional semifinal.

Watterson took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Sydney Workman with 16 minutes, 52 seconds left in the first half. 

Then with 10 minutes to go before halftime, the Panthers tied it on a goal by Jackie Norris.

Watterson also beat Dublin Jerome 2-1 in a shootout Oct. 28 in a district semifinal.

"I don't think it hurt (that we had just won a shootout six days earlier)," coach Scott Dempsey said. "There was a lot of confidence there on the part of our players and it turned out the way we wanted it to."

—Jarrod Ulrey

Olentangy 3, Upper Arlington 1

In place to score off a rebound midway through the first half of a Division I girls soccer regional semifinal Nov. 3, instinct took over for Olentangy’s Rachel Austin.

Austin punched in a rebound after Kylee Beinecke’s shot caromed off the post, and the Braves took an early upper hand in a mostly even game on the way to a 3-1 win at Upper Arlington.

“Everything we always do at practice is back post, back post, back post. It’s always something we strive to do is get back post after someone hits a ball,” Austin said. “We held the ball up high a lot. If we get the ball in the attack, we don’t just go for it. We let people come up with us and then we’ll go in together as a team because that’s how we play. We play as one.”

Olivia Heskett scored what became the winning goal with 24:20 to play, and Beinecke scored on a penalty kick with five minutes left as Olentangy improved to 16-2-2 and will play host to Watterson in the regional final Nov. 7.

The Braves are in a regional final for the first time since 2015.

Senna Mieth got UA’s only goal with 1:05 left as the Bears, who were coming off a 2-1 (4-2 shootout) upset of top-seeded and third-ranked New Albany in a district final, finished 13-4-2.

“The first 15 or 20 minutes, it was both teams getting at it. We had a ball knocked wide down toward the goal and if that goes in, it’s a different game,” UA coach Andrew Kessinger said. “Credit to Olentangy. They came in with a great game plan.”

—Dave Purpura

Dayton Oakwood 2, Hartley 0

In a Division II regional semifinal Nov. 3 at Dayton Oakwood, Hartley lost 2-0 to finish 10-5-2.

The Lumberjacks improved to 11-4-3 and will play Monroe on Nov. 7 for the regional title.

Hartley was making its first regional appearance.

—Jarrod Ulrey

Columbus Academy 1, Berlin Hiland 0 (shootout)

Columbus Academy will seek a return trip to the Division III state tournament when it visits Lynchburg-Clay in a regional final Nov. 7.

The Vikings advanced with a win by shootout at Berlin Hiland on Nov. 3.

The game was scoreless following regulation and two overtime periods before Academy outscored the Hawks 3-1 in the shootout.

Katie Schiano, Emma Yakam and Diana Ulbrich scored for the Vikings.

Goalie Sophie Spolter had a save during the shootout.

“It was great for the program,” coach Matt Thompson said. “Hiland played very hard. My kids were surprised. They played their butts off. There were times when we just had to hang on and it’s a credit to the kids not quitting even when you may not be at your very best.”

Academy advanced to a state semifinal last season, losing to Cincinnati Country Day 4-2.

—Frank DiRenna

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