Girls Soccer: Regional finals roundup

ThisWeek Sports Staff
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Olentangy’s Kylee Beinecke, left, is congratulated by teammates Audrey Oliver and Carly Ross after scoring the game's only goal Nov. 7 against visiting Watterson as the Braves won their first Division I regional title.

Division I: Olentangy 1, Watterson 0 

One aspect of warmups ended up foreshadowing the biggest moment of the game as Olentangy played host to Watterson. 

Kylee Beinecke’s goal from about 20 yards with 13 minutes, 36 seconds to play in the first half proved decisive as the Braves advanced to their first state tournament. 

Beinecke worked her way through traffic to fire a shot above goalie Annie McGraw. 

“I didn’t think I was going to get a shot off," Beinecke said. "There were a couple players in front of me, and I had to tackle them to get through them so some space opened up so I took my shot. 

 "In warmups we practiced taking shots from farther out, and that’s what I did. It paid off. I’m pretty happy with how it went.” 

Katie Scott made 11 saves to preserve the shutout as Olentangy improved to 17-2-2 and will play Centerville in a state semifinal 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Springfield. The winner will play Strongsville or Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in the final at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at Mapfre Stadium. 

“(Watterson has) a very strong midfield that can control the ball while switching from side to side and we had to make sure we shifted and covered correctly,” Braves coach Earl Devanny said. “We had some good periods and periods that were tougher, but it balanced out overall.” 

McGraw made 10 saves for Watterson, which finished 17-3-1 and had gone to shootouts in each of its previous two games. The Eagles were seeking their second regional title in three years and third overall. 

“Their best player scored a goal, and that’s the result they hoped for,” Watterson coach Scott Dempsey said. “It was a competitive game from start to finish. Both teams played very well.” 

–Dave Purpura 

From left, Columbus Academy's Mary Kate Pall, Hannah Clay, Liesel Goldfarb, Evie Gee and Maggie Walther celebrate after Emma Yakam scores in the shootout in a Division III regional semifinal Nov. 3 at Berlin Hiland. The Vikings won 1-0 before beating Lynchburg-Clay 1-0 in the final Nov. 7. Gee scored the goal in the final.

Division III: Columbus Academy 1, Lynchburg-Clay 0

Columbus Academy earned a return trip to the state tournament by beating host Lynchburg-Clay.

The Vikings improved to 11-3-2 and will play Cincinnati Country Day in a state semifinal 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Bellbrook. The winner will face Kirtland or Findlay Liberty-Benton at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in the final at Mapfre Stadium.

Academy lost to Country Day 4-2 in a state semifinal last season, with Country Day then beating Liberty-Benton 5-1 in the final.

Country Day, which is 16-0-4, has won the state title three of the past four seasons, including the last two. 

“I’m happy to be playing in the (state tournament), but they’re a two-time defending state champ,” Academy coach Matt Thompson said. “They’re very good. Our kids will go out and they will compete and we’ll do everything that we can.” 

Against Lynchburg-Clay, Evie Gee scored the game’s lone goal in the first half and goalie Sophie Spolter turned in another strong effort to help lead the Vikings. 

“I don’t know if there is anyone better in our division,” Thompson said of Spolter. “She’s just so steady and she makes big saves at big times. It gives us confidence in the back. Her teammates trust her to know that we have a chance with her behind us.” 

Thompson added that his team continues to receive a balanced effort. 

“We have some kids who are banged up a little bit and people are stepping in,” Thompson said. “It’s just a really resilient bunch. I’m really proud of their resiliency. They just keep finding ways to win.” 

–Frank DiRenna 

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