Girls Soccer: State semifinals roundup

ThisWeek Sports Staff
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Rachel Austin scored two goals as Olentangy beat Centerville 4-1 on Nov. 10 in a Division I state semifinal.

Olentangy 4, Centerville 1

SPRINGFIELD — For as much as it dominated possession in the first half of a Division I state semifinal Nov. 10 despite trailing by a goal, the Olentangy girls soccer team had a feeling one break would lead to a breakthrough.

It did, and now the Braves will cap off their first state tournament appearance with a chance to play for their first championship.

Rachel Austin tied the game by punching in a rebound 3 minutes, 34 seconds into the second half and scored the winning goal 9:50 later, and the Braves finished a huge second half with a 4-1 win over Centerville at Springfield.

“Halftime was the break we needed to regroup and calm down,” Austin said. “Closing them down in the midfield was a big part of everything. We knew we eventually would score. That’s the mindset we have to go into every game with. Once we get rolling with one goal, we keep going.”

Olivia Heskett scored after a Lexi White free kick with 12:06 to go, and White added a goal of her own 70 seconds later as Olentangy improved to 18-2-2 and moved into the state final Nov. 13 at Mapfre Stadium against Strongsville.

Strongsville, which was ranked second in the final state poll, improved to 19-0 with a 4-1 win over Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in the other semifinal.

Centerville struck first Nov. 10 when Izzy Laidly snuck a goal past Braves goalie Katie Scott in traffic with 26:02 left in the first half.

Scott finished with six saves. Allison Colopy made eight saves for the Elks, who finished 19-2-1.

“We had steady pressure and we felt like if we (increased) it just a little bit, things would be all right,” Braves coach Earl Devanny said. “This team never feels like it’s out of a game.”

Strongsville, which is in the state tournament for the 12th time, is seeking its first title since 2011 and fourth overall.

—Dave Purpura

Cincinnati Country Day midfielder Piper Farris and Columbus Academy midfielder Diana Ulbrich battle during a Division III semifinal game at Bellbrook Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

Cincinnati Country Day 4, Columbus Academy 1

BELLBROOK — For the second consecutive season, Cincinnati Country Day ended Columbus Academy’s season in Division III state tournament play.

Country Day scored two goals in the first 15:13 in a 4-1 win over the Vikings in a state semifinal Nov. 10 at Bellbrook.

Academy saw its 10-game winning streak end as it finished 11-4-2.

Country Day improved to 17-0-4 and will play Kirtland in the state final Nov. 13 at Mapfre Stadium.

“They’re amazing,” senior Maggie Walther said. “Technically, they’re the best team we’ve seen all season. We knew going into this that they were super competitive and one of the better teams that we’re going to see all season. We were coming in confident. We just came out a little weaker than we expected.”

Last season, Country Day defeated Academy 4-2 in a semifinal and then beat Findlay Liberty-Benton 5-1 for the title.

Academy trailed 3-0 at halftime in the rematch with Jenna Setters pushing the lead to 4-0 just 35 seconds into the second half.

The Vikings averted the shutout when senior Katie Schiano scored with 20 seconds remaining, as her shot from about 35 yards beat goalie C.J. DeBra.

“We beat the odds all year so we were hoping for that again, but they’re a great team,” Schiano said. 

—Frank DiRenna

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