Bears rally past Irish, earn spot in district semifinal


DELAWARE – Ashley Kerekes scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Olentangy Berlin girls soccer team to a 3-2 win over visiting Dublin Scioto in a Division I district tournament second-round game Saturday night.

It was the assist that turned out to be the game-winner for the 15th-seeded Bears. Kerekes’ corner found a pile of players before Ruth Pfeiffer headed it in to give the Bears a 3-2 edge with 12:17 remaining.

“I just try to aim for the top of the six – that’s where someone should (be) to just head it in and that’s what we did,” Kerekes said. “We’ve been practicing that for a long time.”

“It’s survive and advance,” Berlin coach Tara Zimmer said. “You’re just trying to get the ball in the back of the net.”

Scioto’s Kylie Nettles scored through traffic in front with 28:27 left to give the 23rd-seeded Irish a 2-1 lead.

But Cameryn Susey tapped in the equalizer to tie the game 48 seconds later after the ball pinballed through traffic.

Kerekes scored less than 13 minutes into the game to give the Bears a 1-0 lead and Scioto’s Kiarah Richardson went top shelf with 17:39 left in the first half to tie it 1-1.

“I think that was huge,” Zimmer said. “I think that picked up the momentum for us and then we were able to get another and play more defensive after that.”

Berlin is in the district semifinal for the second straight year of its two-year history. But this time the Bears are in Division I.

“Last year, we played a Division I schedule and hopped in the D-II tournament,” Zimmer said. “We really didn’t know what we were in for. This year, we played a lot of these teams that we’re in the same bracket with and I think that makes it a little more comfortable for us.”

McKinley Hoffmann had five saves for the Bears (11-6-1), who beat Scioto 3-1 in OCC-Cardinal play Aug. 27.

Abbey Topetzes had five saves in goal for the Irish (7-11).

Berlin travels to eighth-seeded New Albany in a district semifinal Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The Eagles own a 1-0 win over the Bears in non-league play Aug. 22.

Also: Big Walnut 10, Mifflin 0 (Division I district tournament); Olentangy Orange 3, Watkins Memorial 2 (Division I district tournament); Marysville 1, Olentangy Liberty 0, PKs (Division I district tournament); Hilliard Bradley 2, Delaware Hayes 1, OT (Division I district tournament); Olentangy 7, DeSales 0 (Division I district tournament); Buckeye Valley 2, Jonathan Alder 1, OT (Division II district tournament)


Grant Smeltzer, Andrew Blosser and Jack O’Donnell each carded a 160 or better to lead Olentangy Liberty to a fifth-place tie at Friday and Saturday’s Division I boys state championship at the OSU Scarlet Course in Columbus.

All three were consistent from start to finish. Smeltzer closed tied for 22nd among individuals with a two-round 158 (78, 80). Blosser was right behind him, tied for 25th with a 159 (81, 78), while O’Donnell was tied for 27th overall with the 160 (82, 78).

Hunter Corbin and Ben Armbruster smoothed out the team’s scoring summary with respective totals of 164 and 174.

Dublin Jerome won the team title with a 607. The Celtics’ Tyler Groomes shot a 70 in the first round and a 72 in the second to earn medalist honors with a 142.


Olentangy Orange’s Kortney Reed and Erin Storrer teamed up to win a pair of matches on the way to a fourth-place showing at Friday and Saturday’s Division I state tennis tournament at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

The duo beat Notre Dame Academy’s Ellie and Olivia Assenmacher 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 in the opener before knocking off Ursuline’s Nina Dhaliwal and Bridget Estes 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 in round two.

They lost their championship semifinal, falling to the eventual state champs from Dublin Jerome, and fell to a Mason duo in the third-place match.

Olentangy Liberty’s Dani Schoenly and Maddie Atway and Olentangy’s Nour Khayat were also in action, competing in the D-I singles bracket.

Atway and Schoenly both won their openers — Atway knocked off Rocky River’s Samantha Robertson 6-3, 6-0 and Schoenly beat Springfield’s Avi Shah 6-1, 6-2 — but fell in the second round.

Nour lost to Notre Dame Academy’s Lily Black 1-6, 7-5, 6-7 in her lone match.

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected].

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