Offensive opportunities were few and far between for the 19th-seeded Delaware Hayes girls soccer team as second-seeded Dublin Jerome rolled to a 4-0 Division I district semifinal win Wednesday night in Dublin.
The Celtics, meanwhile, specifically co-captain Sophia Penegor, had plenty of chances. Penegor finished four of hers, accounting for all four goals.
Hayes keeper Cali Kent did well to keep Jerome off the board early, winning a couple races to long through balls to keep the game scoreless through the first 11 minutes.
A few minutes after that, though, the Pacers’ fortunes took a turn as the Celtics’ early scoring opportunities started to translate to goals on the scoreboard.
Penegor broke the scoring seal with a high shot from straight on — a shot a leaping Kent couldn’t quite get to — with 26:47 left in the opening half. She scored again, this time off a throw-in, about three minutes later.
Down 2-0, Hayes got some sustained pressure in the Jerome end for the first time midway through the first half.
Elise Buckerfield fired a shot from long range, but Celtic keeper Hayden Stoner was able to snag it for the save. Aubrey Griner nearly tracked down a well-placed through ball from Adrionna Brown shortly after that, but Stoner met her at the ball. The two went down to ground after colliding, allowing a Jerome defender to poke the ball out of harm’s way and keep the Pacers off the scoreboard.
Jerome then looked to score in transition, but a diving save by Kent on a shot from Alexis Smith kept the margin at two.
Things stayed that way until halftime, but not much longer as Penegor completed her hat trick after a failed clearance attempt led to a one-on-one opportunity against Kent — a battle she won by sliding the ball into the far corner to make it a 3-0 game with 24:30 left.
She scored again less than a minute later to smooth out the scoring summary.
Griner got the ball in the box a few minutes later, but no fewer than four Celtics swarmed her before she could get a shot off. It was the way most of the night went for Hayes.
The Pacers kept the pressure on until the very end, but a Dudley corner and Buckerfield blast failed to find the back of the net.
Olentangy Liberty 1, Upper Arlington 0
The eighth-seeded Patriots blanked the host and fifth-seeded Golden Bears for the second time this season, punching a ticket to Saturday’s Division I district championship game against Jerome with a hard-fought win Wednesday night.
Lexie Mitchem accounted for the game’s lone goal, creating some space before ripping a shot into the upper corner of the net midway through the second half.
Olentangy 2, Pickerington North 1
Audrey Oliver scored 2:53 into overtime to lead the sixth-seeded Braves to a thrilling Division I district semifinal win over the seventh-seeded Panthers Wednesday night in Lewis Center.
After the teams battled through a scoreless first half, Olentangy’s Audrey Williams scored off a rebound stemming from a corner kick with 20 minutes left.
North got the equalizer when Olivia McCuen scored off a corner with 3:40 left.
Olentangy Orange 9, Worthington Kilbourne 0
Kaelyn Valleau had herself a night, pouring in five goals to lead the third-seeded Pioneers to a lopsided Division I district semifinal win over the 16th-seeded Wolves Wednesday night in Lewis Center.
The win sets up a showdown with Olentangy in Saturday’s district final at a time and place to be determined.
Also: Olentangy Berlin 2, Westerville Central 1.