The Olentangy Liberty girls soccer team entered Tuesday’s OCC-Central showdown against host Olentangy Orange needing a win or tie to capture the conference crown.
Thanks to a 1-1 draw, with both goals coming seconds apart in the final eight minutes of action, the Patriots (11-1-2, 3-1-1) left with the championship they’ve been chasing since the season started.
After a scoreless first half, which saw Liberty control much of the action, Orange came out of halftime as the aggressor. The Pioneers (10-1-4, 2-0-3) created several close calls, finally breaking through when Alexis Knisley scored off a corner kick with 7:54 left in the game.
The celebration was short-lived, though, as the Patriots struck off the ensuing kickoff as Cailin Bohrer tapped in a rebound to even things up with 7:17 left.
Olentangy 2, Marysville 1
Reagan Ross set the tone with a goal in the first two minutes and Lexi White added a key goal off a free kick as the Braves improved to a perfect 5-0 in league play with a win over the host Monarchs Tuesday night in Marysville.
Also: Delaware Hayes 11, Franklin Heights 0.
Olentangy Liberty was poised to punch a ticket to the upcoming state showcase at the turn, but needed seven more strokes to complete the back nine than it used on the front nine and missed the cut by two strokes during Tuesday’s Division I district tournament at Apple Valley.
The Patriots, led by Jack O’Donnell and Ethan McGarvey’s 73s, finished with a combined 297 — a mark just two strokes behind runner-up Dublin Jerome and three behind district champion Dublin Coffman.
Noah Wingart backed O’Donnell and McGarvey with a 75 while Nick Dickens and Carter Rutherford finished with 76s.
Olentangy Orange and Delaware Hayes also saw stellar seasons come to a close. The Pioneers finished seventh with a team total of 315 while the Pacers closed eighth with a 316.
Luke Johnson led Orange with a 75, Mitch Perdue had a 78 and Brendan Cabungcal and Max Garske had 81s.
Hayes, meanwhile, got a team-best 72 from Mark Sulek while Colin Bibler (76), Brady Gazarek (79) and Ryan Moody (89) smoothed out the squad’s top four.
Olentangy Berlin’s Kyle Smetiouk, competing as an individual, finished with an 81.
Medalist Carson Bellish, a senior from Pickerington North, and Hilliard Davidson’s Zach Burton secured the two individual qualifier spots with respective rounds of 69 and 70.
Olentangy Liberty finished fifth, Olentangy closed eighth and Delaware Hayes was ninth at Tuesday’s Division I district tournament at New Albany Links.
The Patriots, led by Olivia Aronhalt’s 84, carded a combined 354. Taya Buxton (86), Dakota Riley (87) and Chuling Wang (97) also chipped in.
The Braves’ top four included Olivia Drankwalter (90), Elizabeth Wang (100), Claudia Novak (100) and Gretchen Stoner (101) while the Pacers counted scores from Hayley Dye (80), Madison Bricker (104), Lainie Rafey (104) and Lauren Girouard (108). Olentangy finished with a 391 while Hayes had a 396.
Olentangy Orange’s Skylar Dean and Natalie Au also competed, finishing with respective rounds of 80 and 87 to finish tied for 12th and 22nd.
New Albany won the district title with a 294 while Dublin Jerome earned the second and final state qualifying spot with a combined 305.
Watkins Memorial’s Gracie James and Dublin Coffman’s Ellie Lim advanced as individuals with rounds of 77.
Emma Rindfuss, one of five seniors recognized, picked up her 1,000th dig as host Delaware Christian swept away visiting Madison Christian on Senior Night Tuesday in Delaware.
The Eagles won the first set 25-20 before taking the next two by respective scores of 25-9 and 25-18 to wrap up the MOCAL championship.
Katie Neuhart led the attack with 13 kills while Lizzy Anderson finished with 10 kills and seven digs. Cami Dellipoala had a team-best seven aces to go with nine kills and 10 digs, Eden Marquis collected 32 assists and Rindfuss finished with 16 digs in the win.
Olentangy Liberty 3, Olentangy Orange 2
The Patriots won each of the last two sets to rally for a five-set win over the host Pioneers and secure an OCC title in the process.
Liberty, which won 25-14, 22-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-10, got a team-best 20 kills from McKenna Cook and 25 digs from Abbey Queen.
Other standouts included Michelle Ezenewke, who finished with a team-leading four blocks; Gabi Moulton, who had 52 assists; and Kacey Hilvert, who finished with four aces in the win.
Olentangy 3, Olentangy Berlin 2
The Bears won the fourth set to keep pace, but the Braves came up clutch when they needed to, answering with a win in the fifth to wrap up an OCC-Cardinal Division championship Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
After Berlin took the opener 25-21, Olentangy responded with wins of 25-20 and 25-22 in the second and third, respectively. Berlin took the fourth 25-22 to stay alive, but Olentangy won the fifth 16-14 to escape with the win.
Delaware Hayes 3, Franklin Heights 0
The Pacers cruised past the Golden Falcons 25-9, 25-9, 25-12 Tuesday night.
Natalie Davis finished with a team-best seven kills while Bailey Christiansen and Ryleigh Hackathorn had seven aces apiece.
Also: Big Walnut def. Canal Winchester 25-6, 25-18, 25-13.
Ryan Betts found the back of the net with 4:55 left to lift the Olentangy Berlin boys soccer team to a 2-1 win and its first outright league title in program history Tuesday night against visiting Thomas Worthington.