Pioneers edge Braves for district title


By Ben Stroup - [email protected]



Olentangy Orange players celebrate after taking a 1-0 lead in the early stages of Saturday’s Division I district championship game against Olentangy. The game was played at Dublin Jerome.

Olentangy Orange players celebrate after taking a 1-0 lead in the early stages of Saturday’s Division I district championship game against Olentangy. The game was played at Dublin Jerome.


Ben Stroup | The Gazette

Entering the season, the Olentangy Orange girls soccer team had played in five straight district championship games.

Two of those, both losses, came to rival Olentangy (2018 and 2020).

This time around, though, in Saturday’s district final at Dublin Jerome, the third-seeded Pioneers came out on top as Kaelyn Valleau chipped in a goal and an assist to help her team get over the hump with a 2-1 win over sixth-seeded Olentangy.

Valleau, who poured in a team-leading five goals in a 9-0 semifinal win over Worthington Kilbourne, broke the scoring seal less than six minutes into the action off a feed from Emma Barnhart.

Olentangy answered with a rocket off the foot of Olivia Heskett about 10 minutes later, and things stayed knotted at one until the break, but Valleau found Ava Otey for what proved to be the game-winner with about 30 minutes left.

The win sets up a showdown with Olentangy Berlin in today’s regional semifinal at Big Walnut. Action is set to get underway at 7 p.m.

Olentangy Berlin 1, Watterson 0, SO

Fina Davy, Reese Hinkle, Roisin Kennedy and Ali de Garcia converted penalty kicks to lift the top-seeded Bears to a 4-2 shootout win over the 10th-seeded Eagles in a Division I district championship Saturday in Marysville.

After the teams battled to a scoreless draw through regulation and a pair of 15-minute overtime periods, Davy came up with a clutch conversion to open the shootout.

Berlin keeper Claire Walden then came up with a key save on a try by Watterson’s Erin Scully before Hinkle and Kennedy converted to make it 3-1.

Emma Miller nailed her attempt to pull Watterson within 3-2 before de Garcia scored to end it.

The win snapped a string of three straight district titles for the Eagles, while earning the Bears their first in program history.

Dublin Jerome 1, Olentangy Liberty 0

Sophia Penegor, fresh off her four-goal performance in the previous round against Delaware Hayes, scored the game’s only goal to lift the second-seeded Celtics to a win over the eighth-seeded Patriots in a Division I district championship Saturday in Lewis Center.

Imani Kissi had the assist for Jerome, which will play New Albany in today’s regional final at DeSales.

BOYS SOCCER

Brannon Spencer, just a sophomore, scored a pair of goals to lead fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty to a 2-0 win over top-seeded Olentangy in a Division I district championship Saturday night in Dublin.

Spencer opened the scoring summary off a feed from Aidan Gordon midway through the first half. Later, he sealed the deal by beating the Braves’ keeper on a breakaway with just more than 10 minutes left.

The win avenged a 1-0 setback at the hands of the Braves in the last week of the regular season … and earned the Patriots their first district title since 2019.

Next up, Liberty will take on Dublin Jerome in Wednesday’s regional semifinal at Westerville Central. First kick is slated for 6 p.m.

Olentangy Orange players celebrate after taking a 1-0 lead in the early stages of Saturday’s Division I district championship game against Olentangy. The game was played at Dublin Jerome.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/10/web1_IMG_7916-2.jpgOlentangy Orange players celebrate after taking a 1-0 lead in the early stages of Saturday’s Division I district championship game against Olentangy. The game was played at Dublin Jerome. Ben Stroup | The Gazette

By Ben Stroup

[email protected]