Olentangy Orange, Dublin Jerome, Grandview Heights win OHSAA girls soccer regional semis

Division I

Olentangy Orange 1, Olentangy Berlin 0

Kaelyn Valleau scored her sixth goal in three games to give Orange the victory over the Bears in a regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Big Walnut.

The Pioneers (18-1-3) advanced to play Dublin Jerome for the regional championship at 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at Marysville.

Orange and Berlin tied at 1 on Oct. 13 to end the regular season. Valleau was able to put her team ahead in the rematch, and the Pioneers’ defense did the rest.

The Olentangy Orange girls soccer team celebrates its 1-0 win over Olentangy Berlin in a Division I regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Big Walnut.

The senior forward raced downfield and scored on a breakaway with 19 minutes, 1 second left in the second half.

“The only thing in my head was, ‘This is the regional semis so I have to score this goal, and we have to win,’ ” said Valleau, a Ball State recruit. “That’s all I could think of. That, and the celebration that would be coming in 5 seconds if I scored.

“We wanted to find the switch, the open player. They play really on one side of the field so the other side of the field is really open. That’s how we scored during the game in the (regular) season, and that’s how we scored this time.”

Olentangy Berlin’s Ali de Gracia (left) and Roisin Kennedy console one another following the a 1-0 loss to Olentangy Orange on Nov. 1. Also pictured is Emma Budic.

Orange goalie Jadia Kershaw had seven saves. The Seton Hall recruit also recorded her 14th shutout to break the single-season program record of 2021 graduate Amanda Poorbaugh, who is playing at Penn State.

“Defending has been our bread and butter but we’re finding ways to score this year,” Orange coach Tim Lawrence said. “It was all-hands on defense, and our seam defending was outstanding.

“The focus was to keep it away from (Cameryn) Susey; she’s a heck of a player. If she did get it, we had to make sure we had a lot of cover so the first defender there would know they had someone to help.”

Goalie Claire Walden had five saves for Berlin, which finished 18-2-1 after winning its first district championship Oct. 29.

Bears coach Tara Zimmer wasn’t surprised the game was close.

“It’s an intra-district rivalry with the season on the line in a regional semifinal,” she said.

—Scott Hennen

Dublin Jerome’s Megan Michels and New Albany’s Abby Bojko compete during a Division I regional semifinal Nov. 1 at DeSales. Jerome won 2-1, with Michels scoring the second goal for a 2-0 lead on a penalty kick with 12:38 remaining.

Dublin Jerome 2, New Albany 1

Jerome earned its first regional final berth since 2017 by holding off New Albany at DeSales.

Story continues

The Celtics improved to 17-1-1 and advanced to face Orange. The Eagles finished 14-6.

“This a great group of kids, they work hard and I was up for the challenge,” first-year Jerome coach Georgi Petrov said. “They’ve been waiting for someone to come and push them to their limits, and they’ve been performing to their limits, so I’m very excited for them.”

The Celtics’ sustained pressure for most of the first half finally paid off when Darian Mitchell beat Eagles goalie Meryn Canowitz with 3:24 to play before halftime.

The Celtics made it 2-0 when Megan Michels converted on a penalty kick with 12:38 remaining.

New Albany scored on a penalty kick as Maci Sammons beat Jerome goalie Hayden Stoner with 3:50 left.

Stoner finished with four saves, while Canowitz recorded eight.

“We made it difficult,” New Albany coach Jared Dombrowski said. “My hat goes off to Jerome. They’re a good group. They’re going to find some success against Orange. It should be a very good game. It’s frustrating because whenever you get here you want to keep going. You never want the season to end, but I couldn’t be prouder of this group.”

Jerome played without leading scorer Sophia Penegor for about 20 minutes in the first half after she sprained her left ankle. Penegor returned with 10:30 remaining in the half and said she expects to play in the regional final.

—Frank DiRenna

Grandview Heights’ Natalie Smith celebrates after scoring on a late penalty kick for her second goal of the night to put the Bobcats up 3-2 in a Division III regional semifinal against Berlin Hiland on Nov. 1 at Westerville Central.

Division III

Grandview Heights 3, Berlin Hiland 2

Natalie Smith has a plan when she takes a penalty kick and it worked perfectly. The junior midfielder scored twice on penalty kicks to lead the Bobcats over the Hawks in a regional semifinal at Westerville Central.

Grandview faces Lynchburg-Clay for the regional championship at 11 a.m. Nov. 5 at Logan.

Smith scored the winning goal with 7:42 remaining after converting her first to give Grandview a 2-1 lead with 1:19 left in the first half.

“(It’s) definitely just like a pass,” said Smith, whose team improved to 15-3-2. “You don’t need to shoot it. (If you do), you’re overthinking it. Just pass it to the corners right where the goalies can’t reach it. I think our team definitely played our hardest and we’re definitely a family. I think we were really good.”

Teammate Gracie Ferris was fouled in the box by Hiland goalie Itzelle Guzman to force the second kick, and Melana Pomerants’ corner kick went off the hand of a Hiland defender on the first.

“It’s simple mistakes,” said Hiland coach Conner Lee, whose team finished 15-4-1. “Unfortunately, a hand ball and then you can’t put your hands on the back of a kid in the box. It went their way (and) it’s tough.”

Grandview Heights’ Vivian Chute celebrates with teammates after a 3-2 win over Berlin Hiland in a Division III regional semifinal Nov. 1 at Westerville Central.

It was Grandview’s first appearance in a regional semifinal since 2018, when it lost to Zanesville Rosecrans 2-1 in a shootout. Now, the Bobcats hope to make state for the third time, following trips in 2015 and 2017.

“That’s a first for us having two penalty kicks in a game, that’s for sure,” Bobcats coach Bre Dominach said. “We do a lot of PKs in practice. There’s a handful of them where anytime we have a water break or a down moment, they’re taking shots on (Vivian Chute), our keeper. (It’s) for moments like this.”

The Bobcats started fast when Ellie Smith scored off a Lucia Mastroianni centering pass with 37:38 left in the first half.

They had eight corner kicks in the first 12 minutes, but couldn’t convert on any of them.

Emily Gingerich scored twice for Hiland, tying the game at 1 with 10:10 remaining in the first half and tying it at 2 less than three minutes into the second half.

The Hawks, who won their first district title in 2020, lost in a regional semifinal for the third consecutive season.

—Michael Rich

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This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Orange, Jerome, Grandview win OHSAA girls soccer regional semis


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