St. Ursula celebrates a victory over Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit in a Division II state semifinal in Tiffin. The Arrows finished with a 15-7-1 record.
It was a year of unprecedented success for girls soccer in northwest Ohio.
Only one girls team from the area had ever advanced to the state semifinals before this season. But Archbold, Northview, and St. Ursula all made school history by reaching the final four in their divisions.
St. Ursula took it a step farther and joined its school's volleyball team in the state championship game. But the Arrows' (15-7-1) improbable run in Division II ended with a 2-0 loss to Columbus St. Francis DeSales.
St. Ursula upset Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, last year's Division I champion and the fourth-ranked team in the nation, in penalty kicks in the state semifinal. The Arrows shut out Bowling Green 5-0 to win the district title, and followed with regional wins over Akron Hoban (1-0) and Bellville Clear Fork (5-2).
St. Ursula had reached the state semifinals in 2004 but lost to Walsh Jesuit.
Northview (13-5-4) claimed its first Division I regional championship and advanced to the D-I state semifinals for the first time in school history. The Wildcats ended up losing 3-0 to Strongsville, the second ranked team in the state.
The Wildcats' run included a 1-0 win over top-ranked Perrysburg in the regional semifinals. The Yellow Jackets (19-1-1) went unbeaten in the Northern Lakes League (7-0-0) to win the school's first league title since 1996. They were ranked No. 1 for most of the season.
Archbold finished its historic season with a 19-2-1 record. It won a Northwest Ohio Athletic League and then reached the Division III state semifinal where the Blue Streaks lost to Shaker Heights Laurel 1-0.
On the boys side, Ottawa Hills (18-1-2) earned the No. 1 state ranking in Division III for most of the season. The Green Bears then reached the regional final where they lost a heartbreaker in a game that went to penalty kicks.
Ottawa Hills fell 2-1 to Mansfield Christian in the second round of penalty kicks. The Green Bears, state champions three years ago, had defeated unranked Mansfield Christian (14-4-3) 4-1 in a season opener. Ottawa Hills outscored its opponents 95-14.
In Division I, St. John's Jesuit made the deepest run. The Titans (18-3-0) won a district championship and then advanced to the regional final for the second straight season. But they saw their season end with a 3-2 loss to Copley.
-- Mark Monroe