To say its being underutilized for the OHSAA state soccer championships is an understatement.
Half of the stadium is blocked off.
Fans are seated behind the team’s benches.
It makes sense for a lot of different reasons.
Fans scattered about a vast stadium that holds more than 20,000 doesn’t exactly create a lively atmosphere. Plus, photos (and video) taken from the opposite side creates a nice illusion of a bigger crowd.
In that matter, it’s very Vince McMahon, pro wrestler extraordinaire. The WWE is famous for “jam-packed, capacity crowds” of 10,000 on the opposite side of the television cameras, with upper decks roped off and blackened out.
Perhaps that is a little unfair to the WWE. A lot of companies and events do it. But, how else could I get a pro wrestling reference into my high school state soccer coverage?
With that being said, the crowds at the state soccer championships have been energetic and good-sized, creating a fun atmosphere for the games.
The girls are as lucky as the boy’s were yesterday: clear, sunny skies, perhaps a bit chillier than yesterday at 63 degrees. Then again, I’m only cold because the air conditioner has been on in the press box since yesterday.
Division I girls state championship
Walsh Jesuit 3, Pickerington North 0
Behind two goals and an assist from sophomore Sandra Yu, Walsh Jesuit won its fifth state championship in school history with a 3-0 win over Pickerington North. Senior Kelsey Smigel had the Warrior's third goal.
The Warriors have been in the state final four in 10 of the last 12 seasons and now have an Ohio state record five state championships. Women's official OHSAA tournaments have only been held for 26 years.
Although this is the first championship for Walsh's senior class, who struggled for three seasons before finally earning a title on their last attempt. In 2007 they lost in the state semifinals and in 2008 they didn't even make it out of regional play.
Last year's state semifinal loss to Medina prompted Yu to promise a trip to Columbus to coach Dino McIntyre.
Division II girls state championship
Cincinnati Madeira 2, Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 1 (OT)