Girls Soccer: Centerville blanks defending state champion Lakota West to reach state semifinals

The Centerville girls soccer team won its xx district title with a 2-1 win over Oak Hills. The Elks will play Mason on Tuesday in a Division I regional semifinal. Oakwood (Division II) and Waynesville (Division III) also are playing in the regional semis. CONTRIBUTED
The Centerville girls soccer team won its xx district title with a 2-1 win over Oak Hills. The Elks will play Mason on Tuesday in a Division I regional semifinal. Oakwood (Division II) and Waynesville (Division III) also are playing in the regional semis. CONTRIBUTED

Elks advance to final four for 10th time

Mia Robillard couldn’t help but agree that Saturday was the best day of her life – but she had one qualifier.

“So far,” she said.

Fresh off winning the Division I individual state cross country championship and helping Centerville capture the team title in Obetz, she arrived at Lakota West 20 minutes before kickoff and helped the Elks girls soccer team beat defending state champion Lakota West, 2-0, in the Division I regional final.

Explore1-2 finish leads Elks to fifth state title in seven years

Senior midfielder Kenzie Smith and senior defender Braelen Devoe each scored second-half goals and junior goalkeeper Allison Colopy made five saves as Centerville (19-1-1) earned its 10th state semifinal berth and first since 2011.

The Elks, ranked sixth in the final Division I statewide coaches poll, are scheduled to meet Region 3champion Lewis Center Olentangy (17-2-2) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Springfield High School. Olentangy advanced with a 1-0 win over No. 7 Columbus Bishop Watterson on Saturday.

Smith and Devoe became the 13th and 14th players to score at least one goal in the Elks five postseason games.

“This team hustles and has focus,” said coach Jim Gobrail, whose team was making its first regional final appearance since 2015. “Different people have stepped up in every game. We’ve gotten past a lot of adversity. One of our strengths is, if you do a scouting report on us, there’s not one person you have to shut down.”

Lakota West (18-4-0) was striving for its fourth regional championship, but needed to play almost perfectly against a speedy Centerville team.

“They capitalized on our mistakes,” Firebirds coach Brigit Reder said. “They got two set pieces, two corner kicks, and hammered them home.”

Smith broke the scoreless tie in the 56th minute with a point-blank range goal off a corner kick by junior midfielder Hailey Jeng. DeVoe padded the lead in the 67th minute with a header off a corner kick by junior midfielder Izzy Laidly.

The Firebirds, who rode an 11-match winning streak into the regional final and beat top-ranked Mount Notre Dame, 3-2, in the regional semifinal, couldn’t find a way to penetrate and get past Colopy. They managed an four shots on goal while Colopy was logging her 13th shutout of the season.

“We didn’t adjust,” Reder said. "We just never found a way to attack that would take her out of her game.

“(Centerville) came out and played exactly as we thought they would. We didn’t adjust. They took advantage of our mistakes.”

Centerville effectively shut down Lakota West’s two-pronged attack of senior forward Kailyn Dudukovich and senior defender Sydney Jones. Dudukovich had scored 15 goals in the Firebirds' first five postseason games. Jones had added six.

“We’re not dumb,” Gobrail said. “We knew we had to shut down Kailyn and Sydney.”

Meanwhile, Robillard just keeps living the dream.

“I absolutely love it,” she said. “I’m so grateful to my coaches for letting me play both sports. I’m happy to be able to do this more than anything.”

She admitted that she was a bit tired.

“It’s been busy, but it’s been so much fun,” she said.

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