Watterson High School girls lacrosse coach Jack Conte believes his team is getting on track after losing four of its first seven games.
The Eagles are 5-5 overall and 0-3 in the Central Independent League entering a home game against Granville on Tuesday, April 29. They haven't played since losing to Bexley 8-6 in a league game April 15.
"We started off the season as a Jekyll and Hyde team, where we would play really good one game and be lackadaisical in the next," Conte said. "I think we could have won every game we've played this year. For example, we went up 4-0 on DeSales (in a 22-14 league loss March 28) and then stopped playing aggressive. And we had Hartley beat, before we gave up a last-second goal in regulation and lost in overtime (14-13 in a league game April 8).
"But we've played hard the past three games and we were able to beat a good Stow-Munroe Falls team (10-7 on April 12) and beat Marysville (28-1 on April 14) by our biggest margin of victory ever. We also lost to a very good Bexley team in a close game that could have gone either way."
After playing Granville, the Eagles will face a stern test when they travel to Columbus Academy on May 1 for a league game.
"We've played a lot of the tougher teams on our schedule and the competition is going to be a little bit easier when we return from our break and finish the second half of our season," said Conte, whose team has yet to win or lose more than two consecutive games. "We're looking forward to playing Columbus Academy, though, because they are a real good team we can test ourselves against."
Leading Watterson in scoring are Ellie Wood (38 goals, 5 assists), Mackenzie James (33 goals, 4 assists), Torie Sullivan (10 goals), Anne Reed (9 goals) and Andi Hogsett (7 goals).
According to Conte, leading the team defensively are Amy Buening, Jennifer Buening, Angela Elmo and Margret McGowan and goalkeeper Anna Hartman.
"Mackenzie James is scoring well and Ellie Wood is having a great season after separating her (right) shoulder in our third game of the season," Conte said. "Every time Ellie takes a shot with her right arm, she has to sit out a few minutes to deal with the pain, but she keeps coming back and playing well."
Guza twins continue to lead tennis team
The boys tennis team has struggled this season, falling to 1-6 overall with a 4-1 loss to Olentangy Orange on April 16, but seniors Mark Guza and Michael Guza are 7-0 at first doubles.
"The Guza brothers have very good positioning and they keep the ball low," coach Steve Crossin said. "They are aggressive and they close out points when they need to."
The Eagles finished seventh (12 points) in the eight-team Hilliard Doubles Classic on April 12 at Davidson behind champion St. Charles (32).
Going 2-1 and placing fifth were Ryan Maur and Stev Gregory in the second flight and Jae-Suk Bae and Michael O'Brien in the third flight.
"We lost the first match in all four flights, and after you do that, the best you can do is win your next two to place fifth, so I'm pleased that two of our doubles teams were able to do that," Crossin said.
Watterson will play host to DeSales on Monday, April 28, and travel to defending CCL champion St. Charles on Tuesday, April 29, for two key league matches. The Eagles, who opened CCL play with a 5-0 win over Ready on April 8, lost to Cardinals 3-2 and beat the Stallions 4-1 last season en route to placing second in the league.
"These are the two matches we've been focused on because they will decide the CCL," Crossin said. "St. Charles won the Davidson doubles tournament, so they look like the team to beat, but I think we've got a shot at winning these matches if we play well on all five courts."
Record misleading for boys lacrosse team
Boys lacrosse coach Tom Foley believes his team's record is misleading.
Watterson lost three of its first five games, but two of its losses -- DeSales 6-5 on April 2 and New Albany 8-7 on April 11 -- came in double overtime. Its other loss came against Pickerington Central (8-5 on April 8).
The Eagles defeated Bexley 12-3 on April 4 and Marysville 18-3 on April 15.
"We're 2-3, but we're playing well and we've been so close in every game," Foley said. "We tied DeSales with four seconds to go in regulation on a goal by Eli Kirk and we had at least four good looks to beat them in the two overtimes, but we just couldn't put the ball in the goal.
"We were down 5-1 at New Albany and we came back to take a 7-6 lead before they tied us late to put that game into overtime. We had a couple of good looks in the first overtime, but we didn't finish them, either."
Against Marysville, Hunter Spencer had five goals, Tommy Hatem, Adam Kasun, Andrew McQuade, A.J. Rigsby and Riley Taylor each scored two and Austin Schlosser had five saves.
According to Foley, the defense has been led by John Blevins, Nicolas Giesler, Nick Melaragno and Derek Petrucci.
"Our guys are in great shape and we've been outrunning people this year to make up for our lack of skill and experience," Foley said. "Our goalie, Austin Schlosser, has been playing lights out and our defense has been unbelievable. We've had some decent, balanced scoring, too."