When Dublin Jerome High School boys lacrosse coach A.J. Auld describes Scioto as a "scary" team to face in the opener of the Emerald Cup series Friday at home, the reasons are multiple.

When Dublin Jerome High School boys lacrosse coach A.J. Auld describes Scioto as a "scary" team to face in the opener of the Emerald Cup series Friday at home, the reasons are multiple.

The Irish were 5-4 overall before playing Cincinnati Moeller last Wednesday, but that included an 8-5 victory over Upper Arlington on April 23. The Golden Bears are the four-time defending Division I state champion.

That, of course, is on top of the fact that Scioto is playing at full strength after the return of close defenseman Brett Mays for the game against the Bears.

Then there's what happened last year in the Emerald Cup between the three Dublin programs.

Jerome captured the Cup in 2006 by beating both area programs but opened the series last year by losing to the Irish 11-9. Coffman downed the Irish 9-7 the next week and the Celtics retained the Cup by beating the Shamrocks 14-3 as all three teams went 1-1.

The other matchups in the series feature Scioto at Coffman on Wednesday and Coffman at Jerome on May 15.

"Scioto had a couple guys hurt but now they've got Brett Mays back, who's one of the guys we identified as one of the great poles (in the Irish's win over UA)," Auld said. "They're a very dangerous team, and it's not a big surprise to see them knock off UA. Really, for us against Scioto it's going to be a matter of taking good shots and not being frustrated when A.J. makes great saves."

The goalkeeper Auld was referring to is A.J. Levell, who made 24 saves in the Irish's win over Jerome last year and had 17 against UA.

The Celtics have gotten back nearly all their key players after battling several injuries early on, but midfielder Marshall Burkhart -- a Johns Hopkins signee -- still is out with injuryÊand could be gone for the season.

Midfielders Alex VanKrevel and Eric Ruhl have led the way offensively for Jerome, which has averaged 12.5 goals per game since losing to Worthington Kilbourne 16-3 on April 2.

"A lot of times in a game like this it's about who wants it more," Scioto coach Dave Anderson said. "Jerome has a number of Division I athletes and they're definitely hard to control. Alex VanKrevel has an excellent shot and works very, very hard."

Scioto, according to Auld, has one of the fastest midfielders in the area in Taylor Rice and two of the best attackers in Rob Patridge and Liam Patridge.

Coffman also has had its ups and downs.

The Shamrocks earned their most lopsided win of the season last Friday when they beat Toledo St. John's 15-3 to snap a three-game losing streak. Top Shamrocks have included attackers Conor Kennedy and Evan Bowdy and midfielder Alex Previte.

"We're just trying to get some confidence under our belts and get into a little bit of a roll before playing Scioto," Carlson said. "It's Scioto, so the kids don't need any motivation."

•GIRLS NOTES -- The Jerome girls team will celebrate senior night when it plays host to Scioto today in a rematch of a contest it won 16-4 last season.

Both teams appear improved since that meeting. The Irish captured their first win since the 2006 season when they beat Hilliard Davidson 8-7 last Friday.

Leading the way for Jerome have been Gabby Sinmaz (68 points through eight games) and Kelly Becker (67).

"Things are finally clicking for us," Jerome coach Colleen Quinn said. "They've been passing better and gaining more confidence as the games have gone on. Gabby Sinmaz and Kelly Becker have been leading the offense and Allyse Marotta has been doing very well on the midfield. We're getting tons of ball control."

According to Scioto coach Lindsay Law, the Irish have been led by defender Abbey Rosh and midfielders Alexa Bunker and Abby Sheaf.

"The girls get excited to play the other Dublin teams," Law said. "In order to compete with Jerome, we need to play 50 minutes of good lacrosse. We can't back down or hang our heads. We have the skills and talent, we just need the heart."

Scioto's Alex Bunker finds an opening past Hilliard Davidson's Chelsea Chetterling and Rachael Griffin last Friday. The Irish won 8-7 to post their first victory since the 2006 season.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Coffman, Jerome and Scioto boys and girls lacrosse teams:

COFFMAN BOYS

*April 9 -- Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 16-7

April 12 -- Defeated Pittsburgh Central Catholic 12-3

*April 16 -- Lost to Upper Arlington 15-4

April 18 -- Lost to Hudson 7-5

*April 23 -- Lost to Thomas Worthington 10-4

Last Friday -- Def. Toledo St. John's 15-3

*Last Tuesday -- Played Hilliard Darby

Today -- At St. Charles

Saturday -- Home vs. Westerville North

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Scioto

Of note: The Shamrocks were 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before last Tuesday.

COFFMAN GIRLS

*April 17 -- Lost to UA 18-5

*April 22 -- Lost to Thomas 13-11

*Last Tuesday -- Played Hilliard Davidson

*Last Wednesday -- Played Darby

Saturday -- At Medina

Tuesday -- At Columbus Academy

Of note: The Shamrocks were 3-4 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before last Tuesday.

JEROME BOYS

*April 9 -- Lost to UA 12-11

April 12 -- Lost to Cincinnati Sycamore 12-8

*April 16 -- Def. Davidson 14-5

April 18 -- Def. Cleveland St. Ignatius 9-5

April 19 -- Lost Harmony (Pa.) Seneca Valley 11-9

Last Friday -- Lost to Hudson 10-9

*Friday -- Home vs. Scioto

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Thomas

Of note: The Celtics are 5-5 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye.

JEROME GIRLS

*April 15 -- Def. Davidson 15-8

April 17 -- Def. Columbus School for Girls 14-12

April 19 -- Def. Mason 10-9

*April 22 -- Def. Darby 20-10

Last Saturday -- Lost to Columbus Academy 15-12

Last Tuesday -- Played New Albany

*Today -- Home vs. Scioto

*Wednesday -- At Thomas

Of note: The Celtics were 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye before last Tuesday.

SCIOTO BOYS

*April 9 -- Lost to Thomas 8-4

April 11 -- Def. Westerville South 12-2

April 12 -- Def. St. Charles 12-5

*April 16 -- Lost to Kilbourne 17-5

*April 23 -- Def. UA 8-5

Last Friday -- Lost to Pittsburgh Shady Side 9-8

Last Saturday -- Def. Pittsburgh Sewickley 10-2

Last Wednesday -- Played Cincinnati Moeller

*Friday -- At Jerome

*Wednesday -- At Coffman

Of note: The Irish were 5-4 overall before last Wednesday and are 2-2 in the OCC-Buckeye.

SCIOTO GIRLS

*April 15 -- Lost to Kilbourne 15-1

April 17 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 8-5

*April 21 -- Lost to UA 20-1

*Last Friday -- Def. Davidson 8-7

Last Tuesday -- Played CSG

*Today -- At Jerome

Tuesday -- Home vs. Pickerington

Of note: The Irish were 1-8-1 overall before last Tuesday and are 1-3-1 in the OCC-Buckeye.

*OCC-Buckeye game