First-year coach Amanda DeFluiter left the Dublin Scioto High School girls lacrosse team's scrimmage March 15 against Dublin Jerome and Worthington Kilbourne with what she believed was evidence that her players have been listening.

First-year coach Amanda DeFluiter left the Dublin Scioto High School girls lacrosse team's scrimmage March 15 against Dublin Jerome and Worthington Kilbourne with what she believed was evidence that her players have been listening.

Although wins haven't come easily for the Irish the last several seasons, she saw the kind of work ethic that she has been attempting to instill since taking over the program in December.

"Try your best and forget the rest," DeFluiter said. "When they step onto the field, controlling their attitude is all that they can do. They were completely different when they stepped onto the field against Worthington Kilbourne."

DeFluiter replaced Lindsay Law, who resigned at the end of her fourth season last spring. The Irish went just 1-14-1 overall a year ago, beating Jerome 11-9 and tying Bexley at 10.

DeFluiter, a 2006 Scioto graduate who played for Wittenberg University, was an assistant under Law from 2008-10.

Her first game as head coach was March 27 against Dublin Coffman.

Seniors Gabby Bernardo (defender), Brie Lee (midfielder), Killian Sheely (attacker) and Alyssa Phillips (attacker) are among the team's key players.

Joining Bernardo on defense are junior Pamela Solano and sophomore Jenna Best. Juniors Maggie Brannam and Abigail Moore, sophomore Cory Kinder and freshman Cassie Lee also are playing in the midfield.

Sophomore Angela Lontoc is the goalkeeper.

Junior Halle Lucas, who is out with an injury, also should be a key player somewhere on the field when she returns.

Scioto went 1-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division last season to finish seventh, behind Olentangy (6-0), Olentangy Liberty (3-2), Olentangy Orange (3-2), Hilliard Davidson (3-3), Jerome (2-4) and Hilliard Bradley (2-4).

The Irish, who open league play Tuesday, April 3, at Liberty, lost to Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 13-7 in the first round of the Division I South/Central Region tournament a year ago.

"Our sophomore class is really strong, and we've got a couple freshmen who have really good skills," DeFluiter said. "We've only got 28 in the program, so our numbers are very low, but we're just very hopeful for the season."

Large returning group has Coffman optimistic

Coffman returns most of its roster after going 8-9 overall last season.

The Shamrocks opened March 27 at Scioto and begin OCC-Buckeye play on Thursday, March 29, against visiting Upper Arlington.

"We want to build on the success we had last year, as we have a lot of returning players and have added some younger players," second-year coach Michael Murphy said. "I want my team to stay strong from the very start of the season. We need to be aggressive the entire game."

Senior midfielders Claire Grace and Rachel Ulstad, senior defender Mary Kate Lewis and junior attacker Brianna Turner are the top returnees.

According to Murphy, Grace, Turner and junior Lexi Minnick combined for more than 100 goals last season. Senior Hannah Abbruzzese, junior Miranda Stellini and sophomore Kelly Murphy should be other key contributors at attacker.

Senior midfielder Courtney Stein has joined the team. She played for Jerome as a sophomore but sat out last season after transferring to Coffman.

Joining Lewis on defense are senior Emma Workman and sophomores Emma Vander Stoep and Jessica Kinzeler, while sophomores Annie Putnam and Sarah Watson are competing for playing time at goalkeeper in place of 2011 graduate Lauren Stephens.

The only other seniors last season were Devan Krider and Megan Sweet.

The Shamrocks went 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye to place fifth, behind New Albany (5-0), UA (4-1), Thomas Worthington (3-2) and Kilbourne (2-3) and ahead of Hilliard Darby (0-5).

Coffman opened the Division I Central Region tournament by beating Cincinnati St. Ursula 14-9 before losing to Cincinnati Sycamore 15-3 in a semifinal.

"We've got 13 returning letterwinners and seven returning starters, which definitely makes it a lot easier," coach Murphy said. "The girls understand the system we put in last year. The girls definitely want to be able to challenge for the OCC title and get a chance to make a good tournament run."

Senior-laden Jerome looking to improve

After having just two seniors last year, Jerome enters this season with a much more experienced lineup.

There still are question marks, however, that eighth-year coach Colleen Bender hopes began to get answered March 27 when the Celtics opened with an OCC-Ohio game against Liberty.

"I don't really know what to expect," Bender said. "I only lost two seniors, so we've got pretty much the same team back. I'm hoping my seniors become what my seniors were last year in terms of leadership."

Seniors Megan Couper and Danielle El-Hallal return to lead the defense. Seniors Elyse Fairand, Kaleigh Finnegan, Sarah Scott and Emily Sidner all are back at attacker.

Seniors Victoria Predmore and Emma Schnell and sophomore Maddie Easdale are midfielders. Predmore has verbally committed to the University of Findlay.

Junior Morgan Johnson returns at goalkeeper.

Cailey Easdale and Gabby Marotta were the only seniors last season when Jerome went 5-12 overall and tied Bradley for fifth in the OCC-Ohio. Two other players, senior Courtney Elliott and sophomore Alison Baxter, are not back with the team.

The Celtics beat Olentangy Orange 22-13 to open the Division II North/Central Region tournament last year but lost to Chagrin Falls 21-9 in a semifinal.

Marotta was named first-team all-league and scored more than 40 goals. Predmore was second-team all-league and Cailey Easdale was honorable mention all-league.

"It's going to be a tough division (of the OCC)," Bender said. "We're just going to concentrate on the basics."