A balanced approach helped the Dublin Jerome High School girls lacrosse team put together the second-longest winning streak in program history earlier this season.
The Celtics, who finished 4-14 a year ago, haven't had a winning season since going 10-6 in 2008. They had a six-game winning streak that season.
After losing to Watterson 20-13 in its opener April 2, Jerome won five games in a row before falling to Hilliard Bradley 13-9 in an OCC-Cardinal Division on April 17. The Celtics were 5-2 overall before playing Thomas Worthington on April 23 and are 2-1 in the league.
"(The) defense has stepped up their game and is playing as a unit," coach Colleen Bender said.
"Offensively, everyone has contributed. We've had 12 different players score. The team is very positive and motivated to succeed. I have been very happy with the way this team has been performing each game. We seem to be getting better."
Jerome snapped a three-game losing streak with a 13-9 win over Scioto in its league opener April 3 and beat Hilliard Darby 14-7 in league play April 10.
Entering the week, the Celtics' most lopsided win came against Gahanna, 14-3 on April 14.
Through seven games, sophomore midfielder Kailee King and sophomore attacker Claire Koontz had combined for 49 goals.
According to Bender, seniors Maddy Easdale (midfielder) and Tara Blake (defender) and sophomore Kelly Sierschula (midfielder) have been other standouts.
Jerome returns to OCC-Cardinal play Thursday, April 24, when it travels to Worthington Kilbourne.
The Celtics are 2-6 all-time against Kilbourne and have lost the last four matchups, including 19-4 last season.
Jerome plays host to Olentangy on Saturday, April 26, and Coffman on Tuesday, April 29. Last year, the Celtics lost to the Braves 16-8 and lost to the Shamrocks 19-8.
"Against Scioto, we were down 6-2 at halftime and finally woke up," Bender said. "There are 22 players on this team who want to win and, when they step on the field, they are showing it."
Defense leading way for Coffman girls
After opening with a 12-8 loss to Hartley on April 1, the Coffman girls team won six of its next seven games.
The Shamrocks, who were 6-2 overall before playing Scioto on April 22, opened OCC-Central play with a 12-10 win over Olentangy Liberty on April 17 and will continue league action Thursday, April 24, at Upper Arlington.
Coffman has lost to UA each of the last seven seasons, including a 21-8 loss last year when both teams were in the OCC-Buckeye.
"(We) got off to a slow start, losing the first game to Bishop Hartley," coach Michael Murphy said. "We bounced back to win the next (four), including defeating Cincinnati Ursuline (13-12 on April 5), a team that has owned Coffman the last several years.
"Our offense has struggled to get going early on as we work in the new players. We are working on our ball possession and understanding quality shots. We have taken some shots you'd like to have back. We've been working on knowing the situation and making that extra pass to improve our scoring opportunities."
After its opener, Coffman gave up an average of 6.9 goals over its next seven games. The Shamrocks' best defensive performance through eight games came in an 18-2 win over Westerville Central on April 8.
Seniors Katie Ash, Ally Philbin, Emma Workman and Emma Vander Stoep have led the defense, according to Murphy.
"The defense has stepped up big," Murphy said. "They're causing over four turnovers a game and really work as a unit."
Through eight games, senior attacker Kylie Kayser had a team-high 27 goals and junior midfielder Riley Steiner had 19. Seniors Kelly Murphy (attacker) and Jenna Jacobs (defender/attacker) also have been offensive standouts, according to coach Murphy.
Scioto girls looking for consistency
The Scioto girls team resumes OCC-Cardinal action Thursday, April 24, at Bradley.
The Irish were 5-4 overall before playing Coffman on April 22 and are 2-1 in the league. After opening league play with the loss to Jerome, they beat Marysville 17-4 on April 10 and Hilliard Darby 14-10 on April 17.
The Irish entered the week still looking to win consecutive games.
"We've had to make a lot of position adjustments this year due to injuries, and the girls are adjusting well," coach Amanda Schroyer said. "We're working really hard to give 100 percent the entire game, have positive attitudes and encourage all teammates to give their best. We're working on transitioning the ball quickly down the field and winning 50-50 balls."
Junior midfielder Cassie Lee had six goals in a season-opening 12-11 overtime win over Westerville South on April 1, and junior attacker Abby Smoot had eight goals in a 14-12 win over Pickerington North on April 5.
Sophomore attacker Catherine Howard had seven goals and Lee added four against Marysville and senior goalkeeper Angela Lontoc had 12 saves against Jerome.
Against Darby, Howard had five goals, senior midfielder Coryanna Kinder scored three and Lontoc had 10 saves.