In its first year playing a full varsity schedule, the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls club lacrosse team already has secured a winning record as well as its first Club Division tournament victory.

In its first year playing a full varsity schedule, the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls club lacrosse team already has secured a winning record as well as its first Club Division tournament victory.

Perhaps just as impressive to first-year coach Brooke Eisenacher is how the Lions have started to execute plays.

During its 17-13 opening-round tournament win over Beachwood on May 21, Gahanna got five goals from sophomore Anna Tarbutton and four from junior Alyssa Rapelje but also had six others score at least one goal.

The victory advanced the Lions to a regional final on Friday, May 27, at top-seeded North Canton. The regional champion advances to a state semifinal on June 3. The state final is June 4.

North Canton beat Granville 12-6 in a regional semifinal May 21 to improve to 8-3.

The Lions won three of their final five regular-season games, beating Westerville North 12-11 on May 2, Westerville Central 18-12 on May 5 and Big Walnut 18-12 on May 16, and losing to Pickerington North 12-7 on May 9 and Watterson 13-8 on May 19.

Gahanna improved to 11-6 with the win over Beachwood.

"I got a chance to get a lot of my girls playing time (against Beachwood)," Eisenacher said. "We played really well. We're finally starting to pass and throw. We're starting to get some assists."

Rapelje and Tarbutton first picked up the game a year ago and have led the way from the midfield position.

The Lions have just two seniors who get regular playing time in goalkeepers Nichole Binkoski and Dani Merz.

Sophomores Kelsey Francis, Katie Mackall and Breana Moser also have been key players, according to Eisenacher. Against Beachwood, Rapelje had three assists, junior Grace Clark had two and Francis had one.

Tarbutton was "absolutely thrilled" about winning a tournament game.

"Our whole team came together, and it was a whole team effort," Tarbutton said. "At the beginning of the year, half of our team had never touched a stick before. It's been a complete 360 from where we were at the beginning of last year."

"We're really pumped and excited," Rapelje said. "We all click really well, which is such a big part of it."

•The boys team loses two seniors in Ian Renda and Andrew Winters after finishing 7-9 overall.

The Lions opened the Division I Central Region tournament May 19 with a 14-11 loss at Westerville South. Junior Thomas Fuss had four goals, Renda and junior Andrew Fuss both scored three and junior Sean Moser scored one. Freshman goalkeeper Casey Jolly had 10 saves.

Others eligible to return include juniors Tyler Grassman, Nate Hengstebeck and Nick Vourvopoulos and sophomores Collin Blaney, Will Bradshaw and Nate Strong.

The Lions tied Olentangy Orange for sixth in the OCC-Ohio at 1-5, behind Olentangy Liberty (5-0), Olentangy (5-1), New Albany (4-2), Hilliard Darby (2-3) and Hilliard Bradley (2-4).

Liberty had its league game against Darby postponed multiple times and, entering the week, still hadn't played the Panthers.

Gahanna lost five of its first seven games but won three of its next four, including a 19-18 overtime win over Westerville Central on April 25. The Lions beat Bradley 10-9 on May 11 and Dublin Scioto 16-8 on May 13 to close the regular season.

"We knew entering the season that we had a lot of holes to fill and that we had a lot of young athletes to get up to speed within our system," coach Brett Dillon said. "We laid out some realistic goals throughout the year and I believe we accomplished those and even showed some glimpses into what's to come."