The score itself had little impact on how Gahanna Lincoln High School boys lacrosse coach Brett Dillon felt about the way his team competed May 19 against Worthington Kilbourne in the first round of the Division I Central Region tournament.

The score itself had little impact on how Gahanna Lincoln High School boys lacrosse coach Brett Dillon felt about the way his team competed May 19 against Worthington Kilbourne in the first round of the Division I Central Region tournament.

In its first game against one of central Ohio's oldest programs, the Lions lost 21-7 to finish 13-5 overall. Kilbourne was the state runner-up last season.

"I thought we announced our arrival," Dillon said. "The guys were real excited to step out onto the field and see how good they were. We prepared to go out onto the field and compete and we talk all year about working to make sure we step onto the field and do our jobs. What the boxscore doesn't show is that up until (late in the second quarter) it was 10-5."

Gahanna opened the tournament with a 15-10 win over Westerville Central in the play-in round May 17. It marked the second time in the Lions' three seasons competing in Division I that it won at least one tournament game.

Hindering the Lions' ability to hang with Kilbourne was the loss of senior Andrew Fuss to a head injury during the second quarter. A second-team all-region selection, he finished the season with 107 points.

Fuss and his brother, Thomas Fuss (91 points, honorable mention all-region), will play for Wittenberg University after leading the Lions' seven-member senior class. Other key seniors were defenders Nate Hengstebeck and Nick Vourvopoulos, midfielder Sean Moser and goalkeeper Mike Wilson.

Junior defender Collin Blaney, who made second-team all-region, and junior midfielders Will Bradshaw and Nate Strong should be the top returnees. Sophomore Casey Jolley had 12 saves at goalkeeper against Kilbourne.

Gahanna tied Olentangy Liberty for third in the OCC-Ohio Division at 4-2, behind co-champions Olentangy (5-1) and New Albany (5-1) and ahead of Hilliard Bradley (2-4), Hilliard Darby (1-5) and Olentangy Orange (0-6).

"Nate Strong had a real great second half of the season," said Dillon, who completed his fifth season leading the program. "Collin Blaney will be back to lead our defense and Will Bradshaw took the majority of our face-offs."

Girls team expects to return key players

The girls team lost to Granville 13-12 in overtime in the second round of the North/Central Region club division tournament May 19 to finish 7-7-1 overall.

The Lions, who were regional runners-up a year ago, are hoping to continue taking steps over the coming months to gaining varsity status.

Gahanna played a full varsity schedule for the first time a year ago.

"Hopefully, we'll continue to grow," said coach Brooke Eisenacher, who completed her second season leading the program. "We've got to get a middle school program going and I've got to get a program started for younger girls."

Gahanna went 4-3 in the OCC-Central to place fourth, behind Pickerington North (7-0), Pickerington Central (5-2) and Westerville South (5-2) and ahead of Westerville Central (3-4), Delaware (2-5), Westerville North (2-5) and Big Walnut (0-7).

The Lions lose five seniors, including midfielder Tiffany Chen, attacker Grace Clark and midfielder Alyssa Rapelje. Clark will play club lacrosse for Kentucky and Rapelje will play for Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., after being named first-team all-state, all-district and all-league. She had three assists against Granville.

Junior midfielder Bre Moser, who was first-team all-league and second-team all-district, scored six goals against Granville.

Junior attacker Kelsey Francis and junior midfielder Anna Tarbutton were second-team all-league and junior defender Maggie Maley was honorable mention all-league.

Other key players expected to return include junior attacker Emily Resch and junior defender Taylor Kulow and freshmen Kandace Glanville and Amanda Sorrell, who split time at goalkeeper.

"I have eight juniors who are going to be great leaders," Eisenacher said. "We're only losing a couple starters, so we should be in pretty good shape."