With just six returning players and four seniors, coach Art Baschnagel of the Marysville boys club lacrosse team realizes it might take time for his squad to develop this season.
After suffering lopsided losses in their first three games, Baschnagel began to see that development in the Monarchs' 14-10 loss to Big Walnut on April 9 at Marysville High School.
Marysville lost to Columbus Academy 15-6 on April 2, Lebanon 14-1 on April 3 and Hilliard Bradley 16-4 on April 6.
"We just have to keep growing," said Baschnagel, who has been the only coach for the team, which is in its fourth season. "We're still real young. We only have four seniors this year, so hopefully with time these guys will move the ball better to one another. We're just trying to get the stick skills down now. They just need to learn how to defensively move."
Marysville and Big Walnut were tied at 4 in the second quarter, but the Golden Eagles led 7-4 at halftime.
Marysville made it 10-8 on junior midfielder Chris Phillips' goal late in the third quarter, but could not get closer.
Senior attacker Adam Capuano, who is the coach's stepson, scored five goals. Last season, Capuano led the team in scoring with 49 goals and 38 assists and was first-team all-region and second-team all-state.
Senior goalkeeper Alec Todd, another returning player, made 15 saves against Big Walnut. Junior attacker Andrew Benjamin scored two goals, and junior attacker Casey Little and junior midfielder Jacob Burge also scored.
The other returning players are Burge, senior midfielder Danny Barr, senior defender Alec Marshall and junior midfielder Aaron Carpenter.
Barr attends North Union.
Other players are juniors Colin Cassidy (defender), Nick Mazza (midfielder), Steve Milroy (defender) and Chance Nelson (midfielder), sophomores Gage Auxter (midfielder), Blake Curry (attacker/midfielder), Justin Reynolds (goalie) and Keano Smith (defender) and freshman Andrew Blumenschein (defender).
Barr, Capuano, Marshall and Todd are captains.
The team is playing all of its home games at the high school for the first time, and Basch-nagel is hoping by next season the players will receive recognition from the school with awards and participation letters.
Last season, the Monarchs finished 5-9 and won their first postseason game, defeating Licking County Legend Lacrosse 10-3 in a play-in game of the 23-team club division tournament before losing to Avon Lake 12-7 in the first round.
"We started out with a good number of young kids," Baschnagel said. "The younger you are with this sport, the better you're going to end up being. We're doing well and our age is starting to come up, so hopefully we'll continue on doing it."
Girls lacrosse team seeks improvement
The girls club lacrosse team is 1-3 entering its game against Granville on Monday, April 15.
Marysville defeated Hilliard Darby 12-11 on April 6. It lost to Dublin Scioto (12-4 on April 4), Westerville South (15-3 on April 8) and Gahanna (14-7 on April 9).
"The transition (game) was good (against Gahanna)," third-year coach Amanda Warner said. "They were talking out there and that's some of the basic things we've been working on -- and as a new team what we do need to be working on -- the fundamentals."
After finishing 0-10 in its first season in 2011, the team went 6-10 last season.
"Mainly, our first year was learning something from every game," Warner said. "Now we're actually being able to develop our game because our passing skills are better, our communication is better, our fundamentals are better -- still could be better than they are now -- but we're getting there.
"And now I'm able to develop some concept of the game and some actual strategy."
Against Darby, senior attacker Kate Basinger scored six goals. Last season, she led the team with 50 goals.
Returning junior goalie Cassie Todd had nine saves against Gahanna and 11 against Darby.
Also back is senior attacker Haley Hewlett, who scored 43 goals last season.
Other returnees are seniors Jessica Brown (midfielder), Savannah Hall (attacker), Hannah Hunt (midfielder), Kelsey Mack (attacker), Taylor McConnell (midfielder) and Devan Smith (midfielder) and juniors Jessica Bruce (defender), Brandi Dalton (attacker), Courtney Hickey (attacker), Ali Jacobs (midfielder), Audrey Minor (attacker), Caitlin Ogden (attacker), Christina Peck (attacker) and Hannah Staats (defender).
Freshman Karlee Basinger (midfielder) and Kate Basinger are sisters.
Boys tennis team 'hungry' for wins
The boys tennis team opened the season 2-2, including a 5-0 win over Westland on April 9 in its OCC-Central Division opener.
Marysville's match against Marion Harding on April 10 was postponed because of bad weather.
The Monarchs also defeated Kenton 5-0 on April 3. They lost to Darby 4-1 on April 1 and Grove City 4-1 on April 4.
By beating Westland, the Monarchs equaled their win total from last season, when they went 2-16 overall.
"I've got a great group of hardworking guys that are hungry for some more wins and, with a good level of focus, they'll be sure to get some," fourth-year coach Brian Ash said.
Senior Gavin Bushong has been playing first singles.
Back are senior Erik Klaus, who is playing second singles, and junior Hunter Cox, who is playing first doubles with sophomore Devin Syar.
Also back is senior James Johnstone, who is playing second doubles with sophomore Javan Bushong, Gavin's brother.
Sophomore Thomas Fain is playing third singles.
The other returnees are seniors Jacob Beil and Jamie Tutak.
Last season, the Monarchs did not have a Division I district qualifier. Cox and 2012 graduate Mitch Woodruff won two doubles matches in the Reynoldsburg sectional before losing to Groveport's Dylan Merle and Evan Zimmerman 6-4, 6-2 in a quarterfinal, one win shy of advancing to district.
Marysville finished eighth (9 points, 0-7) in the OCC-Cardinal behind Dublin Jerome (86, 7-0), Scioto (56, 6-1), Westerville Central (51, 5-2), Olentangy Liberty (49, 4-3), Westerville South (36, 3-4), Westerville North (22, 2-5) and Olentangy (14, 1-6).
The Monarchs now are competing in the OCC-Central with Central Crossing, Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Davidson, Liberty, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington and Westland.
"Our goals are to improve with at least five wins and to jump three spots up from our eighth-place finish in our OCC division," Ash said.