Their conversation might take place five minutes after a game, or even the next day, but Ali Cargin of the DeSales High School girls lacrosse team always ends up reviewing the Stallions' play with coach Joe Finotti.
After the Stallions fell to host New Albany 9-8 on April 5 for their first loss of the season, the two had plenty to discuss.
"There were missed passes, mistakes on groundballs, some three-second calls, things like that," said Cargin, a senior midfielder. "Coach usually comes to me and asks me what I think of how we're playing on defense, how we're transitioning, whatever. He wants my opinion because on the field, I can communicate with my teammates while things are happening."
Such attention to detail, not to mention depth at almost every position, has powered the Stallions to records of 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Central Independent League.
DeSales went 2-0 in the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament on April 12 at Thomas Worthington, defeating Middletown Fenwick 14-3 and Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland 10-8.
"Ali knows how to settle down the team and let them regroup," Finotti said. "She's a great on-field presence and her leadership stands out. She's a calming presence, and the way things can get during games, that's always important."
DeSales hardly has relied solely on Cargin, but she is living up to the standards expected of a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter. She has a team-high 28 goals, followed closely by freshman midfielder Jennie Finotti (25). Natalie Zolnier has 10 goals, and Liza Hornyak and Cayman Nebraska each have eight.
Nebraska, a junior attacker, set a program record for assists in a single game with seven in a season-opening 22-14 win over Watterson on March 28. She had six more in a 20-5 rout of Westerville Central on April 1.
"We have numerous girls who can shoot the ball and get it in the net, and Cayman seems to know how to find every one of them," coach Finotti said. "Jennie reminds me a lot of how Ali was at that age. She has the talent and confidence to compete with girls who are older than her. She's been a great addition."
Nebraska assisted on three of Cargin's four goals against Westerville Central. Of the 20 goals the Stallions scored against the Warhawks, 16 were assisted.
"Usually we get our points from a girl running right down the field and putting the ball in the net," Cargin said. "Sixteen goals assisted just amazes me. We all worked together so well. We have been all year."
DeSales roared into a 13-day break from games with four wins last week, as it defeated Bexley 9-6 on April 8 and Granville 14-4 on April 10 before competing in the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament.
The Stallions' schedule resumes in earnest after spring break with four games in seven days, starting with a CIL contest April 25 at Columbus School for Girls.
"We have three days of practice before that (CSG) game. We hope that'll be enough to get back in a groove," Cargin said. "That's a big stretch of the season. That's why we had to get some wins under our belt (last week)."
Boys lacrosse team off to strong start
The boys lacrosse team is off to a fast start, winning its first seven games before losing at Westerville Central 8-7 in three overtimes on April 11.
Two of DeSales' wins came in overtime, and both were clinched by goals by Tyler Klutch. He scored in the second overtime of a 6-5 win over Watterson on April 2 and in a 4-3 win over Saltsburg (Pa.) Kiski in the Wildcat Classic on April 5 at Westerville South.
DeSales, which plays an independent schedule, began a four-game homestand April 15 against Worthington Kilbourne. The Stallions' season resumes Wednesday, April 23, at home against Bexley.
Brady Krietemeyer, Nick Musci and Chris Stoll had two goals apiece against Westerville Central, and McLean Fitzmartin scored one. Ben Dumm made 17 saves.
"The biggest thing about this group is they're hungrier than last year," said coach Matt Triplet, whose team lost in a Division II state semifinal last year. "These guys know they fell short last year. They're more focused and more hungry."
Baseball team preps for Myrtle Beach trip
The baseball team's up-and-down season continued last week, but it won games April 11 and 12 to pull back above .500.
After opening CCL play April 9 with an 11-2 loss at St, Charles, a game in which it committed eight errors and was outhit 13-3, DeSales defeated Ready 14-8 on April 11 and Bexley 10-5 on April 12. The Stallions were 5-4 overall and 1-1 in the CCL before playing host to Hartley in a CCL game April 14.
Also last week, DeSales defeated Canal Winchester 6-2 on April 8 and lost to Grove City 12-2 on April 10.
The Stallions were scheduled to finish the first half of CCL play April 16 at home against Watterson. They will resume their season Monday, April 21, at the Cal Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they will play four games in as many days.
Through seven games, Keagan Lipak had a team-high .500 batting average and two RBI, Justin Thompson was hitting .444 with four doubles and Reed Norris was batting .391 with three doubles. Aaron Kienzle had the team's only home run entering the week, a grand slam in a 9-8 loss to Granville on April 5.