Patriots unfazed by first setback
It's a matter of perspective for the Olentangy Liberty High School girls lacrosse team.
Despite losing to host New Albany 19-12 on April 18, coach Abby Osborn was pleased with the Patriots' performance given that they had been outscored 57-7 in their previous three meetings with the Eagles.
New Albany won the first matchup 19-1 in 2008 and beat the Patriots 17-3 in 2009 and 21-3 in 2010. The teams did not face each other the past two seasons.
"In the past few meetings, they were beating us by about 20 goals," said Osborn, whose team is 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division heading into its home game against Orange on Thursday, April 25. "The girls fought hard and I'm really proud of them."
The Patriots trailed 19-10 before scoring twice in the final 32 seconds on goals by sophomore attacker Katie Wetterauer-Jackson and junior midfielder Erin Hedrick.
"New Albany jumped out to a 4-0 lead. But with 13 minutes left in the first half, we cut the deficit to 6-5," Osborn said. "That's probably as close as we have ever been to them that late in the game.
"Our girls went out and played 50 minutes and showed a lot of heart playing against a high-level team like that. They never let up."
Senior attacker Rachel Henderson and sophomore attacker Dani Bursinger both had three goals against New Albany. Wetterauer-Jackson and sophomore attacker Kelley Fitzgerald each scored twice and sophomore goalkeeper Elise Miller had six saves.
"We were trying to be calm about the game because (New Albany is) the toughest team we have played this year and we did what we could to keep up with them," said Henderson, who has committed to playing for Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. "We really have been working on our set offense and we have been able to have more movement and throw off the defenses."
Senior defender Morgan Mallory said the Patriots' success can be attributed to the players playing as a unit.
"I think we have just started to learn to play as a team," she said. "We have had a lot of good individual talent, but now we're playing together and that has helped us so far this season.
"It's kind of a bummer that we lost (to New Albany), especially because we played so well after losing so badly in the past. I think we could probably communicate better on the field so we would know who to slide for or who to pick up. We need to let (our teammates) know when we have their back on the field."
Osborn said the effort put forth by her players will be key in the coming weeks.
"We have been playing as a team on defense and playing very unselfishly on offense," she said. "We have to keep moving the ball and make sure we see the open players on the field. We have to keep practicing that."
Braves girls team continues on roll
Olentangy was 6-2 overall before playing Thomas Worthington on April 23 and entered the contest on a three-game winning streak.
Junior midfielder Rachel Dietz had six goals, senior midfielder Kate Huter scored five and senior midfielder Mallory Quiggle scored four in a 19-5 win over Hilliard Davidson on April 18 as the Braves improved to 3-0 in the OCC-Ohio.
Sophomore goalie Madison Barnes had seven saves against the Wildcats and junior goalie Emily Petrole had one.
Orange girls team out to strong start
Orange was 4-2 overall before playing Worthington Kilbourne on April 23 and is 1-0 in the OCC-Ohio entering its game against host Liberty on Thursday, April 25.
The Pioneers lost to Thomas Worthington 9-7 on April 18. Sophomore attacker Lauren Nobile had three goals, senior midfielder Maria Nobile and senior attacker Grace Smith both scored two and senior goalie Bailey Castillo had seven saves.
Orange defeated Marysville 15-12 on April 17.