Olentangy Valley News

Lacrosse

Braves top Patriots in 'biggest game of year'

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Kate Huter and the Olentangy High School girls lacrosse team knew the importance of beating Liberty.

The senior midfielder said her team was focused during its pregame warm-up and held that mindset throughout the contest April 30 as the Braves earned a 19-14 victory at home to remain unbeaten in the OCC-Ohio Division.

Olentangy was 10-2 overall after defeating CSG 20-12 on May 6 and 3-0 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Dublin Scioto on May 7.

"We talked before the game that this was the biggest game of the year for us," said Huter, who had five goals and three assists. "We were the most focused we had been all year during warm-ups and it showed."

The Braves led 13-9 at halftime and weren't about to let history repeat itself.

"Last year, we had a big lead and kept driving to the goal," Huter said. "Liberty made steals and came back to win after we had a seven-goal lead. We weren't going to let that happen this year, so we did our best to stay calm and confident, and we kept things under control."

The Braves won the OCC-Ohio title in 2011, but that comeback victory gave Liberty the championship last season. Coach Chelsea Huguenard said her Braves want to take the league trophy away from their rivals.

"There was a lot of pressure because we really wanted to win the OCC again," Huguenard said. "This game means a lot to the seniors and we wanted to do what we could to win it.

"And that made an already difficult game even tougher. It's always a tough game whether it's high- or low-scoring. It doesn't matter when these teams get together."

Sophomore midfielder Katie Stegmann had three goals and one assist and junior attacker Rachel Dietz had three goals against Liberty. Senior attacker Mallory Quiggle had two goals and five assists, and senior midfielder Christine Campbell and sophomore attacker Stevie Jefferis both had two goals.

Sophomore midfielder Haley McCullough had a goal and an assist, sophomore midfielder Morgan McCullough scored once and sophomore midfielder Mary Tarantine had two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Madison Barnes had nine saves and junior goalie Emily Petrole had two.

Sophomore attacker Kelley Fitzgerald scored four times to lead the Patriots, who were 8-4 overall before playing Dublin Coffman on May 7 and finished 4-2 in the OCC-Ohio.

Senior attacker Eileen Barrett, senior attacker Rachel Henderson and sophomore attacker Dani Bursinger all scored three goals, and junior midfielder Erin Hedrick added one. Sophomore goalie Elise Miller had nine saves.

Liberty opens the Division I North/Central Region tournament at home Wednesday, May 15, against Toledo Notre Dame or Westerville Central in the second round. The Patriots have a first-round bye and have not played either team this season.

The winner plays Mentor, Perrysburg or Strongsville in a regional semifinal May 20.

After a first-round bye, Olentangy opens the Division II North/Central Region tournament at home May 16 against Cleveland Heights Beaumont or Richfield Revere. The winner plays Chagrin Falls Kentson, Pepper Pike Orange or Shaker Heights Laurel in a regional semifinal May 21.

Orange girls to open postseason at home

Sophomore attacker Kelley Fitzgerald scored four times to lead the Patriots, who were 8-4 overall before playing Dublin Coffman on May 7 and finished 4-2 in the OCC-Ohio.

In the Division I North/Central Region tournament, the Pioneers open at home against Brecksville-Broadview Heights on Monday, May 13. The winner plays at Rocky River Magnificat in the second round Wednesday, May 15.

Orange has not played either team this season.

The second-round winner plays Cleveland Heights, Akron Green or Brunswick in a regional semifinal May 20.

Orange defeated Pickerington Central 18-12 in a non-league game May 1 as senior attacker Grace Smith had seven goals. Senior midfielder Maria Nobile and junior midfielder Becca Keane both scored four times, sophomore attacker Lauren Nobile had three goals and senior goalie Bailey Castillo had five saves.

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