The Upper Arlington High School boys lacrosse team made sure this year’s Division I state championship game didn’t come down to the wire.
UA scored three goals in the first 4 minutes, 13 seconds against Dublin Jerome on June 7 at Olentangy Liberty, then held off the Celtics’ second-quarter resurgence and steadily increased its lead in the second half to win 11-5 and capture its third consecutive state title.
The Golden Bears had defeated the Celtics 7-6 in each of the past two state finals.
“We came out early and had the momentum and rode it the whole game,” said Bears attacker Justin Wick, who had three goals and two assists. “It was so important going up three goals. Our defense is the best defense in the state. Going up three, I knew we wouldn’t let them back in the game.”
Kyle Roberts had a team-high four goals for UA (21-2). Cam Marsh added two goals, and Griffin Caldwell and Danny Logan scored one each for the Bears, who won the program’s 15th state title.
Of UA’s first four shots, three were goals by Griffin Caldwell, Roberts and Wick, and the other hit the post. Danny Logan scored 12 seconds into the second quarter to make it 5-1.
Jerome’s (17-5) Chris Haimbaugh and Shawn Ewart made it 5-3 midway through the second period.
Both teams exchanged turnovers and fruitless possessions in the third until Roberts scored on a man advantage to make it 6-4. UA closed the period with a flourish, as Wick came from behind the Jerome net and fired a high pass to Cam Marsh, who stuck his shot above and to the left of Jerome goalkeeper Chase Rose for a 7-4 lead.
Wick scored on a one-timer off an assist from Danny Logan 51 seconds into the fourth to make it 8-4.
Ewart’s two goals led Jerome, which made its fifth consecutive state final appearance.
UA goalie Christian Carlin made nine saves. Rose made six.
“We weren’t able to overcome what I would consider a pretty slow start by our team,” Jerome coach A.J. Auld said. “We had opportunities to score goals but we didn’t finish and that’s a credit to their goalie. We had a bunch of opportunities to start the third quarter, and I’d like us to bury one of those. The balls didn’t fall, and we got into a situation where we had to press at the end. They got a few goals because we were trying to get the ball back.”