The Westerville North High School girls lacrosse team is learning that the best thing for its young defense and its short bench is an offense that is tough to stop.

The Westerville North High School girls lacrosse team is learning that the best thing for its young defense and its short bench is an offense that is tough to stop.

The Warriors have scored in double figures four times during a 4-1 start. Led by sophomores Taylor Hurl and Keama Garrett, the Warriors' attack has helped take the pressure off a defense that returned just one player from last season.

"It's nice to know that if (the opponent) scores a goal, our players are good enough that we'll be able to score in double digit goals every game," said Rita Finy, North's lone returning defender.

To give the defense another experienced player, coach Richard Case moved Molly Petruzzi to defense after spending last season as a midfielder.

The defense had a big test during a 9-8 win over DeSales on April 21.

That was the first time the Warriors failed to score in double figures in goals. They had to rely on their defense to hold off a DeSales rally in the final seconds.

North led 8-5 with less than five minutes to go when DeSales started rolling offensively. The Stallions cut the deficit to 8-7 with less than two minutes remaining.

North's defense held out long enough for the offense to score with just more than one minute left to make it 9-7. The defense held again in the final minute, not letting DeSales get a shot attempt until the Stallions put through the game's final score with three seconds left.

Before playing Wellington last Wednesday, Hurl lead North with 24 goals and Garrett was second with 22. Garrett led North with four goals against DeSales. She played for the Stallions as a freshman and was a defender then, but since moving to North she's become a valuable part of the offense. She has given North a second scorer to go along with Hurl, who led North with 51 goals last year.

"We have really two really good attack players," Case said. "They've carried us."

As strong as the attack has been, the season has mostly been a learning experience. Case pointed out the second half against DeSales and the second half of an 11-9 win over Olentangy Liberty on March 30 as evidence of the learning curve.

The Warriors led 7-0 in the first half of the Liberty game. In a 12-11 loss to Olentangy Orange on April 13, it was a strong second half that followed a below-average first half. The Warriors trailed 6-2 in the first half before getting it going.

"We have dominated at times this year," Case said. "But we also have looked very young and inexperienced. We can be very dominating, but we can also be very, very average."

Starting with New Albany, North has four games on its schedule against teams ranked in the top 10 in the state. New Albany was ranked No. 1. The Warriors also play second-ranked Medina (Saturday), third-ranked Upper Arlington (May 14) and seventh-ranked Columbus Academy (May 12).

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central, North and South girls lacrosse teams:

CENTRAL

*March 30 - Lost to Westerville South 13-11

*April 13 - Lost to Olentangy 21-7

*April 20 - Lost to Westerville North 16-0

*April 21 - Defeated Hilliard Bradley 11-7

*Last Tuesday - Played Olentangy Orange

Last Wednesday - Played Columbus Academy

Saturday - Home vs. DeSales

*Tuesday - At New Albany

Of note: The Warhawks were 1-3 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

NORTH

*March 30 - Def. Olentangy Liberty 11-9

*April 13 - Lost to Orange 12-11

*April 15 - Def. Olentangy 12-8

*April 20 - Def. Central 16-0

April 21 - Def. DeSales 9-8

*Last Monday - Game against New Albany postponed

Last Wednesday - Played Wellington

Saturday - Home vs. Stow Munroe Falls and Medina

Tuesday - at Pickerington

*Wednesday - Home vs. Hilliard Bradley

Of note: The Warriors were 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio before last Wednesday.

SOUTH

*March 30 - Def. Central 13-11

March 31 - Lost to Columbus School for Girls 18-10

April 12 - Lost to DeSales 9-4

April 13 - Def. Pickerington 12-9

*April 14 - Lost to New Albany 24-2

*April 20 - Lost to Orange 14-3

April 21 - Lost to Bexley 16-8

Last Monday - Game against Hartley postponed

Last Tuesday - Played Liberty

Today - At Hilliard Darby

Saturday - At North vs. Toledo St. Ursula and Massillon Jackson

Tuesday - At Olentangy

Of note: The Wildcats were 2-5 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game