The DeSales High School boys lacrosse team advanced to a Division II regional semifinal two years ago and a regional final last year, so logic says if that trend continues, the Stallions will play in their first state tournament this year.

The DeSales High School boys lacrosse team advanced to a Division II regional semifinal two years ago and a regional final last year, so logic says if that trend continues, the Stallions will play in their first state tournament this year.

Eighth-year coach Matt Triplet hopes that will be the case, but even with all the talent his team returns, he's keeping expectations small and manageable.

"That's definitely somewhere we want to be, but the big thing this year will be managing our expectations," Triplet said. "We have a lot of returning players, but we need to be cognizant of not wanting to get ahead of ourselves. One good thing is our guys have a lot of confidence and that will filter down to our younger guys."

DeSales went 16-2 last year, losing 14-7 to eventual state champion Dublin Jerome in a Division II regional final. The Celtics also defeated the Stallions 15-2 in a regional semifinal in 2010.

Returning to lead the Stallions are senior midfielder Anthony Ciammaichella, a four-year starter and Marquette University signee; senior attacker Jack Slomsky, a three-year starter who will play at the University of Detroit Mercy; senior goalkeeper Tyler McClary, who will play at Division III Widener University; senior midfielder Patrick McGuire, a three-year starter; senior midfielder Tim Doone; and junior attacker J.T. Blubaugh, who has verbally committed to Ohio State.

Blubaugh had a team-high 89 points (77 goals, 12 assists) last year.

Other senior starters include midfielders Marcus Dietz, Evan Hoffman and Jonathan Morris and defenders Jim Judson and Matt Young. Also expected to make an impact are senior defenders Connor Hines, Alex Rittenhouse and Max Yinger, senior midfielder Ross Wanner, junior midfielder Roman Zingarelli and sophomore midfielder Tucker Yinger.

The Stallions, who play an independent schedule, open March 30 at home against Middletown Fenwick. Several Division I schools dot DeSales' schedule, including Gahanna, New Albany, Olentangy, Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne.

"We've been wanting to start a CCL league the past couple years, but we'd only have us, Watterson and St. Charles," Triplet said. "We like to play larger schools and see where we are as a program."

Girls lacrosse team to rely on seniors

The girls lacrosse team returns three starters in senior midfielder/attacker Jess Johnson, senior goalkeeper Tia Tyler and senior defender Margaret Kistner.

DeSales, which opens Tuesday, March 27, at home against Delaware, went 5-11 overall and 1-6 in the Central Independent League last year.

"That's a big plus having them back. All (six) seniors have great leadership (skills)," said Joe Finotti, who is in his first year as coach after assisting Mallory Mayhew the past two seasons.

"This is a great senior class and I'm pretty excited about the chance to watch them develop this year and work with the younger players as the season goes on. We have 12 new players that have never played the game before, mostly freshmen and sophomores with a couple juniors. That leadership is really going to come into play as we develop those younger players."

Last season, Johnson was the team MVP and Kistner was the defensive MVP for the Stallions. Both are four-year letterwinners.

The rest of the senior class consists of defender Samantha Chapman, attacker Renee Landis and midfielder Rachel Zolnier, all of whom are likely to start.

Of the Stallions' nine juniors - attackers Sarah Hughes, Mallory Janszen, Katie Moody, Savanna Osborn, Paige Pleisch and Kelly Richards, backup goalie Meredith Lloyd, midfielder Amanda Marchi and defender Kierra Graham - between four and six might start or be major contributors, Finotti said.

The sophomore class consists of midfielders Maria Burkey, Liza Hornyaks, Anna Kobermann, Claire Novak and Maggie Simon, midfielder/attacker Toni Halter, midfielder/defender Alison Cargin, attackers Allison Iwaszkiewicz, Brianne Lehman, Savanna Perkins and Erica Ritzler and defender Kaitlyn Doran.

The Stallions finished seventh in the CIL last year, behind Division II state champion Columbus Academy (7-0), Hartley (5-2), Wellington (5-2), Columbus School for Girls (4-2), Watterson (3-3) and Bexley (2-5) and ahead of Granville (0-7).

Academy is the two-time defending league champion.