Westerville News & Public Opinion

Girls Lacrosse

Central expects 'great' season

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKSPORTS
Central's Rachel Schroeder fires a shot as she maneuvers between AnnaMarie Lynn (34) and Jackie Mickley of South during a game last season. All three players are expected to be key contributors to their teams.
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Megan Noone has enjoyed success as a lacrosse player, helping the Long Island University Post women's team win Division II national titles in 2012 and 2013.

Now, she is hoping to build a winner as coach of the Westerville Central High School girls team.

Noone, 23, graduated from LIU-Post last year and took over the Warhawks' program in July. She replaced Rachel Tooker, who stepped down last year after two seasons.

"They're working hard," said Noone, a college midfielder who also played in high school at Massapequa (N.Y.), where she graduated in 2009. "We're going to be great this year. We're just looking for the games to start and we're going to go from there. I just love lacrosse and the girls in general, so I just want to help them to be great this year."

Central went 5-10-1 overall last season.

The Warhawks, who open Tuesday, April 1, at DeSales, should be led by senior attacker Rachel Schroeder. Last season, she was second on the team in scoring with 50 goals and was second-team all-league.

"We have a lot of talent on this team and I'm excited to see where we go," Schroeder said.

Also back are seniors Sam Abrahamsen (goalkeeper), Karlene Harrison (defender), Mackenzie Moushey (def-ender) and Brady Walston (midfielder), juniors Gabrielle Conard (goalie/midfielder), Cydney Fugazzi (attacker/midfielder) and Maddy Toole (midfielder) and sophomores Lauren LaCasse (defender), Kelsie Potts (attacker/midfielder), Liz Rhinehart (defender) and Jessica Vaughan (attacker).

Fugazzi, Schroeder and Walston are captains.

Other players are juniors Stephanie Gartner (midfielder/ defender), Jeni Schorling (midfielder) and Samy Secrest (defender/midfielder), sophomores Kriston Kapan (midfielder), Kellie Mori (midfielder) and Corrie Newman (attacker) and freshmen Jessica DeSena (attacker), Kristina Ellis (attacker/midfielder), Ariel Gowdy (attacker/midfielder) and Nicole Sladoje (defender).

A key loss to graduation was midfielder Kelsie Malloy, who led the team with 51 goals last season and was first-team all-league.

The Warhawks went 2-5 in the OCC-Central Division a year ago to finish sixth behind champion Pickerington North (7-0).

Central, Westerville North and Westerville South will compete in the OCC-Ohio this season with Gahanna, Pickerington Central and Pickerington North.

North looking for continued improvement

North is hoping for another season of improvement under third-year coach Chip Walston.

The Warriors, who finished 6-10 last season after going 4-12 in 2012, open Tuesday, April 1, at Watterson.

The Warriors return only six players with varsity experience.

"We have 34 girls (in the program) and about 70 percent have never played lacrosse before," Walston said. "They're all excited about playing, which is the best part. It will be an entertaining year. We will have to have a lot of patience."

Junior attacker Megan Boso was honorable mention all-league last season, and junior goalie Sarina Tran had 142 saves a year ago.

Other returnees are sophomores Mikala Adelman (midfielder), Macey Fuller (midfielder), Payton Hurl (attacker) and Rachel Long (defender).

"I just want to have a successful season and do better than we did last season and have everybody like the sport," Boso said.

Others looking to contribute are seniors Carrie McCaffrey (attacker) and Ciera Rogers (attacker), juniors Arial Richardson (defender), Anna Sivey (defender), Karleigh Smith (defender) and Maddy Strayer (midfielder), sophomores Olivia Bevilacqua (attacker), Avrie Knodell (midfielder) and Hana Matsumoto (midfielder) and freshmen Abbey Chaffin (midfielder), Megan Harris (midfielder) and Noel Saffold (defender).

Boso, Long, Rogers and Tran are captains.

Last season, North finished fifth in the OCC-Central at 3-4.

Walston decided to not have his team participate in the Division I North/Central Region tournament because several players had other commitments.

Attacker Katy Williams, a 2013 graduate, had a team-high 36 goals and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region.

South girls led by new coach

South has a new coach as Erin Balcerzak has replaced Allison Neff, who now is the coach at Olentangy.

Neff coached South for six seasons.

Balcerzak, 24, is a 2008 graduate of Dublin Scioto and 2013 graduate of Edinboro (Pa.) University. She played goalie for both programs.

Last season, South finished third in the OCC-Central at 5-2 and set a program record for wins while finishing 10-8 overall. The Wildcats' previous high for wins in their eight-year history came in 2012, when they finished 6-10.

South opens Monday, March 31, against visiting Delaware.

"I'm very pleased," Balcerzak said. "We have a solid defense. I'm excited for that (since) I was a goalie."

South returns 12 players with varsity experience.

Senior midfielder Victoria Husain had a team-high 55 goals and five assists last season and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region.

Senior midfielders Kieran Arens (32 goals) and McKenna Davis (27 goals, 7 assists, 112 groundballs) were second-team all-league, and senior defender Jackie Mickley was honorable mention all-league.

Senior Casey Kusan's status is uncertain after she re-injured her right knee in the preseason, Balcerzak said.

Arens, Davis, Husain, senior defender Kayleigh Garcia and junior defender AnnaMarie Lynn are captains.

"We have a lot of new girls this year, so (Balcerzak) has coached us very well from the start to now," Garcia said. "We've definitely improved a lot and we're becoming such a good team now."

Other returnees are juniors Amanda Phillips (attacker), Tiffany Schafer (attacker) and Olivia Skaates (midfielder) and sophomores Audrey Poissant (attacker) and Becca Rottersman (attacker).

Balcerzak said freshman Ava Howell has emerged as the starting goalie. She replaces 2013 graduate Isa Rodriguez, who last season had 258 saves and was first-team all-league and second-team all-region.

"Ava is doing a good job," Balcerzak said. "She's very positive and she likes to learn."

Other players are junior Olivia Sload (attacker), sophomores Gina Bennett (defender), Leah Cafaro (defender), Darby Esswein (defender), Rhyan Kilma (defender) and Shahrzod Soltanirad (defender) and freshmen Brooklyn Brock (defender), Taylor Robinson (midfielder), Gabby Rossantelli (midfielder) and Lindsey Zucker (defender).

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