When recalling the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys lacrosse team's 10-8 win over Upper Arlington last April, sophomore Tae Young Kim remembers the expressions on the faces of his teammates as they ran off the field.

When recalling the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys lacrosse team's 10-8 win over Upper Arlington last April, sophomore Tae Young Kim remembers the expressions on the faces of his teammates as they ran off the field.

Clearing that UA roadblock with the program's first win over the Golden Bears helped carry Kilbourne to the Division I state championship. The teams met again in the state final, with the Wolves winning 7-6.

"It was like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders," Kim said. "They've been a really tough team to beat the last few years."

"I'm not from Columbus, so I had no idea Kilbourne had never beaten UA," said coach Drew May, who was an assistant last season. "There was a sense of relief, not just from the players, but from the parents and from older alumni. The monkey is off the back."

The Wolves will be looking for their third consecutive win over UA when they play host to the Bears on Tuesday.

A win would keep Kilbourne in the running for the OCC-Buckeye Division championship and help solidify its chances of earning a spot in one of the top brackets at the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament. The 16-team tournament, which will be held May 7-8 in Hudson, is divided into four brackets, with the coaches voting to determine which teams end up in each bracket.

The Wolves were 5-2 in the MSLCA after beating Dublin Scioto 18-3 on April 21. They lost to Dublin Jerome, a MSLCA newcomer, 9-5 on April 3 and lost to Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice 15-7 on April 17.

"You look at the standings and there's only one team - Brother Rice - who controls their own destiny," May said. "The spots are very much up for grabs."

"(The game against UA) means a lot. It's the biggest game of the season ... next to Thomas," Kim said. "It's what we have been working for in the offseason."

The Wolves came through a stretch in which they played eight games in 16 days, including a 12-9 win over Hudson last Friday.

Kilbourne beat the Explorers in a state semifinal the last two years, including 9-8 in overtime last season. Hudson's combined record the last two seasons was 33-6, with four of its losses coming against the Wolves.

May hopes the rigorous stretch helps prepare his team for the Midwest tournament.

"There's not much time for preparation for the opponent as well as our own internal stuff," May said. "That second game (in the MSLCA tournament) is always the hardest. Win or lose, you have to come out hard and bring it."

•Thomas has thrived on prolific scorers over the past decade. This year, however, the Cardinals have a more balanced attack.

Through 11 games, the Cardinals had scored 75 goals with 15 players scoring at least one goal. The offensive leaders were juniors Tyler Cleveland (16 goals, five assists) and Ian Anderson (11 goals, two assists) and senior Cole Kirchner (nine goals, one assist).

A 5-4 win over UA on April 17 may exemplify the Cardinals' balance. Zach Mills had five goals through 11 games, with two, including the winner, coming against the Bears. The contest marked the first time since 1996 that Thomas has beaten UA.

"Our scoring has been pretty much across the board," coach John Galipault said. "That balanced attack doesn't provide much information for opponents. They can't prepare to stop one single player.

"One of the weaknesses of that is you don't know who to rely on when times get tough."

Thomas went 2-0 on its trip to Detroit, defeating Birmingham (Mich.) Seaholm 10-8 last Saturday and Detroit Country Day 7-3 last Sunday to improve to 4-2 in the MSLCA.

"We're hanging in there with two losses, but the 'A' bracket is probably out of the question," Galipault said. "We need to have a strong showing to prove to coaches we should be in (at least) the 'B' bracket."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Kilbourne and Thomas boys lacrosse teams:

KILBOURNE

*April 21 - Defeated Dublin Scioto 18-3

Last Friday - Def. Hudson 12-9. Will Campbell had five goals and James Meager scored three.

Friday - Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

*Tuesday - Home vs. Upper Arlington

Of note: The Wolves are 9-3 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye.

THOMAS

*April 21 - Lost to Dublin Coffman 8-2

Last Saturday - Def. Birmingham (Mich.) Seaholm 10-8. Jake Sharick had five goals.

Last Sunday - Def. Detroit Country Day 7-3. Ian Anderson had four goals.

*Last Wednesday - Played Dublin Scioto

Friday - Home vs. Cincinnati St. Xavier

Tuesday - Home vs. Olentangy

Of note: The Cardinals were 7-4 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Buckeye game