Worthington Kilbourne High School girls lacrosse coach Doug Troutner wasn't the least bit concerned after his team lost two of the four games it played last week.
In fact, he believes that a 15-14 loss to last year's Division I state runner-up, Upper Arlington, on April 11 in an OCC-Buckeye Division game and a 12-2 loss to defending state champion Medina on April 13 will make the Wolves stronger when the postseason starts.
"Of course, we wanted to win both games and we had our chances against Upper Arlington," said Troutner, whose team lost to Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 16-13 in a Division II state semifinal a year ago. "But our goal is to keep getting better and the only way to do that is to learn from playing tough teams. Both of those games taught us some things about ourselves that we need to improve and, now that we know how we need to improve, we'll get better. Hopefully, we're done losing and we're more prepared to make a good run in the state tournament."
Kilbourne picked up what Troutner deemed quality wins when it defeated Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 21-13 on March 23 and Olentangy 12-10 on April 5. The Wolves defeated Oak Park (Ill.) River Forest 17-6 in the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament on April 13 at Thomas Worthington.
Against Mount Notre Dame, attacker Miriam Bassani had six goals and two assists and attacker Lexie Walton had five goals and an assist. Walton had four goals and five assists against Olentangy and the Wolves had eight players score against River Forest.
"I'm really happy with the way our offense is scoring," Troutner said. "One of the nice things is our goals have been spread around well across the team in most of our games. None of our players have been selfish about the way they pass the ball.
"Kara Hines is our workhorse in the midfield and we lean on her heavily for her offense and defense, and Maria Whitesel lends a calming influence over our defense."
Kilbourne will face another stern test when it plays host to Columbus Academy on Friday, April 19. Last season, the Wolves beat Academy 9-7, snapping a 20-game losing streak against the Vikings.
"Academy is one of the better Division II teams in the Columbus area and this is another great opportunity to test ourselves," Troutner said. "When you get used to playing teams like Academy during the season, it makes facing tough teams in the tournament a lot easier because you're already used to playing at that level."
Kilbourne boys team out to start strong
The Kilbourne boys team won four of its first five games even though each of the opponents entered the week with a winning record.
The Wolves opened with a 12-5 win over St. Charles on March 26 and beat Cincinnati Moeller 10-8 on April 3 before losing to Culver (Ind.) Academy 20-2 on April 6. They rebounded to beat Dublin Coffman 6-5 in their OCC-Buckeye Division opener April 11 and defeated St. Louis University High 10-4 on April 13.
Goalkeeper James Gundling had nine saves against Coffman.
"We're still trying to find our identity right now," coach Drew May said. "We've had a lot of different scorers each game, so we're trying to put the pieces together. But I'm really happy with the way we're picking up groundballs and loose balls, and we beat a strong Moeller team, which was a confidence boost for us."
Kilbourne will travel to Pittsburgh this weekend to play Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional on Friday, April 19, and Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) on Saturday, April 20.
"Every time we spend a couple of hours on a bus together it brings our team closer together, so I'm glad we're making the trip to Pittsburgh," May said.
According to May, Kilbourne has been led offensively by midfielders Josh Happ and Cameron Watson and attacker Jake Roberts and has been led defensively by Ryan Maloney, Dylan Bishop, Taylor Wilson and Mike Viera.
"Our defense has kept us in some games, especially against Dublin Coffman," May said. "We'd like to be a little deeper and more productive on offense, and that's something we're working on."
Thomas boys team searching for offense
The Thomas boys team lost a pair of OCC-Buckeye games last week and were 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Kilbourne on April 17.
The Cardinals, who lost to Dublin Jerome 16-5 on April 11 and lost to Upper Arlington 6-0 on April 13, were averaging 4.7 goals through six games.
"We've had some inconsistencies and we need more out of our offense," coach Jeff Irwin said. "We played Upper Arlington very well, but we couldn't get it going offensively. We had a lead over Dublin Jerome in the first half, but we gave up too many goals and stalled out on offense in the second half."
The Cardinals defeated Hilliard Davidson 10-9 on April 3 in an OCC-Buckeye contest, marking the only time in their first six games that they scored more than five goals.
According to Irwin, attackers Max King and Ian Westfall and midfielder Justin May were the team's best offensive players through six games.
The Cardinals held three of their first six opponents to four or fewer goals. According to Irwin, goalkeeper Evan Smith and defender Will Byars have been the team's top players defensively.
"We've yet to put together a complete game, but we've played well offensively and defensively in different games," Irwin said. "Evan's had some good games, the most impressive being the saves he made against UA, and our defense has played pretty well at times.
"Offensively, we haven't yet found our identity. We're still looking to see who our go-to guys will be there. We need to score at least eight goals a game."
Thomas girls team entered week on roll
The Thomas girls team entered the week on a five-game winning streak after opening the season with an 8-5 loss to Columbus Academy on April 2.
The Cardinals beat Columbus School for Girls 12-11 on April 5, Coffman 11-7 in their OCC-Buckeye opener April 9 and Cincinnati Mariemont 11-10 on April 12. In their Hannigan-Galipault Tournament on April 13, they defeated Chagrin Falls Kenston 10-8 and Shaker Heights 9-7.
Against Kenston, midfielder Claire Durfee had three goals and attackers Hannah Heinke-Green and Mallary Weinsz and midfielder Liza Carey each scored two.
Against Shaker Heights, Durfee had five goals and Heinke-Green scored two.