The lineup for the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls lacrosse team is filled with players who pride themselves on being sharpshooting goal-scorers.
The Wolves flaunted their marksmanship while winning their first state championship, as only two of their 19 shots on goal didn't find their way into the net in a 17-7 victory over Cincinnati Indian Hill in the Division II state final May 31 at New Albany.
Kilbourne, which lost to New Albany 11-10 in the state final a year ago after losing in a state semifinal in 2012, finished 17-3 overall.
"We focus on our shooting every day in practice and we're typically a good shooting team," coach Doug Troutner said. "We didn't shoot the ball very well in the first half of our state semifinal (a 16-11 win over Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown on May 30), so we really focused on placing our shots and making their goalie move, rather than taking early shots. Our girls definitely had an exceptional game shooting the ball."
Senior midfielder Kara Hines had six goals against Indian Hill. Junior attacker Miriam Bassani had three goals and two assists, junior attacker Allison Martz had four goals and junior midfielder Maggie Baumgardner and sophomore midfielder Grace Cameron each scored two.
"We spend a lot of time working on finding open lanes and placing the ball when we shoot and it really paid off for us," Hines said. "This is huge for our team because we came so close to winning state the past two years, and that just made us want this even more."
Kilbourne jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the state final, only to see Indian Hill score four consecutive goals to take the lead. After a timeout with 10 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first half, the Wolves went on a 5-1 run and led 8-5 at halftime.
Indian Hill scored back-to-back goals to cut Kilbourne's lead to 10-7 with 20:08 left, but the Wolves scored the game's final seven goals.
Senior goalkeeper Addy Boyles had four saves and junior goalie Alexis Greer had two for the Wolves.
"We knew we could score a lot of goals, but they are an offensive force as well, so we talked about winning draws and playing better defense during our timeout in the first half," Troutner said. "We played much better after that."
Kilbourne rallied to beat Hathaway Brown in their state semifinal at New Albany.
The Wolves trailed 7-5 just 13 seconds into the second half before going on an 11-1 run to take a 16-8 lead with less than six minutes left.
Bassani had four goals and three assists, Hines had four goals, Martz had three goals and three assists, Baumgardner and Cameron each had two goals and Boyles had 14 saves to lead the Wolves.
"We hadn't played for an entire week and we started very slowly," Troutner said. "Our shooting was a little rusty. We had a lot of good scoring opportunities, but we took a lot of bad shots. In the second half, we were able to gain possession off the draw and take better quality shots."
Among the other highlights for Kilbourne this season were winning its first league championship and a 19-9 win over Thomas Worthington on April 30.
Kilbourne went 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to finish ahead of Hilliard Bradley (4-1), Dublin Jerome (3-2), Dublin Scioto (2-3), Hilliard Darby (1-4) and Marysville (0-5).
The Wolves opened the South/Central Region tournament with a 20-3 win over Granville in the second round May 15. They then beat Cincinnati Seton 21-7 on May 20 and Bexley 13-12 in double overtime in a regional final May 22 to capture their third consecutive regional championship.
Martz led the way against Bexley, scoring six goals, including the winner with 1:13 seconds left in the second overtime.
Kilbourne loses five seniors, including four starters in Boyles, Hines and defenders Tylar Pruiksma and Riley Spencer.
Hines (56 goals, 5 assists) was named first-team all-state, all-region and all-league. Pruiksma was second-team all-region and first-team all-league, and Spencer was honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league.
Eight players who started or saw significant playing time are expected to return in Bassani, Baumgardner, Cameron and Martz, junior Kaitlin Troutner (defender), sophomore Abby Miller (attacker) and freshmen Abby Eymann (midfielder) and Emma Sayer (defender).
Bassani (program-record 86 goals, 37 assists) was first-team all-state, all-region and all-league. She is Kilbourne's all-time leading goal-scorer with 205 goals and its all-time points leader with 279.
Martz (78 goals, program-record 47 assists, program-record 125 points) was second-team all-state and first-team all-region and all-league. Baumgardner (31 goals, 12 assists) and Cameron (37 goals, 9 assists) both were second-team all-region and first-team all-league and Sayer and Troutner were second-team all-region and all-league.
"We have a lot of underclassmen who will step up next year to keep the team strong," Hines said.
Kilbourne boys fall in regional semifinal
The Kilbourne boys team lost to fourth-seeded Olentangy 13-12 in overtime in a Division I Central Region semifinal May 28 at home to finish 14-6 overall.
Sophomore midfielder Jared Happ and senior midfielder Cam Watson each had three goals against the Braves. Junior attacker Joe Davis, senior midfielder Josh Happ and senior attacker Sam Shaffer each scored two and senior goalie Mike Turnbull had 16 saves.
Seeded third, Kilbourne defeated 15th-seeded Bradley 18-3 in the first round of the regional tournament May 24 before falling to Olentangy.
"We were up 10-6 against Olentangy, but too many turnovers affected us," Josh Happ said. "The only team that was able to beat us this year was ourselves when we made too many mistakes."
The Wolves won their first 10 games, including a 17-6 victory over Thomas on April 17 and an 11-5 win over Upper Arlington on April 23.
Kilbourne lost five of its final eight regular-season games. That stretch of the schedule included a 9-8 overtime loss to Dublin Jerome on April 29.
The Wolves earned a share of the OCC-Buckeye title, as they and UA both went 6-1. Jerome finished third at 5-2, followed by Olentangy (4-3), Olentangy Liberty (4-3), Thomas (2-5), Dublin Coffman (1-6) and Hilliard Davidson (0-7).
"Our highlights were taking down UA for the first time ever on our home field and beating Thomas by so many goals," Josh Happ said.
The Wolves lose 13 seniors, including eight starters in Josh Happ, Shaffer, Turnbull and Watson, defenders Dylan Bishop, Matt Lacey and Taylor Wilson and midfielder Jayce Miller.
Josh Happ and Turnbull made first-team all-league, Miller and Wilson were second-team all-league, Bishop was honorable mention all-league and coach Drew May was named OCC-Buckeye Coach of the Year.
Five players who started or saw significant playing time are expected back in Davis, Jared Happ and juniors Matt Calvert (defender/long-stick midfielder), Tyler Roe (attacker) and Mike Viera (defender/long-stick midfielder). Davis and Roe were second-team all-league.
"Our senior class wasn't deep, but we were talented," Josh Happ said. "I think they have enough good players coming back to continue winning next year, though."