Upper Arlington High School girls lacrosse coach Wendy Pinta’s top concern entering the Division I state final against Massillon Jackson was controlling the draw.
The Golden Bears won 13 of 23 draws, but their tempo was what overwhelmed the previously unbeaten Polar Bears on June 3 at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Anna Schildmeyer, Olivia Schildmeyer and Brenna Smith each had three goals, and UA steadily widened its lead while holding Jackson to two lengthy scoring droughts in a 15-6 win.
The Golden Bears won their third consecutive state championship and eighth overall, and finished off a dominant postseason in which they outscored their opponents 97-21 in five games.
“We got some really good looks and ball movement in transition right before the half and it did seem to light a fire under us,” Pinta said. “That was not easy. It opened up a little more in the second half. We’ve been working hard to have hard, accurate shots, and we wanted to make it a difficult day for her. We did great on shot selection.”
Megan Kozar and Brooke Smith both added two goals for UA, which finished 19-2 and has won 56 consecutive games against in-state opponents.
Jackson got within 6-3 late in the first half before the Golden Bears further dissected its zone defense by scoring nine of the game’s final 10 goals. The Polar Bears, who committed 32 fouls, had scoreless stretches of 14 minutes, 36 seconds and 12:15.
“We practiced a lot on moving the ball and being ready for any situation. That’s where this came from today,” Olivia Schildmeyer said. “We were able to score before their defense was set up and take the ball in.”
Julia Hartnett and Megan Rea both had two goals for Jackson, which finished 21-1.
“If we could have gotten a couple goals early on, we could have stopped some of their momentum,” Polar Bears coach John Kroah said. “Everything (UA) had game-planned for us, they executed amazingly. They really hurt us in the midfield.”