The Upper Arlington High School boys lacrosse team's redemption tour in the postseason ended two wins short of another Division I state championship.
After defeating both of the teams they tied for the OCC-Central Division championship, and avenging one of their two regular-season losses in the process, the Golden Bears could not overcome the other team to defeat them.
Despite being held scoreless by Cincinnati Moeller for 18 minutes, 32 seconds from the first to third quarters of a state semifinal May 31, UA twice rallied from three goals down in the second half but came up inches short in a 10-9 loss at Dayton Chaminade Julienne.
Senior midfielder E.J. Caldwell, senior attacker Jack Dolan, junior attacker Matt Marsh and junior midfielder Ben Tjaden all scored for the Bears, with both of Dolan's goals coming in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 6 and at 7. Caldwell scored with 1:08 left, and Moeller was able to milk the clock for most of the final minute before UA got a turnover and one last chance to tie the game.
On a fast break with three seconds left, Caldwell fired a shot off the crossbar. The ball caromed high and out of play to end the game.
UA finished 20-3 overall, with two of its losses coming against Moeller. The Bears also lost to the Crusaders 8-7 on May 6, four days after a 16-12 loss to Dublin Coffman that UA avenged with a 12-11 win over the Shamrocks in the Region 3 final May 27 at Olentangy. The Bears and Coffman tied Hilliard Davidson for the league title at 6-1.
"(Moeller is) too good of a team to give that kind of lead to. We battled back a few times, but just ran out of time," coach Kyle Olson said. "Our offense became more one-on-one driven instead of more team-driven. Once we got back to playing the team concept, we got our looks and we got our goals. We got out of our comfort zone, and credit them for that."
Bears senior goalkeeper Davis Kurz made 10 saves in the state semifinal.
Moeller went on to defeat Cleveland St. Ignatius 9-8 in the state final June 3 at Ohio Wesleyan University. The Crusaders' May 6 victory over UA began a 10-game winning streak to end the season.
"(Beating UA) was a pivotal shift for us," said Moeller coach Sean McGinnis, a former coach at New Albany (2009-11) and Olentangy Orange (2012-13) who took the Crusaders to their first state final since 1993. "We slid a little early to (Caldwell) just trying to disrupt the flow of their offense. They got after it more in the second half and we covered up down low so they wouldn't get those finishes like they had been.
"Honestly, we let the game come to them and, when we play defense at that high level, we can stop a lot of teams."
The Bears were seeking their second consecutive state championship and their 17th overall.
In the OCC-Central, UA, Coffman and Davidson finished ahead of Pickerington North (4-3), Pickerington Central (3-4), Gahanna (2-5), Marysville (1-6) and Newark (0-7).
Seeded first in the 19-team Region 3 tournament, UA defeated 18th-seeded Kettering Fairmont 26-0 in a second-round game May 17, ninth-seeded Dublin Scioto 17-2 in a quarterfinal May 20 and fourth-seeded Davidson 9-1 in a semifinal May 24 before edging Coffman in the regional final.
Dolan, a Jacksonville University commit, was named first-team all-league, all-region and all-state and also is an All-American. He was named Player of the Year in both the league and region.
Seniors Peter Klamar (defender), Kurz and Alex Rankin (attacker) and sophomore Michael Kern (long-stick midfielder) also were named first-team all-league. Caldwell and senior defender Sam Cole were second-team all-league.
Caldwell and Klamar were first-team all-region, Cole, Kern, Kurz and Rankin were second-team all-region and Marsh and junior midfielder Charlie Little were honorable mention all-league.
Klamar was first-team all-state and Caldwell was second team.
"They had a great year. We got 20 wins," Olson said. "It just ended earlier than we wanted."
Top track athletes
expected to return
The track and field program did not have any athletes advance to the Division I state meet for the second consecutive year, but the potential good news for UA is all three of its regional competitors are eligible to return.
Junior Avery Heath of the boys team and sophomore Heidi Heuerman and freshman Adrienne Wachtman of the girls team all are expected back after representing UA in four events in the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North. Wachtman finished 10th in the discus (107 feet, 11 inches), Heuerman was 13th in the 3,200 meters (11:33.82) and Heath was 15th in the 100 (11.73) and 16th in the 200 (23.51), as the top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
Neither team scored at regional.
Both teams finished fourth in the OCC-Central meet May 11 and 13 at Coffman.
Wachtman won the discus (115-7) and was second in the shot put (34-5 1/4) and senior Mary Lee Fenner won the long jump (16-1/2) as the girls scored 80 points in the league meet to finish behind Davidson (156), Coffman (146.5) and Marysville (100.5) and ahead of Central Crossing (28) and Westland (10).
Junior Garegin Sog-homonyan won the pole vault title (13-6) as the boys scored 69 points in the league meet to finish behind Coffman (160), Davidson (133) and Marysville (80) and ahead of Central Crossing (44) and Westland (35).
In the district 2 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby, the boys finished 11th (26) of 15 teams, behind champion Gahanna (151), and the girls were ninth (31.5) of 16 teams, behind champion Gahanna (158.5).
Other athletes eligible to return for the boys include juniors John Castetter (throws), Eddie Greenlee (throws), Dexter Lewis (sprints) and Dylan Lewis (sprints), sophomores Jack Amling (distance) and Max Czerwonka (hurdles) and freshmen Ben Crespo (distance) and Isaac Perry (hurdles).
Among the other expected returnees for the girls are juniors Elizabeth Geil (jumps), Madeline Nichols (distance) and Emma Zid (sprints), sophomores Elizabeth Clingan (distance), Eileen Dunn (distance) and Elizabeth Schueler (hurdles) and freshman Samantha Ansel (hurdles).