The Centennial High School girls lacrosse team continues to be a work in progress.

After going 2-10 in their inaugural season in 2016, the Stars strengthened their schedule and played more varsity teams last spring but finished 0-13.

Still, third-year coach Marquise Lovejoy is optimistic about the state of the program.

"While we are still young, we are slowly developing and growing in our community," Lovejoy said. "With (2017 graduate Courtney Hines) playing well in college (at Muskingum) after only playing this sport for two years, many of our athletes are beginning to invest more into lacrosse."

The Stars opened March 22 with a 15-2 loss at Marysville and lost at Olentangy Orange 19-1 on March 23. Their originally scheduled opener March 20 against first-year Whetstone was postponed.

Centennial returns juniors Tonesty Burt (midfielder), Alexis Cox (defender) and Arabella Hoffman (midfielder) and sophomore Katherine Selbe (midfielder) while adding goalkeeper Kaisa Ilmari, an exchange student who is the team's lone senior.

"Tonesty is a second-year player and has honed her skills tremendously in the last year," Lovejoy said. "She has a strong knowledge of the sport, as does Katherine, who is a former club player beginning her eighth season in the sport. Tonesty has a lot of speed and agility and Katherine also has been maturing at a fast rate, and she has helped others greatly with her knowledge.

"Kaisa is a really athletic young lady who comes from Finland. She has never played the sport before, but has played soccer and softball. She is a natural talent and has picked up things quickly and made strong adjustments. She's a tremendous addition to our program."

Cox, who played in goal last season, will be joined on defense by juniors Kwaniesha Broomfield and Lena Dwidari.

Junior Jessica Ho and sophomore Rhian Jones are expected to lead the attack.

Also seeking time as attackers are junior Marlene Fischer, sophomore Lyla Mayner and freshmen Bella Moore and Elena Rehg, while freshman Anamaria Monterroso-Jimenez is seeking time in the midfield. Completing the roster on defense are junior Malikah Payne and freshman Trinity Brown.

"I think we'll close the gap on some of our competitors this season, and I think we can compete with younger programs like Whetstone, Buckeye Valley, Big Walnut and Westerville South," Lovejoy said. "We just want to continue to grow and learn as a program and become more competitive."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

GIRLS LACROSSE

March 22 -- at Marysville

March 23 -- at Olentangy Orange

March 28 -- at Big Walnut

March 29 -- vs. Pickerington North

April 9 -- at Westerville South

April 12 -- vs. Bexley

April 14 -- vs. Big Walnut

April 16 -- at Gahanna

April 18 -- at Westerville Central

April 19 -- at Westerville North

April 20 -- vs. Buckeye Valley

April 21 -- at Dayton Oakwood with Westerville South

April 23 -- vs. Whetstone

April 26 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson

May 1 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls

May 3 -- at Delaware

Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial baseball and track & field teams:

BASEBALL

March 31 -- At Hamilton Township (DH)

April 3 -- Home vs. Briggs (DH)

April 4 -- At Hartley

TRACK & FIELD

March 31 -- New Carlisle Tecumseh Invitational

April 4 -- Home vs. Olentangy