Emily Garee has helped keep things positive for a young Westerville North High School girls lacrosse team that has overcome a rough start.
The senior attacker has worked to settle the offense, delivering 13 goals and six assists through 10 games.
After losing four of their first five, the Warriors rebounded to win four of seven and surpass last season's win total when they finished 4-15. North was 5-7 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Olentangy Orange on May 1.
"I think the season's going pretty well even though we definitely wanted some more wins," Garee said. "We played some tough teams early and we definitely want to get some more wins. I think we are taking a positive spin on things and trying to learn from the losses."
The Warriors picked up their fifth win by beating Brunswick 10-9 in overtime April 28, as sophomore midfielder Noel Orioli scored the game-winner on an assist from junior midfielder Grace Heighway. Garee had one goal and one assist.
"We started out with some strong teams at the beginning of the season and it took us a while to come together," coach Joe Heighway said. "(Garee) has been a big part of that with her senior leadership and helping to run the offense. She has good communication with the players and she lets the coaches know what's going on."
Coach Heighway said Garee has been crucial to helping the team jell on and off the field. Garee insisted it just was part of being a good teammate.
"I have been playing for six years and I think lacrosse creates a good sense of unity and you become like a family, which is something you don't see often with a team," Garee said. "Nothing matches this friendship. It really is like a family and there is nothing like everyone knowing you have their backs."
Garee said one of the most important parts of playing attacker is being aware of her surroundings. She has to know where her teammates and opposing players are at all times.
"To find the open teammate, you have to keep your head up and make sure you are looking in the 8(-meter mark from the goal) anytime you have the ball," she said. "We have been talking about that a lot. It's hard to do that sometimes because there is a lot going on and it's hard to think about that. If you have a second person on you, you know someone else is open and you have to look to make that pass.
"You definitely have to have good stick skills, know where the ball is and where all of your defenders are. You have to move your feet to get around them. It's a lot of thinking and you really can't hesitate much or you won't get the shot."
Garee does a lot of fast-thinking on and off the field. She has a 5.0 GPA and has earned a full academic scholarship to Ohio State.
That means her competitive playing days nearly are over, but it won't completely keep her from the sport.
"They are starting a rec (lacrosse) league here in Westerville for former players, so I might look into that," said Garee, who plans to major in business. "I might also play club at OSU. I'm not sure. It's something I definitely want to continue."
Baseball team to open district with Falcons
The baseball team is seeded 31st for the Division I district tournament and plays host to 47th-seeded Franklin Heights on Monday, May 7, in a first-round game.
The winner plays at top-seeded Olentangy Liberty on Wednesday, May 9. The Patriots defeated North 5-1 in nine innings April 11, 9-1 on April 13 and 14-2 in five innings April 30 in OCC-Buckeye games.
The second-round winner plays in a district semifinal May 15.
The Warriors were 6-16 overall and 2-9 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Westerville South on May 1.
The Warriors close the regular season by playing visiting Bexley on Thursday, May 3, and at Orange on Friday, May 4, in league play.
Chad Gordish led the pitching staff through 21 games. He was 2-3 with a 1.67 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 20 walks in 37 2/3 innings, and Jack Murgas was 1-5 with a 1.66 ERA, 21 strikeouts and nine walks in 33 2/3 innings.
Softball team seeded 27th in district
The softball team was 7-12 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Buckeye after losing to South 7-2 on April 30 and before playing Orange on May 1.
North is seeded 27th for the Division I district tournament and begins the postseason Monday, May 7, at home against 33rd-seeded Worthington Kilbourne. The winner plays at 11th-seeded Watkins Memorial on Wednesday, May 9, in the second round, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal May 14.
The Warriors close the regular season with three home games. They play Groveport on Friday, May 3, before a doubleheader Saturday, May 4, against Johnstown and Thomas Worthington.
North defeated Reynoldsburg 5-1 on April 27 as Megan Zody picked up the win.
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
May 4 -- At Thomas Worthington
May 8 -- Home vs. Granville
May 5 -- At Bexley
May 7 -- Home vs. Wellington
May 8 -- At Columbus School for Girls
May 3 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
May 7 -- Home vs. Big Walnut
May 8 -- Home vs. Newark
May 9 -- At Pickerington Central
TRACK & FIELD
May 4 -- Mason Invitational
*May 3 -- At Olentangy Orange. The Warriors defeated the Pioneers 25-21, 25-13, 25-16 on April 16.
May 7 -- Home vs. Watterson