WOOSTER — The New Albany High School girls lacrosse team will get the opportunity it long has been working toward after clearing its latest hurdle.

The Eagles had no trouble dispatching of Hudson 12-4 in a Division I state semifinal May 30 at Wooster to advance to the state championship game at 4 p.m. June 2 at Ohio Wesleyan against three-time defending state champion Upper Arlington.

New Albany improved to 21-1, with its only loss coming to UA 12-5 on May 2. The Eagles last won a state title in 2013 when they were in Division II and had lost in state semifinals each of the past two seasons.

“I’m super excited,” junior midfielder Chloe Platt said. “We’ve never won a Division I state championship, so it’s a really big deal for us. We just want to come in ready.”

Hudson, which finished 14-3, trailed 7-1 at halftime.

The Explorers scored the first goal of the second half, but the Eagles answered with goals by Platt with 18 minutes, 34 seconds remaining, Elizabeth Beckner with 12:11 left and Platt with 7:39 to go.

Platt, Beckner and Alyssa Kneedler each scored three goals and goalkeeper Catherine Ryan had eight saves.

According to New Albany coach Dave Ferguson, the Eagles’ defense, which features Erin Carson, Addyson Koterba and Valentina DiLorenzo, also was sharp throughout the contest.

“I just felt like we had control of the game once we got up by four goals,” Ferguson said. “Our offensive movement and our clearing were really good and I felt like our defense and riding was the domination factor in this game. I thought the defense looked very strong. (Hudson) really couldn’t do much at all.”

Upper Arlington 18, Cincinnati Sycamore 8

UA is heading back to the Division I state final, but the Golden Bears had to survive what for a while was one of their toughest tests of the season to get there.

Kileigh Casey scored four of her game-high five goals in the second half May 30 as UA pulled away to defeat Cincinnati Sycamore in a state semifinal at Dayton Oakwood.

Brooke Smith added four goals and Lauren Farber scored three for the Bears, who improved to 23-0 and will play New Albany in the state final. UA is seeking its fourth consecutive championship.

It was the only the seventh game all season for UA that was decided by fewer than 10 goals.

The Bears trailed 2-1 for a 36-second span of the first half in a back-and-forth game that was tied at 1, 2, 3 and 4 before Casey picked up a ground ball and scored to give UA a 5-4 lead.

“Kileigh saw the cage really well and had some good chances to get to the middle of the field and score,” Bears coach Wendy Pinta said. “(Sycamore) had some long possessions in the first half and that fed into their game plan because we’ve been such a quick-scoring team. I wasn’t surprised that they wanted to slow the game down. …

“We had some miscommunications on defense in the first half and they were able to pick us apart a few times when that happened. We got a few good opportunities off the draw and that’s what helped us start to control the game.”

Farber scored twice in the final 1:18 of the half to give UA a 7-4 lead at halftime.

Morgan Bates had three goals and Sarah Pattison scored two for Sycamore, which finished 9-12.

Bates’ second goal pulled the Aviators within 7-5 less than two minutes into the second half, but UA blew the game open with six unanswered goals, including three in a 69-second span, to extend its lead to 14-6 with 18 minutes left.

UA and New Albany are ranked first and second in the state, respectively, by LaxPower.com.

—Dave Purpura

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