The Columbus School for Girls lacrosse team fell one victory short of last year's Division II state tournament in Lindsay Pieper's first season as coach.

The Columbus School for Girls lacrosse team fell one victory short of last year's Division II state tournament in Lindsay Pieper's first season as coach.

The Unicorns lost to Columbus Academy 13-7 in a regional final to finish 12-5.

With the return of several key players and starters, Pieper said the main goal is take the next step and advance to the state tournament.

"The goal is to make it further than we did last year," Pieper said. "We had a strong team last year and I think we've improved even more since then."

Leading the way for CSG is a strong midfield comprised of seniors Julia Kelly, Bridget O'Donnell, Emma McGregor, Megan Murray and Sam Wobst. The top defenders are seniors Laura Hadley, Therese Kaltenecker and Elizabeth Simmons. On attack are juniors Miranda Butler-Petit and Patricia Ryan. Junior Teal Harrison and sophomore Jordan Nielsen are in goal.

Nielsen started all of last year while Harrison sat out with injuries. Pieper said the two are expected to split time in goal this season.

"We're still figuring things out in goal right now," Pieper said. "Both of them are working really hard and fighting for that spot, but Teal has been impressive considering she didn't play last season."

Pieper hopes the Unicorns, who opened March 29 at Olentangy, can utilize their experience to play more aggressive this season. The plan is to use the team's solid defense and midfield to push the ball in transition and create fast-break opportunities.

As for the goal of making it to state, the Unicorns believe it's attainable.

"Everyone is excited and looking forward to progressing past where we were last year," Pieper said. "They're all stepping up and ready to face the challenge."

•The track and field team may be without a key athlete in senior Jennifer DeLong, a regional qualifier last season. Coach Lori Baldwin said she is unsure if DeLong, who competes in throws, will join CSG because of a commitment to her club soccer team.

Baldwin said the Unicorns, who open at Bexley on Tuesday, April 5, hope to contend for the CCL title.

"Our league is competitive right now, but it always is," she said. "I guess my goal is for us to finish in the top two in the league."

CSG did not advance anyone to the Division II state meet last season. The Unicorns scored four points at regional to tie Lewistown Indian Lake and Cincinnati Wyoming for 35th place behind champion Hartley (102). DeLong finished fifth in discus (111 feet).

At district, CSG tied Johnstown for sixth (34) behind champion Hartley (121) as DeLong was runner-up in discus (112-3)

In the CCL, the Unicorns were fifth (50) behind Hartley (160), Ready (108), DeSales (90) and Watterson (73) and ahead of Worthington Christian (13). Sophie Chatas won the 800 meters (2 minutes, 22 seconds) and Anna Vutech won the high jump (5-4)

The top athletes are seniors Chatas (mid-distance), Enri Small (sprints), Veronica Vargo (mid-distance) and Vutech (high jump), junior JaMilla Holland (mid-distance) and sophomores Katelyn Lennon (hurdles) and Abigail Perrini (distance).

"Mid-distance is a strength right now, and our sprint team will be better than it was last year," Baldwin said. "I'm not sure about throws without Jennifer. She contributed a lot of points for us last year in the shot and discus."