Although the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls lacrosse team's only two healthy seniors both play goalkeeper, there hasn't been any controversy over playing time this spring.

Although the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls lacrosse team's only two healthy seniors both play goalkeeper, there hasn't been any controversy over playing time this spring.

That's because Nichole Binkoski and Dani Merz have been content to split the minutes equally in goal for the Lions.

The results have been positive, as Gahanna had picked up two wins during its first full week of action despite having a program that still is in its infancy.

Last season as the Lions played a few varsity opponents and several junior varsity teams, Binkoski and Merz learned the position for the first time.

Gahanna's only other senior, Shae Ferguson, missed the first five games with an injury.

"(Binkoski and Merz) get along great and help warm each other up," first-year coach Brooke Eisenacher said. "Especially with us having only a second-year team, they've both been doing a great job stepping up."

Binkoski moved to central Ohio in sixth grade after living in Florida, but didn't pick up the sport until a year ago when Gahanna had a first-year team under Chelsea Huguenard. Eisenacher took over the program during the offseason after Huguenard left to coach at Olentangy.

Binkoski first considered becoming a goalkeeper after her mother, Cathy, volunteered her for the position at a preseason meeting a year ago.

"I tried (goalkeeper) out and it stuck," Binkoski said. "Last year (Merz and I) split the games and this year I've been starting the first half and she does the second half. It's been fun. I enjoy playing with Dani and splitting the time. Part of me does want to (play more often) but I think it's better to share the time because it works well for both of us.

"I am really surprised that we're off to such a good start as a team. We've got a lot of new players this year and (Eisenacher) has kind of taught us to all step out more. She's brought a new energy to the team."

Lacrosse is the first prep sport for Merz, who has played travel softball for several years.

"I kind of picked (goalkeeper) up myself and fell in love with it," Merz said. "I just like the fact that I get to help the team and have an important part in the game. Nichole is a great goalie and I love sharing the position with her.

"The seniors have had to help the younger players and have had to stand up and be leaders. It's kind of hard for me because I'm quiet, but I took a stand to do that this year."

Sophomore Maggie Maley has joined Binkoski and Merz on a defense that held three of its first five opponents to fewer than 10 goals.

Sophomores Anna Tarbutton (13 goals) and Kelsey Francis (seven goals) were the leading scorers through five games.

"For a second-year club, I've been blown away with how we've done," Eisenacher said. "We're starting to do a lot better job with connections and are starting to do better with our shots. We're a young team, which is wonderful for us going forward, and both of my goalies are outstanding, which is such a good thing for us."

ĽOn its way to a 3-5 start, the boys team didn't play any games with its entire lineup.

Senior midfielder Andrew Winters missed a 14-11 victory over Pickerington Central on April 20 after having wisdom teeth taken out. Gahanna also had a player out because of a two-game suspension.

To help compensate for not having all of his key players, coach Brett Dillon has amped up his team's practice habits.

"In lacrosse, everything is kind of built around three-person units, and I've had to jumble my midfield lines for every single game," Dillon said. "We had a little bit of down time (before playing Pickerington Central) and we got refocused. We're not very deep, so we've upped our volume in practice and have them play until they're tired. Sure enough, we came out (against Central) and the kids weren't tired. I was really proud of the group because they committed to playing hard for four quarters and it paid off."

Gahanna has been led by junior twin brothers Andrew and Thomas Fuss and senior Ian Renda, who comprise the team's attack unit. Thomas Fuss scored four goals and Andrew Fuss added three against Central.

Junior Michael Winters, who has been splitting time in goal with freshman Casey Jolley, had 10 saves against the Tigers.