Granville once was an opponent the DeSales High School boys lacrosse team couldn't seem to beat. The Stallions lost to Granville four times during the 2008 and '09 seasons, including twice in the postseason.

Granville once was an opponent the DeSales High School boys lacrosse team couldn't seem to beat. The Stallions lost to Granville four times during the 2008 and '09 seasons, including twice in the postseason.

Last year, however, the Stallions broke through with an 11-8 win over Granville in the regular season. DeSales followed that with a 17-5 win over the Blue Aces on April 20, improving to 10-0 with the victory.

"We know every year we have a certain few games on our schedule that are tough and Granville is one of those," said junior goalkeeper Tyler McClary, who had 15 saves in the latest meeting with the Blue Aces.

Coach Matt Triplet attributes much of his team's success this season to a group of talented juniors who are starting to come into their own. To help facilitate growth this season, Triplet gave the players more ownership of the team. Before the season started, he had the players meet to decide what they wanted to accomplish this spring.

Knowing the Stallions returned several key players, including their top three scorers in juniors J.T. Blubaugh, Jack Slomsky and Anthony Ciammaichella, Triplet found a way to motivate the returning talent.

"The majority of our games over the past two seasons have been teaching them to get to this point," Triplet said. "The coaches sought a lot more input with them and let them put together what they wanted to do."

The players came up with a list of 20 goals they wanted to accomplish. The top two goals are the Division II state championship and an undefeated season. The players seem focused on accomplishing their goals.

"It's just the aspect of being a family and being one and coming together and working as a machine," Ciammaichella said. "It's not just one kid. Every other kid helps out that one kid who gets the assist or the goal."

"I think the (players) meeting is when we actually came together and started believing in what we can accomplish," McClary said. "We can actually accomplish those things because we have great talent. We just have to work together to get there."

In addition to defeating a Granville team that had given them trouble in the past, the Stallions beat New Albany for the first time, winning 17-7 on April 11. New Albany, which reached a Division II state semifinal in 2009, beat DeSales 11-8 last year.

The closest game for the Stallions this season was their 7-5 win over Olentangy in the opener on March 30. Since then, they have won games by an average margin of 10.8 goals.

That's not to say that DeSales doesn't have room to improve. Despite the lopsided wins, the Stallions have had a tendency to start slow in games. They trailed 6-3 at halftime in what turned out to be a 14-9 win over Dublin Scioto on April 9.

"There are other teams in the area that have lost games to teams they should be better than on paper," Triplet said. "We talk about that and that the target on your back is getting bigger and bigger."

•The girls lacrosse team, which finished 7-8 last season, needs four wins in its final six games to equal that mark. The Stallions started 3-1, but a 13-5 loss to Hartley on April 20 dropped them to 3-4.

DeSales' last victory was a 13-0 win over Westerville Central on April 9, as Sara Hughes scored three goals.

The three-game losing streak started with a 13-7 loss to Columbus School for Girls on April 14. The Stallions lost despite five goals from Sarah Chapman.

DeSales will try to end the skid Thursday, April 28, at home against Wellington, which fell to 4-3 after losing to Columbus Academy 15-7 on April 21.