The past three seasons, senior attacker Cam Williams has helped the Upper Arlington High School boys lacrosse team make it into the "A" bracket of the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament.

The past three seasons, senior attacker Cam Williams has helped the Upper Arlington High School boys lacrosse team make it into the "A" bracket of the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament.

However, neither Williams nor any of his classmates have experienced what it is like to play in the Midwest championship game.

"Winning the 'A' bracket would be the greatest thing in the world," said Williams, who had more than 25 goals through eight games. "We've always been in the consolation final. Just getting to the stadium and playing for it all would send us out right."

The Golden Bears' chances of getting back to the "A" bracket tournament, which will be held May 6-7 at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, could depend on how they fare this week and next week.

UA faced defending Division II state champion Dublin Jerome on April 27 and plays host to Medina on Friday, April 29, and Worthington Kilbourne on Tuesday, May 3. Those three opponents were a combined 24-4 entering this week, with Jerome second, Medina fourth and Kilbourne eighth in's state rankings this week behind the top-ranked Bears.

"Those type of games are the reason why we play the sport," coach Ted Wolford said. "After this week, we'll have a better idea of where we are."

UA, Jerome and Kilbourne, which lost to the Bears 10-8 in the Division I state final last year, are trying to squeeze into the top four of the 16-team MSLCA tournament. At the start of this week, UA (5-0), Jerome (7-0), Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice (5-0) and Sewickley (Pa.) Academy (4-0) were all undefeated against MSLCA teams. Kilbourne (3-1), Pittsburgh Mount Lebanon (4-2) and Cincinnati St. Xavier (3-2) were just outside the top four.

Because the four teams that make the "A" bracket are determined by a coaches vote, the better the Bears' record is, the better their chances of getting in.

"It's anyone's ballgame at this point, but we have control over whether we stay in the 'A' bracket or fall into the 'B' bracket," Wolford said.

The Bears have failed to make the "A" bracket only once during Wolford's 20-year tenure, when they won the "B" bracket in 2003. UA has captured the "A" title twice since 2000, with the last coming in 2007.

Entering this week, UA was 122-12 over the past seven seasons, with five of its losses coming in the MSLCA tournament.

"At our school, students seem to place more importance on the state tournament," said Wolford, whose team has won 12 state titles the past 19 years. "But we all know the Midwest tournament is a much harder tournament to win. You're playing two fairly even-matched (opponents) within 24 hours and that makes it hard."

Medina and Kilbourne likely pose the biggest threats to the Bears. After losing to Mason 15-7 on April 9, Medina, a Division I state semifinalist last year, won its next four games, averaging more than 17 goals a game.

Kilbourne, which has faced UA in four of the last six Division I state finals, has outscored their last three opponents — Thomas Worthington, Olentangy and Dublin Scioto — 34-13.

"The stretch of games will get us battle-tested," Williams said. "Those games are big games and should give us experience."

Wolford said how UA fares could come down to how well it communicates on the field.

"There are times during a practice where we're out of breath because we're talking so much," Wolford said. "We're still developing, but at this point I am cautiously optimistic."

Williams said the players' communication on the field helped UA pick up a 12-6 win over Hilliard Davidson on April 20.

"We just wanted to come in and be patient," said Williams, who scored six goals against Davidson. "I think we did a good job with that. In the past, we've been getting too bunched up. (Against Davidson) we were spread out and patient and everything came our way."

•The girls team has had many close games this season, and that experience could be helpful in the Cleveland Heights Invitational on April 29-30.

The Bears pulled out a 6-5 win over Mason and an 8-6 win over Toledo St. Ursula at the Hannigan-Galipault tournament April 16 at Thomas Worthington and lost to New Albany 12-11 in overtime April 19.

UA faces Medina on Friday, April 29, and Hudson on Saturday, April 30, at Cleveland Heights. Last year, the Bears defeated Hudson 11-8 in a Division I state semifinal but lost to Medina 15-9 in the state final.

Medina won its first four games to start this season and Hudson won three of its first four.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Upper Arlington boys and girls lacrosse teams:


*April 13 — Defeated Dublin Coffman 11-6

April 16 — Def. Pittsburgh Mount Lebanon 12-10

April 17 — Def. Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional 15-8

*April 20 — Def. Hilliard Davidson 12-6. Cam Williams had six goals.

*April 27 — Played Dublin Jerome

April 29 — Home vs. Medina

*May 3 — Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Bears were 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Buckeye before April 27.


*April 13 — Def. Dublin Coffman 18-11

April 16 — Def. Mason 6-5 and def. Toledo St. Ursula 8-6 in Hannigan-Galipault tournament at Thomas Worthington

*April 19 — Lost to New Albany 12-11 (OT). Adriane Ghidotti had three goals. The Eagles outscored UA 7-3 in the second half and overtime.

*April 20 — Def. Hilliard Darby 15-5. Ghidotti and Lauren Drake had three goals apiece.

April 26 — Played Olentangy Orange

April 29 — Hudson in Cleveland Heights Invitational

April 30 — Medina in Cleveland Heights Invitational

*May 4 — At Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Bears were 8-2 overall before April 26 and are 3-1 in the OCC-Buckeye.

*OCC-Buckeye game