Ali Phillipi initially believed her career with the Hilliard Bradley High School girls lacrosse team was over.
Last fall, the senior strained the meniscus in her left knee while playing soccer and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn tissue. Despite months of rehabilitation, her mobility was not where she would have liked, which meant her days as a defender were done.Video •Watch an interview with Hilliard Bradley lacrosse player Ali Phillipi.
Phillipi had to break the bad news to coach Becky Mottlow.
"I went to tell coach and she asked me if I would want to try playing goal," Phillipi said.
"I hadn't even thought of that. She told me to talk it over with my parents and see what they thought. I was so happy just to continue playing."
Mottlow said the move to goalkeeper helped the Jaguars by allowing one of their best leaders to continue to contribute.
"Ali wanted to try playing goal, and we really wanted to have her around for her senior year," said Mottlow, whose team was 2-10 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Delaware on April 25. "She is extremely athletic, she's really strong and has a strong stick. A lot of goalies aren't strong with the stick, chasing to block the ball with their bodies. But she picked that up quickly."
Phillipi, who had 85 saves through 12 games, shares time in goal with sophomore Frankie Mehman. Together, the duo replaced 2016 graduate Emma Davis.
"Ali works so hard and is always asking people to help her out and shoot at her," Mottlow said. "She is constantly working to get better and always stays positive. Both of our goalies have stayed positive and want to learn to get better."
Phillipi was a goalie in soccer and she said that experience was beneficial, but she has gotten the most help from her stepbrother, Luke Murrin, a 2016 Bradley graduate who played in goal for the boys lacrosse team.
"Luke was pretty excited when he heard I was playing goalie," Phillipi said. "He tells me to be aggressive to the ball and step toward (the ball) on shots."
Phillipi works out as much as she can with the help of Murrin and assistant coach Mackenzie Mignery.
"They live close to the school, so you see Luke down here shooting at Ali and helping her work on her game," Mottlow said. "She also spends a lot of time with one of our assistants, Mackenzie Mignery, getting ready before games. She wants to take a lot of shots to get ready."
The Jaguars defeated Dublin Scioto 11-9 on April 6 in league play behind five goals from Casey Mignery, four goals from Maddy Conklin and 17 saves by Phillipi.
Conklin and Mignery both had four goals and Maddie Clingman scored two as Bradley defeated Westerville North 11-6 on April 20. Phillipi had seven saves and Mehman had one.
"I get better each game," said Phillipi, who plans to attend Bowling Green State University and major in special education. "I'm always learning something new and I'm having fun. It's great to be able to play one more year."
boys track team
Caleb Levitt and Kevin Collins swept the top two places in the long jump for the boys track and field team in the John Hammond Relays on April 18 at Darby.
Levitt won the event in a meet-record 19 feet, 1 inch and Collins was runner-up at 18-11, as Bradley finished third (67 points) of eight teams, behind Darby (94) and Lancaster (76).
Also finishing second were the 440-meter shuttle relay of Ibrahim Dumbuya, C.J. Ryan, Levitt and Ethan Poff (1 minute, 16.13 seconds), the 800 sprint medley of Jacob Barkhimer, Christian Hart, Matthew Drovdlic and Poff (1:44.6), the 1,600 relay of Daniel Graber, Zeke Bennett, Dumbuya and Keagan Sherry (3:47.7) and the 3,200 relay of Graber, Max Lanum, Haydon Spaulding and Nathan Schimmoeller (9:01.04).
The girls team placed fourth (48) in the John Hammond Relays, behind champion Darby (109). The 440 shuttle relay of Hope Funderburg, Kenzy Kuhn, Byann Rasul and Naomi Kua won in 1:15.24.
Boys lacrosse team
looking for offense
The boys lacrosse team was 2-9 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Delaware on April 25.
The Jaguars defeated Licking Valley 12-5 on April 4 and Westerville South 11-6 on April 15. The two victories were the only games in which Bradley scored in double figures through 11 contests. The Jaguars averaged only 2.7 goals in their nine losses.
Bradley lost to Watterson 18-3 on April 21. Matt Mummert scored two goals, Adrian Mijangos scored one and goalie Jack Rogers had 14 saves.
In league play, the Jaguars lost to Scioto 6-3 on April 6, Thomas Worthington 14-4 on April 10, Worthington Kilbourne 8-1 on April 13 and Dublin Jerome on April 18.