Courtney Johnson is looking for better communication from her players in her second season as coach of the Hilliard Bradley High School girls lacrosse team.
The Jaguars, who finished 7-11 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division last season, lost their opener to Pickerington Central 20-4 on March 20.
"We have to communicate better and work together collectively as a team instead of as individuals," Johnson said. "We have to clean up our transitions."
Senior attacker/midfielder Payton Williams and junior attacker/midfielder Caroline Rogers both scored two goals against Central and freshman goalkeeper Natalie Green had four saves.
Williams and Rogers are among seven returning starters. The others are senior Emily Siford (defender/midfielder), juniors Jerilyn Aguirre (defen-der), Samy Vawter (attack-er/midfielder) and Cate Wagner (attacker/midfielder) and sophomore Najma Abu (defender).
"We're starting to blend together in coach's second season and we're starting to get the feel of each other on the field," Siford said. "It's not as much of a transition year. Last year was a huge transition year after going from one coach to another. Now we're starting to adapt more, especially the upperclassmen, and we are getting an idea of how coach Johnson likes things done."
The Jaguars lost most of their offensive firepower to graduation in midfielders Maddie Clingman and Casey Mignery. Vawter is one of the players looking to fill that void.
"We definitely have fresh faces on offense and it's exciting to see how everyone works together and has their own take on the plays," Vawter said. "It's fun to step up into that scoring position."
Despite the losses of Clingman and Mignery, Johnson believes her team's attack and midfield are its strengths.
"I would say probably our attack or midfield is our strength with Cate, Samy, Caroline and Emily, who can move up and play wing as well as being back on defense," Johnson said. "We moved Payton back to the midfield from the attack to join Cate and Caroline.
"This year, I know the girls better, so there is more of a connection and a community feel. But we also have a lot of new players, so it's challenging because we have so many new people."
The Jaguars' next game is April 4 when they open OCC-Cardinal play at home against Dublin Scioto.
Boys lacrosse team looks to stay focused
Second-year boys lacrosse coach Alex Gossard said his team needs to concentrate on being disciplined this season.
The Jaguars were 0-3 after losing to Pickerington Central 13-6 on March 16, Davidson 9-8 on March 21 and Big Walnut 12-9 on March 23. He attributed much of the problems to mental breakdowns.
"We need to work on discipline," said Gossard, whose team finished 5-11 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal last season. "We need to be out of the (penalty) box more and be at even strength. Our early games were really penalty-heavy, so we have to work on that."
Gossard likes the look of his offense, which is led by senior attackers Nathan Fritchley, Colin McClurg and Drew Whittekind and junior midfielder Matt Humphreys.
"Coach Gossard has high expectations for us," Fritchley said. "We have to continue to work hard every day to get better."
Joining Humphreys in the midfield are juniors Reis Daniel and Dylan Miller. Senior Chase Smith, junior Brennen Walker and sophomore Zach Lehman anchor the defense and sophomore Liam Kennedy is in goal.
Lehman was named honorable mention all-league last season.
"We have a lot of returners back for us," Gossard said. "It's year two of my being with the program, so it's good not to have to come in and build chemistry because it's already there."
Gossard said several newcomers could become key contributors, including Smith and senior midfielders Christian Hart and Aaron Malarkey.
"We have some new guys who could really help us out with their speed and athleticism," said Gossard, whose team opens OCC-Cardinal play April 4 at Scioto.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley baseball, boys lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
March 28 -- Munford (Tenn.) at Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale
March 29 -- Manchester (Tenn.) Coffee County and McMinnville (Tenn.) Warren County at Smyrna (Tenn.) Stewarts Creek
March 30 -- Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian at Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Siegel
April 1 -- Home vs. Marysville
April 3 -- At Watterson
March 30 -- Home vs. Beavercreek
April 2 -- At Licking Valley
March 28 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
*April 1 -- Home vs. Thomas Worth-ington
April 2 -- At Watkins Memorial
*April 3 -- At Olentangy Berlin
*April 2 -- Home vs. Thomas
April 3 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
TRACK & FIELD
March 30 -- Wildcat Premier at Davidson
April 2 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
*March 29 -- Home vs. Berlin