Coach Joe Heighway has had to shuffle the deck several times in his second season leading the Westerville North High School girls lacrosse team.
The Warriors have suffered numerous injuries, forcing players into new roles that they've had to learn on the fly.
"We have had as many as seven girls out this season and haven't had the same starting lineup (twice) all year," said Heighway, whose team was mired in a seven-game losing streak and had a 3-9 overall record after losing to Centerville 13-5 on April 27. "Our midfield has really been decimated and that has forced us to move people around and try to do the best we can."
Two of the Warriors' top players have been out much of the season with back injuries. One is senior midfielder Grace Heighway, a Walsh recruit, and the other is senior attacker-turned-midfielder Kait Boso.
"I have had disc issues and nerve issues in my back, and I haven't been 100 percent since the first week of tryouts," said Boso, who had six goals through the team's first 10 games. "I have been in and out of chiropractor's and doctor's offices and have been going to hospitals. My hips aren't lined up and it's been a long process. I've been in physical therapy for the last five weeks and I have been out from playing a couple weeks now, but I'm trying to get back."
Coach Heighway said the team has fallen on tough luck in terms of injuries.
"Kait has played very sparingly and we're not sure if we'll use her from here on out, but if we use her, it will be sparingly," said coach Heighway, whose team was 2-4 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Olentangy Orange on April 30. "Grace got hurt in the first game and she played sparingly in the next five games. Then we got her MRI back and found out she had a fracture in her back, which she played through for several games. She's out for the season."
One area that has not been bitten by the injury bug is the defensive end of the field. However, senior defender Kate Smith said that despite being healthy, the injuries from the midfield and attack have taken their toll.
"We started off the season really excited because we had a lot of people back from last year," Smith said. "Then we started to have a lot of injuries -- a lot of back injuries -- and a lot of our seniors went out. Our starting lineup was hurt and we had to make a lot of adjustments.
"It takes time to adapt because you have to adapt to one person going out and then another one goes out and someone comes back and you have to make more changes. It's kind of a game-by-game thing."
Through 10 games, the Warriors were led in scoring by junior attacker Paige Miller with 20 goals and four assists, and Grace Heighway had 14 goals and seven assists in her limited play. Junior midfielder Noel Orioli had eight goals and junior midfielder Maddy Morrison had six goals and four assists.
"It's been tough, asking the girls to play in positions that they aren't used to," coach Heighway said. "We have moved attackers to the midfield and that puts them back playing some defense and getting them out of their comfort zone. They are keeping an open mind and trying their hardest. We keep working through it.
"They are getting more comfortable (in the new positions). They are believing we can do it. We're getting better and we keep improving. We'll keep working hard and we'll get some victories."
Softball team earns 16th seed in district
The softball team opens the postseason Wednesday, May 8, at home against 19th-seeded Dublin Coffman or 30th-seeded Whetstone in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The Warriors are seeded 16th.
North was 16-7 overall and 4-4 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy Liberty on April 30 and Orange on May 1. The Warriors close the regular season Friday, May 3, at home against Big Walnut.
Through 22 games, Megan Zody was 8-4 with a 4.47 ERA, 45 strikeouts and 28 walks in 76 2/3 innings. Katie Palmer was 7-3 with a 3.58 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 19 walks in 60 2/3 innings.
Boys lacrosse team looks to end skid
The boys lacrosse team was 2-11 overall, 0-5 in the OCC-Buckeye and on a seven-game losing streak before playing Orange on April 30.
The Warriors have been struggling offensively, getting outscored 114-22 in the seven games.
North lost to Liberty 18-3 on April 23 in league play as Ian Evans scored twice and Will Olson had the other goal.
Below are the coming schedules for the North baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
May 2 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
*May 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy. The Warriors lost to the Braves 3-2 on April 10 and won 8-6 on April 12.
May 4 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
*May 6 -- At Olentangy Liberty. The Warriors lost to the Patriots 9-4 on April 15 and 13-0 (5 innings) on April 17.
May 2 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
*May 4 -- At Westerville South
May 2 -- At Wellington
May 4 -- Home vs. Columbus School for Girls
May 7 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
May 2 -- At Pickerington Central
May 6 -- At Big Walnut
May 7 -- At Newark
TRACK & FIELD
May 3 -- Mason Invitational
May 8, 11 -- OCC-Buckeye at home and Davidson
May 3 -- Home vs. New Albany
May 7 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange. The Warriors lost to the Pioneers 25-11, 25-20, 25-23 on April 18.