New Albany High School girls lacrosse coach Dave Ferguson admitted there wasn't much more his seniors could have given the program the last four years.

The Eagles went 77-14 in that time and made the Division I state tournament every year, an accomplishment only one other team matched.

Unfortunately for New Albany, that team is the one that twice has kept it from adding a fifth state championship to the program's legacy.

The Eagles went 19-4 this season, falling to Upper Arlington 12-10 in the state final June 1 at Ohio Wesleyan. That was a rematch of last year's title game, which the Golden Bears won 11-5.

UA has won five consecutive championships and 10 overall.

"We're a close-knit group and we've definitely talked about how amazing an accomplishment this was and what we've done for the program," senior attacker Emily Rezabek said. "It's sad to think this is over now. We didn't get the outcome we wanted, but we have a lot to be proud of."

Rezabek, an Ohio State recruit, scored a team-high 90 goals with 29 assists and finished her career with 245 goals. She also was named an All-American for the first time.

Despite losing the final, New Albany -- which lost in state semifinals in 2016 and 2017 and had been seeking its first championship since winning in Division II in 2013 -- was the state's top-ranked team according to LaxNumbers.com, thanks in part to winning 14 games by 10 or more goals and averaging 16.0 goals per game.

Senior midfielder Chloe Platte had 49 goals and 20 assists and senior midfielder Alyssa Kneedler finished with 45 goals and seven assists. Senior defender Erin Carson had 41 ground balls and caused 22 turnovers.

"They're special," Ferguson said. "The grade-point average here is around 3.8. ... They are just great. They are going to quality colleges. I can't say enough for them. It's been a great ride. We have a lot of good players coming up, but when you lose a class like this, that's rough. But that's part of what makes it fun."

Seven Eagles will play in college. In addition to Rezabek, senior attacker Liz Beckner and Kneedler are Lindenwood recruits, Carson will play at Navy, defender Zoe Kellerman will play at Rollins, defender Addyson Koterba is a Mercer recruit and Platte will play at Furman.

New Albany trailed UA 8-3 in the first half of the final and got within 11-10 with less than eight minutes to play but did not manage another shot the rest of the game.

"It's a game of inches sometimes. We hit some pipes and got the ball back twice at the end when we had enough time and we didn't convert," Ferguson said. "It was their day. That's unfortunate for us, but we had a great year and they are a great program."

The Eagles went 7-0 in the OCC-Buckeye Division to edge runner-up Olentangy Liberty (6-1).

Beckner, Carson, Platte and junior goalkeeper Julia Brisk were first-team all-league. Seniors Valentina DiLorenzo (defender), Blythe Ferguson (attacker), Kneedler, Koterba and freshman attacker Katie Kaucheck were second-team all-league.

Carson, Kneedler, Platte and Rezabek were first-team all-Region 1. Ferguson was second-team all-region and Kaucheck was honorable mention all-region.

Rezabek was named first-team all-state and Carson was second-team all-state.

Other players eligible to return include sophomore midfielder Bridget Driscoll and freshman goalie Aubrey Bagenstose. Bagenstose and Brisk split time in goal most of the season and both made two saves in the championship game.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave