Mollie Estepp was a force for the Thomas Worthington girls lacrosse team last season.

The junior midfielder and University of Denver recruit scored 86 goals in 21 games and added 45 assists to lead the Cardinals, who finished 13-8 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to place second behind Dublin Jerome (7-0).

For her efforts as a sophomore, Estepp was named first-team all-state and all-region as well as league Player of the Year.

"Mollie has been an outstanding player from the moment she entered our high school program," coach Scott Hamilton said. "In 2020, Mollie was voted captain, but she has been a leader by example since her freshman season. Mollie understands the game and consequently makes her teammates better as she strives for perfection. Each day, she is working on her game and her efforts have paid off. Mollie is the best player in Ohio."

Despite her accolades, Estepp isn't satisfied. She is motivated to be even better next year as a senior, especially after this season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"What drives me most is definitely my teammates and just trying to improve and be the best I can be for them," she said. "The reason I play is because I love the sport, but also I love the people, and I feel like not trying to get better and not trying to work for them would just be doing a disservice to our team when we come back next year."

Estepp will be looking to help the Cardinals win more games and advance deeper into the postseason next year. Last season, they rolled to victories over Hilliard Bradley (17-5) and Pickerington Central (17-6) in the first two rounds of regional play before falling to eventual state champion Upper Arlington 17-6 in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal.

"Always the goal is to get as far as we can in the tournament," she said. "This year, we only would have lost one senior (attacker Abbey Midnight), so we have almost the same team (next year), and I think we all work really well together, so I'm really hoping we can go far in the tournament next year."

Estepp is holding out hope that she'll have an opportunity to play with her club team this summer, Lucky Lax.

For now, she is doing her best to stay in shape. She has been training with her brother, Wyatt, a freshman attacker who was expected to play on the boys junior varsity this spring.

"I have an everyday schedule that my brother and I do," said Estepp, who also plays on the Cardinals' field hockey team as a midfielder. "It includes schoolwork, and then we have time set aside for a workout, which could be a run, and then we have lacrosse. Every day we do something to remind ourselves what we're working towards and keep playing the sport we love."

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve