Notebook: Bexley Lions girls lacrosse team tackling ‘every challenge’

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Mikayla Williams led the Bexley girls lacrosse team with 27 goals and five assists through five games. The Lions won four of those contests despite being “shorter in numbers” this season, according to coach Jackie Lund.

The Bexley girls lacrosse team got out to a fast start despite the small numbers in the program.

The Lions were 4-1 after a 16-12 loss to Watterson on April 13. They edged Columbus Academy 14-13 on April 8 on a goal by Mikayla Williams as time expired.

“We’re working on jelling as a team,” coach Jackie Lund said. “Because we’re shorter in numbers, we’re asking a lot of our girls, and they’ve risen to every challenge. We also have had some additional injuries, so we were only able to play our varsity game versus Academy last week, but we were able to close it out in the final 15 seconds of the game.”

Bexley started by defeating Hilliard Davidson 14-7 on March 23 and Pickerington North 15-12 on March 30. The Lions also defeated Westerville Central 18-13 on April 12.

“Our standouts on varsity so far have been Mikayla Williams, who leads the team in goals, and Grace Heilman, whose speed on the field has paid off countless times with goals, assists and fast-breaks,” Lund said. “Because of injuries, Kara Kilbourne has been asked to step up from j.v. and help lead our varsity defense. Goalie Molly Esque has more than 50 percent saves on the season and has been an instrumental on our defensive end.”

Williams led the Lions with 27 goals and five assists through five games, while Heilman had 19 goals and three assists and Emma Magee had seven goals and two assists.

•The Bexley boys lacrosse team, which missed time because of exposure to COVID-19, returned to action April 13 with a 13-4 loss to Academy to drop to 3-1.

In their previous game, the Lions had defeated Licking Valley 11-8 on March 30. 

“Something clicked in the fourth quarter of that (Licking Valley) game,” coach Mike Bassani said. “We scored six goals in the quarter to pull away and win 11-8. I felt like that would be a turning point for us, especially offensively.

“Unfortunately, we were shut down the day after that game because of COVID exposure. We lost a week due to the team quarantine and then had another week of practice.”

Through four games, Bennett Bartz had seven goals and two assists and Matt Cohn had four goals and five assists. Goalie Tyler Owens-Terwilliger had 34 saves.

•Coach Samantha Arey said the early season has been rocky for the Columbus School for Girls lacrosse team, but she was pleased with her squad's play on draws.

“I’d say from the start our one strong suit was our draws,” said Arey, whose team was 3-3 after losing to DeSales 14-10 on April 13. “Mia Donaldson and Elizabeth Burgess have really stepped up in winning the ball to open space and self-draws. Sarah Alexander and Annie Wagenbrenner have also become dependable on the circle.”

DeSales was the Unicorns’ only loss to a Division II team. The other setbacks came to a pair of Division I teams – New Albany 22-3 on April 5 and Hilliard Darby 18-7 on April 10.

“We’ve had several injuries, and we have a large freshman class trying to adjust to the fast pace of high school lacrosse,” Arey said. “After a few games we’ve noticed that we lack in making quick decisions on offense and basic communication on defense.”

Through six games, Morgan Halpern had a team-high 22 goals and 10 assists, followed by Burgess (17 goals, 5 assists), Alexander (11 goals, 1 assist) and Donaldson (10 goals, 5 assists).

In goal, Via Barry-Wilson had 43 saves and Justice Johnson had 10.

•First-year St. Charles lacrosse coach Kyle Andrews wants his team to discover its identity.

The Cardinals were 5-3 after defeating Lakewood St. Edward 9-3 on April 13.

“We’re definitely still finding our identity a little bit,” Andrews said. “We’re not playing up to our potential, especially against some of the state’s top teams.

“We’ve played lots of lacrosse against a number of really good teams, and we’re learning many great lessons along the way. We’ll definitely be battle-tested with our schedule, and as long as we’re healthy and playing smarter come playoff time, I’ll be happy.”

Through seven games, Tommy Cloran and Blake Roller led with 12 goals and three assists. Thomas O’Reilly had 11 goals and seven assists, Henry Mauntel had 10 goals and three assists and Gavin Williams had nine goals and five assists.

•Ethan Seewald has been the top pitcher for the St. Charles baseball team, which was 5-4 before playing New Albany on April 15. 

Seewald was 1-1 with a 2.56 ERA, 20 strikeouts and five walks in 13 2/3 innings.

Carter Bryant had a team-leading .321 batting average with four RBI and five runs, while J.B. Meury was batting .304 with two RBI and three runs, Michael Benjamin was hitting .296 with four RBI and five runs and Scott Beckman was batting .296 with three RBI, three runs and two stolen bases.

The Cardinals opened CCL play April 21 against Hartley.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen