Big Walnut Roundup: High-scoring duo leading Golden Eagles girls lacrosse team

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Junior midfielder Peyton Deverso had a team-best 39 goals through seven games, helping Big Walnut to a 6-1 start heading into a contest April 15 against Hilliard Darby.

Two years ago, a midfielder capped her senior season as the all-time leading scorer for the Big Walnut girls lacrosse team.

Cassady Becker, a 2019 graduate, scored 166 goals for her career.

While she earned most of the honors that season, Becker was supported by two freshman midfielders – Ashley Fisher and Peyton Deverso – who now are leading the Golden Eagles to their best start in the program’s 11-year history.

“We just set goals as a team and said, ‘Hey guys, we’re going to get this team going again,’ ” Deverso said. “We missed out last year (because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic), but we’re going to really step it up this year.”

Big Walnut was 6-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital Division before hosting Hilliard Darby on April 15.

Deverso had a team-best 39 goals, and Fisher was a close second with 33.

In 2019, Deverso had 40 goals and Fisher scored 29 as the Golden Eagles finished 8-8.

Junior midfielder Ashley Fisher was the second-leading scorer for the Golden Eagles through seven games, tallying 33 goals.

While coach Steve Palmer knows playing freshmen can “ruffle some feathers,” he realized the duo belonged in the lineup behind Becker, who’s now playing at Ashland University.

“If they didn’t have that experience their freshman year, I don’t know where they are now,” Palmer said. “It’s not luck that they’re scoring these goals. I told Peyton the other night that she was so dialed in, I could’ve put a saucer in the goal and she could’ve hit it.”

In a 16-4 victory against Westerville North on April 12, Deverso led the way with eight goals and Fisher had four.

The two have been playing together since middle school and were club teammates last summer.

“We work really well together, especially with passing,” Fisher said. “We usually read each other and create plays off each other, and I think our entire team really works well together. This might be the most athletic team we’ve had.”

Another strength of Deverso and Fisher is they are midfielders who can not only lead on the attack but also play defense and be strong in transition, Palmer said.

“They play a lot of minutes, and they get up and down the field and might run 4 to 4.5 miles in a game,” he said. “But we want the ball in their hands.”

Trio leading boys 

lacrosse team

The boys lacrosse team has relied heavily on attackers Ashton Baker (19 goals), Luke Chiles (15) and Braden Andreini (15) for scoring through six games.

Big Walnut was 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Capital before playing Westerville North on April 13.

“Defensively, we have started doing a better job and starting to settle in there,” coach Zeid Rawahneh said. “We had a tough schedule early on, but I think it’s helped us as we get further into league play and being prepared for that.”

The Golden Eagles earned back-to-back victories against Dublin Scioto (13-5 on April 6) and Marysville (18-5 on April 9).

Track teams earn 

titles at home meet

The boys and girls track and field teams both won championships in the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 10.

The girls finished with 116.46 points and the boys scored 111.97 in the 10-team field.

“(The girls) had seven first-place finishes, scored in the top four in every event and broke another school record,” girls coach Joe Evener said on the school’s athletics website. “Plus, we were able to use 27 athletes. That equals more opportunities to gain experience that will strengthen us as a team and add depth as we continue toward the bigger meets in May.”

Grace Weber (112 feet, 5 inches), Autumn Newman (96-7) and Kassandra Swank (95-0) set the school record in the discus relay and also won the shot put relay.

Maci Ames and Cindy Serna scored first-place finishes as part of the 1,600-meter relay (4 minutes, 23.7 seconds) and 400 shuttle hurdles (1:08.18), while Madi Yano, River Hamilton and Kylie Brandt were part of the winning 3,200 (10:49.24) and 6,400 (24:33.11) relays.

Mark Ruffing won the shot put (48-8) and discus (126-4) for the boys team, which also finished first in the 800 (1:31.47) and 1,600 (3:34.98) relays.

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports