Field Hockey: Hilliard Lynx coach Cami Kowalski committed to growing sport

FRANK DIRENNA
fdirenna@thisweeknews.com
Hilliard's Claire Baltimore (right) vies for a loose ball with Kea Corso of the Upper Arlington junior varsity team Sept. 10 at the Hilliard Ohio Soccer Association fields. The Lynx prevailed 1-0.

First-year Hilliard Lynx field hockey club coach Cami Kowalski is hoping for continued success on the field while also promoting the sport she loves.

Kowalski replaced Isabella Wagner, who stepped down after one season because of school commitments.

The Lynx, who are not associated with a league or sanctioned by the OHSAA to compete in the postseason, were 2-1 before playing Dublin Scioto on Sept. 14.

The team is composed of players from Bradley, Darby, Davidson and Grove City.

Kowalski, a 2014 graduate of Dublin Jerome, where she played the sport, is a math teacher at Bradley.

"I love it," Kowalski said. "It's so great. (The players) are so nice. Teaching is really awesome, but I feel like with coaching you get a different feel with the girls. I'm excited for the rest of the season."

The Lynx lost nine players to graduation after going 12-3-1 a season ago.

The returnees are led by senior midfielder Alyssa Cross (Bradley), who scored the game-winning goal with 3 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in a 1-0 victory over the Upper Arlington j.v. team Sept. 10.

Last season, Cross was second on the team with 10 goals behind 2020 graduate Sarah Baltimore (13).

"We only have (seven) upperclassmen and then everybody else are sophomores and freshmen, so we have a young team and it's good to get everybody yelling and get some wins, even with all the younger players," Cross said.

Also returning is senior goalie Lyndsey Seagraves (Darby), who has committed to Wittenberg. Through three games, she had 24 saves.

Other returnees are seniors Makayla Davis (forward, Bradley) and Gwen Godsey (defender, Bradley), juniors Madison Estep (forward, Grove City), Ava Gooding (defender, Davidson) and Alex Nilsen (forward, Bradley) and sophomores Claire Baltimore (midfielder, Bradley), Jenna Cross (midfielder, Bradley), Cate Cunningham (defender, Bradley), Chloe Dodgion (midfielder, Davidson), Addy Eckstein (defender, Bradley) and Janine Humeidan (forward, Bradley).

Others looking to contribute include sophomore Piper Brill (midfielder, Bradley) and freshman Genevieve Meyer (defender, Davidson).

Estep led the Lynx with six goals through three games, followed by Alyssa Cross with five and Baltimore with three.

"We're trying to get into the schools, so our biggest goal every year is to get more players," Kowalski said. "We have a pretty big Bradley following, but we need to get more from Davidson and Darby, so we can fully get into all three schools and be a team sport."

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

At a glance

*Coach: Cami Kowalski, first season

*Top players: Alyssa Cross and Lyndsey Seagraves

*Key losses: Sarah Baltimore and Madison Pucci

*Last season: 12-3-1