Upper Arlington Roundup: Goalie duo delivering for Golden Bears girls lacrosse team

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Upper Arlington junior Elizabeth Goth (right) has split time in goal with senior Kate Mason. The Golden Bears were 20-0 before playing Dublin Coffman in the Division I, Region 3 final May 28.

Being the only undefeated team remaining in the state and, therefore, a favorite to win its sixth consecutive Division I championship wasn’t the only thing this season’s Upper Arlington girls lacrosse team had in common with some of its predecessors.

The Golden Bears relied on a two-goalie rotation of senior Kate Mason and junior Elizabeth Goth throughout the season, and neither established herself as the clear starter at any point as top-seeded UA was 20-0 before playing host to third-seeded Dublin Coffman in the Region 3 final May 28.

“They’re pretty even,” coach Wendy Pinta said. “They definitely have different styles and that plays well into the two-goalie rotation. Both are good communicators. What’s nice about Kate is she makes the saves out of pure athleticism and sheer ‘go for it.’ ‘E’ is a lot more technical and so sometimes that can get into a goalie’s head if a ball goes in while she’s played the right position. Kate plays more off natural instinct.”

Before a 20-6 regional semifinal win May 25 over second-seeded Thomas Worthington, Goth had 50 saves on 103 shots in 15 games and Mason had stopped 30 of 65 shots in 17 appearances.

Goth, a Lindenwood commit, saw considerable varsity time as a freshman in 2019 behind then-senior Amanda Strayton.

Mason, who also has been a soccer goalie, was on the junior varsity her freshman and sophomore seasons.

“As the season has gone on, we’ve split time more and that’s been exciting,” Mason said. “I’ve picked up some things she’s done. I feel like I’m stronger vocally. It’s something I’m more confident in. Hopefully I can set an example. (Goth) is aggressive and great at clears, which was a weakness for me at the beginning of the season. She plays bigger than I do, which can be an advantage. I save a lot with my body.

“It’s never a competition as to who gets to play. We have a great relationship.”

Part of the difference in their styles stems from height. Goth is 5-foot-7 and Mason is 5-3.

“At the beginning of the season we were very different, but now I think we’re a lot alike,” Goth said. “We’re both athletic. We have different styles but the goal is always the same — to stop the ball. I’m a little more aggressive off the post just because that’s what we’ve been working on, but we’re a lot alike overall.”

The UA-Coffman winner played Loveland or Mason in a state semifinal June 2. That winner will take on Hudson, Massillon Jackson, Medina, New Albany or Rocky River Magnificat in the final June 5 at Ohio Wesleyan.

The Bears beat Medina 15-10 on March 20, Jackson 16-10 on April 3, New Albany 7-3 on April 15 and Hudson 17-9 on May 1.

“We’ve been playing loose and open and seeing each other well. It’s looked fluid quite a bit lately,” Pinta said. “We’re certain to see tough teams all the way out, (so) you get a little nervous when things don’t necessarily go nice and smoothly. Getting a lot of girls time has been huge. Sometimes, you have to be ready to play gritty.”

Senior outfielder Charlie Lindeboom hit .363 with 14 RBI for the Bears, who finished 16-11 overall and 10-5 in the OCC-Central Division.

Baseball season

comes to sudden end

The baseball team will lose 17 seniors after its hopes of winning a second consecutive Division I district championship came to an early end in the second round of the postseason.

Ninth-seeded UA fell at home to 25th-seeded Newark 13-12 in eight innings May 19 at Tremont Elementary, although the Bears erased an early 7-0 deficit and had the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning but could not push across their fourth run of the frame to tie the game.

“This was a group of seniors who are winners,” coach Sam Clark said. “We played a tournament-tested schedule all season long. … This team fought tooth and nail until the final out, not only in our final game but all season long.

“As they leave, they’ve left our program in a better place and with a bright future ahead.”

UA finished 16-11 overall and 10-5 in the OCC-Central Division. One of its wins was an 11-10 victory over Olentangy Orange on April 22 when the Pioneers — who are led by former UA coach Tom Marker — were ranked first in the state.

The Bears also defeated fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty twice in league play and beat seventh-seeded Hilliard Darby in non-league action.

Senior Joe Hendrix had a team-leading .400 batting average with three home runs and 24 RBI, ahead of senior outfielder Charlie Lindeboom (.363, 14 RBI) and sophomore second baseman James Hayek (.357).

Senior pitcher Chris Schueler went 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA.

Also eligible to return are juniors Kuyper Lashutka (1B/3B), who batted .272 with nine doubles, two triples and 25 RBI, and Alex Whetsell (INF).

Boys tennis season

ends at district

Four of the boys tennis team’s seven postseason competitors are eligible to return next season, when UA will try to reach the Division I state tournament for the first time since 2018.

The doubles team of senior Jack Jones and sophomore Ethan Samora went 1-1 at district May 20 at Reynoldsburg, losing 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to Dublin Jerome’s Kevin Liu and Eli Wiblin in a state-qualifying match.

Junior Joe Saalman went 0-1 in singles.

“Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t bounce your way,” coach Will Thieman said. “We have some great kids and they fought. I’m proud of the fight. We’ve been a scrappy team. We have been all year. They gave me all I could ask for.”

“We have a bright future. We’ll use this as motivation.”

Also eligible to return are juniors Ryan Baxley and Daniel Goldberg.

UA went 8-8 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Central.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

BASEBALL

Record: 16-11 overall

OCC-Central standings: Olentangy Orange (14-1), Olentangy Liberty and Upper Arlington (both 10-5), Hilliard Davidson (5-10), Hilliard Bradley and Dublin Coffman (both 3-12)

Seniors lost: Tyler Cannon, Dominic Chiavaroli, Michael Chieffo, Jackson Evans, Chris Haddow, Tommy Hammer, Joe Hendrix, Will Henry, Christopher Jackson, Charlie Lindeboom, Rafe McClure, Nick Porter, Reid Schoemer, Chris Schueler, Colin Scott, Grayson Thompson and Philip Vilardo

Key returnees: James Hayek and Kuyper Lashutka

Postseason: Lost to Newark 13-12 (8 innings) in second round of Division I district tournament

BOYS TENNIS

•Record: 8-8 overall

OCC-Central standings: Orange (5-0), UA (4-1), Liberty (3-2), Coffman (2-3), Bradley (1-4), Davidson (0-5)

Seniors lost: Joey Feinberg, Drew Geissel, Avi Hari, Joey Holland, Jason Jerman, Jack Jones and Jud Turner

Key returnees: Ryan Baxley, Daniel Goldberg, Joe Saalman and Ethan Samora