Notebook: Westerville South Wildcats girls lacrosse squad seeing positive results

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Goalie Mia Dailey helped South win four of its first five games. “It’s all about defense and how our midfielders can help her be successful and how she can help the team be successful, but she’s doing well,” coach Wynleux Henderson said of Dailey.

Westerville South girls lacrosse coach Wynleux Henderson was confident his team would bounce back following its first setback of the season.

The Wildcats lost to visiting Worthington Kilbourne 20-6 on April 13, but responded with an 18-3 win at Marysville on April 15. 

South was 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital Division before playing Delaware on April 20. 

“It’s about short-term memory,” Henderson said. “We talked about it at halftime (against Kilbourne) — can we move past the first half and now it’s going to be about can we move past the second half and not make excuses, and work hard and get better.” 

Against Kilbourne, South took a 2-1 lead in the first half before the Wolves took control, opening a 13-3 lead at halftime. 

“Credit to Kilbourne,” Henderson said. “We knew that this was probably going to be one of our first challenges of the season — not to take anything away from the other teams that we played — but just knowing the Worthington area, we knew this was going to be a big one. I like how my girls competed. They showed a lot of heart. The better team won and all we can do is learn from it.” 

Kaitlyn McBride and Ava Robey each scored two goals to lead the Wildcats and Kayla Arens and Erin Coonfare added one apiece, while goalie Mia Dailey had 14 saves. 

“Mia is doing well,” Henderson said. “It’s a different position for her. It’s all about defense and how our midfielders can help her be successful and how she can help the team be successful, but she’s doing well.” 

The Wildcats opened league play with a 20-3 win over Westerville North on April 6. 

•The South boys lacrosse team was 6-4 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital before playing Delaware on April 20. 

Its early season success included a 6-5 comeback victory over North on April 6. 

The Wildcats trailed 5-2 before rallying, capped by Andy Badu’s game-winning goal with 49 seconds remaining. 

“That was a tight, good Westerville battle,” coach Michael Spatafore said. “It was good to see the boys battle back and handle a little adversity, and know that when we’re down, we can still come back and win and play. Being down sometimes is part of lacrosse and it was nice to see that we could handle that adversity.” 

South lost 17-2 to Kilbourne on April 12 for its first league defeat. 

“It’s a huge teaching moment for us,” Spatafore said. “The next step is learn a little bit, but move on to the next one.” 

Miles Wilke has emerged as the starting goalie, according to Spatafore. 

“We had a little bit of a goalie battle to start the season, but Miles is prevailing as the guy who gives us the best chance to win on the field,” Spatafore said. 

—Frank DiRenna 

Central boys lacrosse coach Jeremy Schocken has been pleased with his team’s offensive effort in the early stages of the season. 

The Warhawks were 3-3 overall before playing North on April 16 and 1-0 in the OCC-Ohio before facing Pickerington North on April 20. Central opened league play with a 15-1 win over Newark on April 13. 

“Our offense as a whole is firing on all cylinders,” Schocken said. “Four of our games have been double-digit scoring.” 

Schocken said key attackers have been senior Jake Schorling and freshman Ty Hampton, and junior Ian Shealy has led the way in the midfield. 

“When we play at our best, we’re a very competitive team,” Schocken said. “We’ve had some struggles with penalty minutes, but if we iron that out and play more minutes at full strength, we’ll be a tough team come May.” 

—Frank DiRenna 

•The Central girls lacrosse team was 3-6 overall and 0-1 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North on April 20. 

The Warhawks lost at Olentangy Berlin 21-14 on April 15. 

“We’re halfway through the season and seeing some good results,” first-year coach Brady Walston said. “We’re seeing the hardest-working and committed girls the school has ever seen for its girls lacrosse program. What’s most admirable with this team is the dedication each of them has, the drive to be successful and the wanting to celebrate with each other.” 

The Warhawks, who opened OCC-Ohio play with a 17-11 loss to Gahanna on April 6, beat Buckeye Valley 18-8 on March 22, Marysville 14-7 on March 23 and Chillicothe 19-7 on April 3. 

The Warhawks were competitive in losses to Granville (9-5 on April 7), Big Walnut (10-8 on April 9) and Bexley (18-13 on April 12). 

Walston said key players have been Stella Carpenter, Emily Carson, Nina Domanik, Emma Fantine, Lauren Manton, Gracie Misiuk, Bailee Shepherd, Kira Shepherd and Kaitlyn Williams. 

—Frank DiRenna

Pitcher Sophie Minister was 4-4 with a 3.93 ERA and 63 strikeouts through North's first 10 games.

•The North softball team was 5-6 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on April 15.

In league play, the Warriors lost to Delaware 11-1 on April 8 and South 2-1 on April 12, and they defeated Franklin Heights 17-1 on April 7 and Canal Winchester 14-6 on April 14.

Zsofia Kacsandi led North at the plate through 10 games with a .467 batting average.  She also had two home runs, seven RBI and nine runs.

Emily Jones was batting .346 with five doubles, six RBI and six runs, and Riley Farrell was hitting .344 with seven RBI and nine runs.

In the circle, Sophie Minister was 4-4 with a 3.93 ERA and 63 strikeouts.

—Scott Hennen

•The North boys lacrosse team was 6-2 overall before playing Central on April 16 and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital entering its matchup with Dublin Scioto on April 20.

First-year coach Danny Bichsel said the Warriors have been looking for consistency.

“The season has been filled with peaks and valleys,” he said. “We have a really strong senior class that is leading us in the right direction. Our defense has been the heartbeat of the team, only giving up 35 goals (through eight games). The offense is starting to find its identity and to put the ball in the back of the cage.”

Ian Evans led the Warriors in scoring with 20 goals and eight assists, followed by Griffen Messmer with eight goals and 15 assists. Goalie Jack Bichsel had made 51 saves while allowing 27 goals.

—Scott Hennen

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