Girls Lacrosse: Sydney Petersen was quick study for Hilliard Davidson
At 5-foot, Sydney Petersen might lack stature, but she made up for that with heart and quickness.
Petersen was a standout for the girls cross country and girls basketball teams for four years at Hilliard Davidson and for one season with the girls lacrosse team after having competed in track and field for two seasons.
"Being a little bit on the shorter end, people can bump you around," Petersen said. "You have to use your other strengths to find a way around that. ... I feel like my quickness and my drive to help my teams make up for my lack of height."
Petersen didn't get a chance to compete in her senior season in lacrosse as the OHSAA canceled spring sports because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Last season, she made an immediate impact as a midfielder, earning honorable mention all-region and all-OCC-Central Division recognition.
"I'm definitely glad I made the switch (from track to lacrosse)," Petersen said. "It was good to try something new. I was fortunate enough to make the decision to try out junior year. I (initially) was going to just (play lacrosse) senior year, so it was a good thing that I did it my junior year. I was able to see my improvement for one year. I was happy with that. I got to play with my friends."
Petersen had a season-high six goals in wins over Gahanna (15-7) and Marysville (17-10).
"In her first year, she had only picked up the stick for three or four weeks and then went out and scored four goals in (an early season game)," coach Chad Smock said. "If she could do that after three weeks and end up with all the accolades that she had as a first-year player, the sky was the limit for what she could have accomplished this year."
Petersen credited two classmates, midfielder Sally Sell and goalkeeper Taylor Monturo, for generating her interest in lacrosse.
"Sally kept talking to me throughout high school and then Taylor started talking to me," Petersen said. "They finally got me my junior year and I thought I might as well just try it."
This past winter, Petersen helped the basketball team post its third consecutive winning season, as the Wildcats finished 13-11 overall and 7-3 in the OCC-Central, second behind Dublin Coffman (10-0).
A four-year varsity player, Petersen, a point guard, averaged 6.7 points and a team-best 2.8 steals and was second-team all-league.
"I've always loved how fast-paced (basketball) was," she said. "I loved being able to play with my teammates and how fun the coach (Joy Taylor) was. All the sports were very fun, and I have no regrets doing any of them. ... I learned a different thing from each coach."
Last fall in cross country, Petersen placed 44th (19 minutes, 8.4 seconds) in the Division I state meet, helping Davidson finish third (131 points) behind Beavercreek (51) and Liberty Township Lakota East (121).
It was the Wildcats' best state finish since 2014, when they placed third (153) behind Centerville (52) and Mason (92).
Petersen, who graduated with a 3.9 GPA, received interest from colleges to compete in all four sports, but decided to focus on academics. She will attend Ohio State and major in middle childhood education, but plans to participate in club sports.
"I found a good balance between academics and sports and my family and friends," she said.
Petersen was one of 10 seniors on the lacrosse team this spring. Others included Monturo, who will play at Kent State, and defender Erin Kodger, who will play at Findlay.
"This would have been the best Davidson team that we had in my (nine) years of being there," Smock said. "They could have been a 14-win, 15-win team. Talent-wise and effort and everything that they've done, this would have been a special team. They worked so hard to get ready for this."