Pressure? What pressure.
The Medina girls lacrosse team is coming off its third straight OSLA Division I State Championship, has a versatile lineup full of high-caliber players and is ranked eighth in the Midwest, according to U.S. Lacrosse.
The Bees have no problem filling out the role of the favorite.
“There’s definitely pressure, but I think the girls embrace it,” third-year coach Amanda Wilson said. “It’s not a weird thing to talk about. We know what we want to do this year, so we talk about it.
“Every drill we do is a step toward our goals.”
Those goals include making a return trip to Mason to compete for a fourth straight title.
This year’s Bees are versatile and led by steady veteran defender Megan Wolfgang and goalie Amanda Getto in the back and midfielders in Amanda Rom and Sierra Thomas.
“We have some depth this year that we didn’t have last year,” Wilson said. “There are moments in practice where we might see a great attacker the next day doing great things on defense. We have a wide range of players with strengths.”
Wolfgang led the team in ground balls a season ago with 44 and also had nine draw controls, 15 caused turnovers and 12 interceptions. Combine her play with Getto between the pipes — she was a first-team all-district pick who made 141 saves in 2012 — along with newcomers Alex Smith and Sally Doyle and the Bees should be strong on the defensive end.
In the middle, Thomas and Cassie Hudson-Heck and Elena Schorr will maintain the pace, while Rom leads an attack that Wilson referred to as “unpredictable and hard to defend.”
Joining Rom, who had 17 goals and 22 assists en route to earning second team all-district accolades, will be Erin Stacho, Mackenzie Hitchcock, Halle Pittman and Sarah Vanadia. Stacho found the back of the net 28 times last spring along with dishing out 18 assists.
The challenge of balancing all that talent is a good one to have, according to Wilson.
“It’s not a problem for me as a coach,” she said with a laugh. “I would rather have this situation that opposite. I just have to put the players in the rights spots. It’s exciting with these girls. You ask these girls to go out do things and they do it.”
Medina will find out exactly how explosive it can be with another challenging schedule. Of the top 10 ranked teams in the region, the Bees will face three
The one game highlighted and circled on the schedule is a rematch with No. 6 Upper Arlington at the Cleveland Heights Invitational on April 27. Medina avenged a regular season loss to the Golden Bears last season en route to winning the state title on a Thomas goal.
The Bees will also square off with No. 9 Sycamore (April 13 at Thomas Worthington) and No. 5 East Grand Rapids, Mich. (May 5 at Kenneth Dukes Stadium), along with area powers Hudson and Cleveland Heights.
“I think it critical,” Wilson said of their schedule. “You don’t put the jersey on every day to do something easy. We take pride in doing that at Medina.
“It tests us so that we are ready for the postseason and we know what it’s like to be under pressure.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.