June 27, 2016

Mostly sunny

Amazing ride come to end

Richard Doyle

The Gazette

NEW ALBANY — The remarkable run is over.

Medina entered the Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Division I state semifinals Friday against a familiar but not-so-friendly foe, and third-ranked Sycamore got its revenge by upending the three-time defending champion with a convincing yet stunning 10-3 victory.

The Aviators, who lost to the Bees in last year’s semis, advance to face top-ranked Upper Arlington today at 12:30, while second-ranked Medina finishes 14-1-2.

“They tore us apart,” Bees coach Amanda Wilson said. “They found the holes. They pulled away our low defenders that normally clog up the lanes and they took that away from us.”

Sycamore was riding high after beating No. 4 Mason in the regional finals and showed no signs of faltering, as it exploded to a four-goal lead within the opening 10 minutes.

The Bees defense looked porous, as it seemed like every shot was sneaking past goalkeeper Amanda Getto. It could have been worse, but Sycamore had two potential goals waived off.

The slow start was nothing new to Wilson.

“Yes, that’s our Achilles heal,” she said.

The Bees offense came to life 12 minutes in with a goal from Sierra Thomas. Amanda Rom followed 4 minutes later to cut the deficit to 4-2, but as quickly as Medina inched closer, the Aviators reversed the fortune with two scores.

The Bees struggled keeping track of the patient Aviators, who effectively waited for opportune times to flash in front of Getto for some beautiful feeds and shots. While Medina’s defenders tried to track the ball in a matchup zone, Sycamore countered with a highly effective man-to-man.

Leading 7-2 at halftime, the Aviators remained patient and worked the clock to perfection. Following a defensive penalty, Sycamore added its 8th goal and made it 9-2 roughly 3 minutes later.

 “That Sycamore team is a great team,” said Wilson, whose team won just 3-of-14 draws. “They’re extremely disciplined. They’re smart. They knew when to start to kill the clock and when to use the clock against us.”

Medina seniors Sierra Thomas, Erin Stacho, Halle Pittman, Megan Wolfgang, Allison Snyder and Amanda Getto finish their careers with one of the best four-year records in Ohio history.

“I don’t think anyone in the state — maybe even all athletics in the state — has been able to accomplish what this senior class has done,” Wilson said. “They will always hold a special place in my heart. They were the first girls there when I started coaching, and they get better every year. It’s remarkable.”

Contact Richard Doyle at sports@medina-gazette.com.