September 1, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
69°F

Bees make state final game

Dave Smith (left) and Jim Hitchcock celebrate after a Medina goal in the girls OSLA Division I state lacrosse semifinals. (JUDD SMERGLIA)

Dave Smith (left) and Jim Hitchcock celebrate after a Medina goal in the girls OSLA Division I state lacrosse semifinals. (JUDD SMERGLIA)

 

Brad Bournival

The Gazette

WORTHINGTON — Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

The Medina girls lacrosse team didn’t need much motivation Friday night in its 7-5 Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Division I state semifinal win over Mason.

Comets coach Paul Limpert provided all the incentive earlier in the day.

In a preview story in The Gazette, Limpert talked about wanting to play Medina (17-2) in the semifinal and even called his shot, saying if his squad won 60 percent of the draws he knew it would beat the Bees. He hinted Mason was looking ahead to its first D-I state final in school history.

The Comets (14-6) were sent home. Second-ranked Medina plays top-ranked Sycamore (19-0) today in the 3 p.m. final at New AlbanyHigh School.

“When we read the story, we were just like, ‘Wow. That guy is full himself and he thinks his team can conquer anything,’” Bees attack Sarah Vanadia said. “He was looking past our game and too much into the state championship.”

The Bees made the story a rallying cry as everyone knew what Limpert, whose team opened the season with a 13-7 loss to the Bees, thought of the state semifinal.

“We said, ‘Let him think that. Let him look past us,’” Medina middie Elana Schorr said. “‘We’ll take advantage of it.’”

The Bees blew the doors off the Comets from the opening whistle, scoring four of the first five goals. Winning 75 percent of the draws (6-of-8) in the first half, they beat Mason at its own game and set the tone early.

Attack Amanda Rom was a big part of the draws and Medina took advantage, peppering goalie Alexa Janus with eight shots on net in the first half and scoring on more than half.

“Every game we like to think, ‘Five goals in five minutes,”’ Vanadia said. “I know it didn’t happen in five minutes, but we scored (four of) the first five and set the tone.”

As any good team does, Mason rallied, taking a 5-2 halftime disadvantage and tying the score with 16:33 remaining.

That’s when the Bees kicked it up a notch, as Vanadia (2 goals) scored her second goal of the evening off an assist from Mackenzie Hitchcock (1 goal, 2 assists) with 14:35 remaining.

Schorr added an insurance goal a little more than three minutes later and Medina reached the state final for the fourth time in the last five years — the Bees won titles from 2010-12.

“That was the turning point of the game,” Schorr said. “We all gained momentum from it. At that point, we knew we had it. We just needed to keep doing what we were doing.”

Goalie Mikaela Faus was fantastic in net with 11 saves. Every time it looked like the Comets were about to amount an attack on an 8-meter free position, the junior was there to knock away the shot.

“She was so great,” Bees coach Amanda Wilson said. “She was so calm. It’s really nice for the defense that she has that composure.

“She talks with them, figures out what’s happening and works with them. She is such a great leader back there. Her saves came with hardly any rebounds. We were able to keep the ball. She was phenomenal.”

The win sets up a rematch of last year’s semifinal that was won 10-3 by the Aviators. The two met this season April 12 and Sycamore won that one as well, scoring four of the first five goals in a 6-5 victory.

The Aviators bested Olentangy 14-8 in the other semifinal.

Medina knows it will have to watch middie Evie Goodyear and attack Elise Reardon, as the duo scored two goals each for Sycamore in the first meeting this season.

“We’ve got to stay on the plan,” Wilson said. “They’re a well-disciplined team, but if things don’t go their way, they get choppy. If we can keep momentum and keep possession, we’ll be fine.”

Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.