June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Lacrosse: Early five-goal deficit gives Medina little shot at crown

Medina’s Sarah Vanadia walks off the field as Sycamore celebrates its Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Division I state championship. (JUDD SMERGLIA / GAZETTE)

Medina’s Sarah Vanadia walks off the field as Sycamore celebrates its Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Division I state championship. (JUDD SMERGLIA / GAZETTE)

NEW ALBANY — Experience told the Medina girls lacrosse team it would be in trouble if Sycamore got out to a fast start.

For the second time this year, the Aviators came out blazing. It led to an Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Division I state title for Sycamore in a 14-6 victory Saturday that turned ugly quick for the Bees at New Albany High School.

Medina (17-3) faced the Aviators (20-0) earlier in the season and let in four of the first five goals during a 6-5 loss. In the title game, the Bees trailed Sycamore 6-1 before Alyssa Rydell scored the first of her two goals at the 9:25 mark to bring things somewhat closer.

By the time the first half was over, the Aviators were up 11-3 and Medina was trying to figure out exactly what went wrong so fast.

“It’s a dark spot when you get in that situation,” Bees coach Amanda Wilson said. “They have the ball. They’re running with speed. We’re trying to do everything we can. It’s tiring, it’s hot and to get out of it is extremely tough.

“To get out of it, it takes one extraordinary thing after another. It probably has a lot to do with them, but I think we weren’t doing a lot of things to limit the shots. We weren’t taking anything away from their attack. They’re a
well-run offense.”

Medina had never given up more than nine goals all season. Sycamore, which averaged almost 16 per game, only missed on three of its 14 shots in the first half.

The Aviators converted 78 percent of their shots (14-of-18) for the game and showed why they were undefeated.

Not only was Sycamore efficient on net, it won 10 of the 15 first-half draws to stay on offense most of the

“That was a big blow to us mentally,” said Bees middie Cassie Hudson-Heck, who scored a goal. “It’s hard when they have that much energy and momentum. We have to work on our mentality next year. We have to be that team. That’s a solid team, definitely.”

While the loss certainly hurt seniors like Amanda Rom, Elena Schorr and Kathryn Grenfell, the three walk away with a pretty strong legacy.

The trio walked into the halls of Medina having to defend a state title and won two more. Add state semifinal and state final appearances plus a 63-9-2 overall mark and this group of seniors definitely left their mark.

“I knew this is where we wanted to be,” Rom said. “Me, Elena and (Kathryn) really worked hard. It feels really great to come this far.”

The next step for the Bees is to figure a way to beat a Sycamore squad that has ended their season in consecutive years.

That onus will fall on the likes of first-team all-state selection Sarah Vanadia as well as all-region picks Mikaela Faus, Mackenzie Hitchcock and Hudson-Heck.

“This experience is better than them sitting and watching game film,” Wilson said. “It’s better than them breaking down different things. Not everyone gets this. One of two teams got to play today and that was us. We’re going to take that and run with it.”

Those words came from one underclassmen after another, as Medina talked about losing to the better team but coming back with a stronger purpose next season.

“It’s motivation for us,” Hudson-Heck said. “We want to come back harder and redeem ourselves. We want to show we’re always meant to play on the very last day of the season.

“It’s our sixth time in a row playing in the semifinals. We’ll make it seven next year. We feel like we deserved to be here.”

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