The area’s newest high school sport is seeing improvement and growth in both boys and girls lacrosse at Carroll and Beavercreek.
The Beavers are off to their best start, posting a 4-1 record with the only loss coming by one goal to Westerville Central.
”This season offers great opportunity having eight out of 10 starters as returning seniors,” Coach Linden Kelley said. “Three of our boys are playing NCAA lacrosse next year. We also beat Oakwood for this first time ever this season, 12-9. Our goal this season is to earn a seed in the upper half of our division and see how far our play can take us in the postseason.”
The team is in its fourth year, second as a varsity team.
The Patriots are in their third season as a program and began the spring 3-0. Coach Ben Rulli, who began the program at his alma mater, has captains Cullin Walsh and Christian Nadeau leading the way. Nadeau, a senior, had 20 goals in the team’s first three games. Walsh, a junior, has been one of Carroll’s top defenders since his freshman year and is considered the 26th best recruit in Ohio by Laxrecords.com.
Having posted winning records in the previous two seasons, Rulli and the Patriots want to continue building off the positive momentum. Rulli said the future is bright for lacrosse in the Carroll community. Since beginning boys lacrosse, the school has added girls varsity and reserve teams, a reserve boys team, and a middle school boys team. Combined, there are more than 100 student-athletes playing lacrosse in the Carroll system.
”I am very proud of the foundation that we have built for lacrosse in our community and look forward to the continued expansion of the game,” Rulli said.
Beavercreek has nine key returning seniors, six of whom are four-year varsity players in Alyssa Hinton, Maddie Frye, Caitlyn Newport, Emily Mathes, Mackenzie Sorensen, and Claire Sturkol. The Beavers began the season 3-1 and are looking to build on last year’s 13-5 record.
“We are starting the season strong,” Coach Michele Sorensen said. “Our one loss was from the team we lost too in tournament. However, we only lost by one point this season as last year it was by more.”
Sorensen began the girls program at ‘Creek and is in her fourth season.
Carroll girls lacrosse is in its second year and is coming off a 6-8 record last season. The program has added a reserve team since the size of the combined teams has gone from 22 players to 38, according to Coach Michael Hilton, who is in his 30th season coaching lacrosse. All but one of the reserve players are new to the sport and the team has already won its first game.
The varsity squad includes 14 returning players and four new members. Carroll has opened with wins over Miamisburg and Fairfield. Players to watch on offense this season are last year’s leading scorer, sophomore Logan DeLisle (three goals and three assists against Fairfield), freshman Lilli Puckett (three goals against Miamisburg), senior attacker Emme Shannon, junior center Elizabeth Graham, and sophomore midfielders Madeleine Sanders and Cat McNamara.
On defense the Pats are led by junior goalkeeper and captain, Kayla Berry, and junior defenders Devyn Harvey, Jasmine O’Neal, and Jessica Egdotaye. Carroll has held opponents to five and seven goals respectively in the first two games. In lacrosse it is not unusual for both teams to score in double digits, Hilton said.
“All four players have improved dramatically since their first year playing together and are improving their lacrosse IQ with each game,” Hilton said.
The reserve team is coached by Craig Walters, and Jon and Lennie Berry who are varsity parents in their first year coaching lacrosse. They are assisted by student coach, Haley Ayers, a senior at Centerville High School, who trained with Hilton.