Pioneers battle, but drop home opener


By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



LEWIS CENTER – New Olentangy Orange girls lacrosse coach Mallory Skrobot will have to wait another game for her first career victory.

Maddie Morrell scored 30 seconds into the game and visiting Pickerington Central never trailed on its way to a 16-4 win over the host Pioneers in non-league action Monday night.

“I don’t think the score reflects the effort that our girls put into the game,” Skrobot said. “They were seeing a lot of connections on attack – they just weren’t connecting on some of the passes. That’s something that we’re going to have to work on. But they were seeing them – which was really good to see.”

Kelsea Friedheim scored four goals, Morrell and Grace Osborn added three goals apiece and Dylan Smith had four assists and a goal to lead Central in the win.

Morrell scored her first on a wrap-around and added another with 18:40 left in the half on a free-position goal to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

She added her third with 3 seconds left in the first half to give Central a 10-3 lead at the break.

Friedham and Riley Smith each scored twice in the second half as the Tigers pulled away.

Brenna Todd had a goal and an assist, Kayla Goodwin and Reilly Stone each had a goal and Dylan Smith added an assist for Central.

Megan Liston had three saves and Cadence Jobe had two in relief in goal for the Tigers (2-0).

“Last year we were playing as a group of individuals and not as a team,” Central coach Brian Walton said. “We’ve really been working this year on a team-oriented offense and tonight, we had a lot of assisted goals. We were working the ball really well in transition and not ball-hogging. When you start doing that – good things can happen.”

Skrobot comes to Orange after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Dublin Jerome, where she helped the Celtics to an OCC-Cardinal championship in 2016.

She was a four-year letterwinner at Wittenberg University where she played in 62 games, including 52 starts on defense, and played high school ball at Bishop Watterson.

There were some bright spots for the Pioneers.

Tyler Bluvol snuck up and stole the ball from the Central keeper behind the net and put the ball into an empty net through contact to get the Pioneers on the board with 12:04 left in the first half.

Jenna Durst added a free-position goal with 10:41 left to cut the Pioneer deficit to 4-2, but the Tigers closed the half 6-1 and never looked back.

Hannah Brown had two goals, Maddie Girard had an assist and Grace McAninch had 13 saves in goal to lead the Pioneers (0-1).

Next up, Orange travels to Bishop Hartley in non-league action Thursday night at 7 p.m.

FROM SATURDAY

The Olentangy boys lacrosse team started well, jumping out to a 3-2 lead by the end of the first quarter, but visiting Moeller gained control in the second and third and pulled away in the fourth en route to a non-league win Saturday in Lewis Center.

Evan Parrott had a hat trick in the setback while Michael Parsio and Aidan Moore finished with a goal apiece. Khairi Sears and Austin English had Olentangy’s assists, one each, while Sam McInturf finished with 23 saves between the pipes.

Licking Valley 13, Big Walnut 5

The Golden Eagles scored the game’s first goal, but couldn’t maintain the momentum as the host Panthers rolled to a season-opening win Saturday at Licking Valley High School.

Big Walnut’s Sam Metzger finished with a team-leading three goals to go with an assist. Judah Lozano had a goal and an assist and Caleb Bailey found the back of the net once as well.

Dublin Coffman 11, Olentangy Liberty 5

Evan James and Nick Harris combined for seven goals to lead the Shamrocks to a solid season-opening win over the Patriots Saturday in Powell.

Four different Liberty players cracked the scoring column — Alex Theuerkauf had two while Peter Spallino, Jacob Weer and Andrew Barrett had one apiece.

Adam Blind finished with eight saves in the Patriot goal.

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By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.