DELAWARE – Coming into Olentangy Berlin’s first girls lacrosse season, junior Andi Henry had the most varsity experience of anyone on the team.
That experience was on full display Tuesday night as she poured in five goals and assisted on two others to lead the Bears to a 14-12 win over host Delaware Hayes in the OCC-Cardinal finale for both squads.
“It’s been very hard,” she said. “There’s new teammates that have never played together before. You just have to remember to always have a positive attitude. Sometimes, it can get frustrating. But at the end – it’s totally worth it because of the connections you make on the team.”
Henry assisted on a Libby Cuckler goal with 24:20 left in the first half that tied the game 1-1. It was the first of four straight goals that gave the Bears the lead for good.
Henry scored her first goal off an Izzy Conrad feed to give Berlin a 3-1 lead with 23:09 left in the first. The goal was Henry’s 100th career goal.
“It’s a big life goal that I’ve had for a while,” Henry said about the milestone. “I’m just really proud of the way of I’ve been playing. It felt really good to get that 100th.”
She assisted on a Conrad goal and then scored three straight goals to push Berlin’s lead to six with 5:30 left before the break. She added her fifth goal with 1:37 left to give the Bears an 11-4 lead at the break.
“Andi is a playmaker,” Berlin coach Megan Noone said. “She creates the offense and she works hard all over the field. She has improved so much from the beginning of the season until now and she’s going to continue to do that going forward.”
Cuckler and Conrad each added four goals and an assist, Bri Hibbits had five saves and Sophia Martel added four in goal for the Bears (8-6, 3-4).
“Overall, I thought we dominated in the first half and we had a few mental lapses in the second half that I think we can clean up,” Noone said.
Berlin has far exceeded expectations, according to Noone, and it started at the Hannigan Galipault showcase at Thomas Worthington Apr. 13 where the Bears swept a pair of games against Chillicothe and Hudson Western Reserve Academy to start a string of four straight wins and six of their last seven.
The Pacers have been slow to start this season, coach Katie Barnhart said.
“We’re typically a second-half team,” she said. “We don’t wake up until the second half and then we realize, ‘Oh, shoot – we better get back into this.’ That’s something that’s hard to overcome.”
Morgan Miller scored off a face-off 15 seconds into the game to give Hayes an early 1-0 lead. But the goals were few and far between in the first half.
By the time the Pacers found their footing, the deficit was too big.
“This is my second year here and we’re playing four JV girls – two of them freshmen,” Barnhart said. “So, it’s a learning process for everyone. (For) me – it’s how to communicate to these girls – how to teach them the proper ways and the right techniques. For the girls – it’s learning to jive with that.”
Miller scored twice in the second half, including one on a 4-0 rally to pull Hayes within 12-9 with 12:24 left in the game. She finished with five goals and added an assist.
“Right now – she’s our top senior,” Barnhart said. “We have a lot of injuries and she has really … took over for our girls. She goes out there and she plays with heart and she plays with hustle. She gets back up when she gets knocked down. She has the drive and the right attitude for it.”
Lindsay Wolverton scored her first goal during the rally and added a second at the 7:15 mark of the second half to pull Hayes within 13-11.
But another Conrad goal with 2:15 left all but thwarted the rally.
Josie Derstine scored her second goal of the game with 18.3 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.
Gabrielle Weckerly stopped 13 shots in goal for the Pacers (7-7, 1-6).
Both teams continue non-league play next. Berlin hosts Olentangy Liberty Thursday night at 7 p.m. while Hayes is off until May 8 when it hosts Bishop Hartley at 7 p.m.
Olentangy Orange 12, Westerville North 5
Tyler Bluvol had four goals and Ellie Beck and Hannah Brown added three apiece to lead the Pioneers to a win over the visiting Warriors Tuesday night.
Grace McAninch had 15 saves in the Orange goal.
Also: Olentangy Liberty 13, Olentangy 11; New Albany 20, Big Walnut 3
Blake Eiland found the back of the net five times while four others had hat tricks to lead Delaware Hayes to a convincing 20-6 win over host Olentangy Berlin Tuesday night.
Brystin Coldiron, Hunter Piroska, Sam Lagando and Shane Manor had the hat tricks, with Coldiron adding five assists and Piroska chipping in three more.
Tyler Carney had five saves in the Pacer goal.
Sam Warner had 18 saves for the Bears while Gavin Angell finished with a team-best three goals.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at email@example.com.