By Michael Rich
Brooke Delara, Alex Lowry and Sarah Ramsey each had hat tricks by halftime as the Olentangy Orange girls lacrosse team took control in the first half on its way to a comfortable 17-5 win over district-rival Olentangy at home Thursday night.
“Communication, especially in the midfield and on defense, helped,” senior defender Lindsey Hopeck said. “That was one of our weaknesses during our losing streak.”
The weather was anything but comfortable on a cold, windy and sometimes rainy, sometimes snowy night in Lewis Center.
The Pioneers overcame a quick 2-1 start by Olentangy in the first six minutes to score nine of the next 10 goals over a 13-minute stretch in the first half to build a seven-goal lead.
Maddie Garner and Dana Stover scored early for Olentangy (1-3) to build a 2-1 lead with 19:03 remaining.
Kailey Collett found Lowry on almost identical goals within a 20-second span to give Orange (3-3) a 3-2 lead with 15:02 remaining in the half and the Pioneers never trailed again.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak and gave the Pioneers wins over both district rivals this season, which included a 16-13 victory over Liberty March 24.
“It was a good win and a good start to pick up the momentum again and keep moving forward,” Hopeck said.
“It’s the best feeling to be the best Olentangy school this year,” senior defender Eily Cogan said. “It’s really cool to see how we’ve improved this season.”
Orange had lost by more than 10 goals to both Olentangy and Liberty last season.
“After last year — (to be) able to turn the score around and (see) the success we’ve already had this year — it’s really exciting,” said Ramsey, a senior attacker and defender whose Orange team lost at Olentangy by an identical 17-5 score last season.
“It’s a new year and new teams for everybody,” Orange coach Megan Noone said. “Olentangy is a good team with a good coaching staff and it felt nice to come out with a W.”
Olentangy lost 10 seniors off of last year’s team.
“We’ve got a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing on the varsity team,” Olentangy coach Amy Halls said. “We just need some more experience.”
Delara finished with four goals and two assists, Ramsey had three goals and three assists and Lowry ended up with three goals and an assist for the Pioneers.
Rhyann Green led Orange with three assists to go with one goal and Grace McAninach was steady in net with eight saves.
Holly Galvin led Olentangy with a pair of goals, Lindsey Brennan had an assist and Alex Hummer stopped eight shots in goal.
“I was really happy with our goalie,” Halls said. “Alex did a very good job in there — she held her own.”
Next up, Orange hosts Zionsville (IN) Saturday at 2 p.m. and Olentangy hosts Delaware Hayes Monday night at 7 p.m.
Buckeye Valley battled, trailing visiting Westerville North by just two at halftime, but the Warriors pulled away in the second half to notch a 13-7 win Wednesday in Delaware.
Nathan Heiser and Carson James finished with two goals apiece to lead the Barons. Trent Slavik, Tanner Morris and Gabe Zimmerly also scored while Nick Gerald finished with 10 saves between the pipes.
Dublin Jerome 9, Liberty 8, OT
Johnny Wiseman found the back of the net four times, but it wasn’t enough as the host Celtics knocked off the Patriots in overtime Wednesday in Dublin.
Eric NeCamp was also solid in the setback, finishing with two goals, while Cameron Finley had eight saves in the Liberty goal.
Worthington Kilbourne 12, Olentangy 11, OT
The Wolves landed the final blow in what was a competitive game throughout, clipping the Braves in overtime Wednesday night in Columbus.
Cam Kennedy led Olentangy with a hat trick while Zach Whitenack and Sam Camacho scored two goals apiece.
Charlie Harkin finished with nine saves in the Braves goal.
Orange 5, Big Walnut 0
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.