It was a bit of a good news, bad news situation for the Olentangy Liberty girls lacrosse team against Dublin Jerome Thursday night in Powell.
The bad news was Isabel Hemminger and Cameron Finnegan scored back-to-back goals within 56 seconds to hand the host Patriots a 14-12 loss on Senior Night.
The good news?
Liberty coach Nicole Stines knows her team’s deficiencies.
“The losses that we’ve had – it’s been the same stuff,” she said. “We’re pin-pointing the right things and the girls get very eager to want to work at it. But, the moment they get into their heads mentally, those are the things they fall back on.”
What’s holding them back?
“I’m pretty sure we controlled them. I’m pretty sure we out-shot them – we just shot right at the goalie,” Stines said. “That’s what cost us the game.
“I think they were just nervous because they knew Jerome was good competition coming in. In those situations, I think they want to step up and be leaders – they just don’t trust their skills enough and we have a lot of turnovers.”
Grace Buckey scored three goals and assisted on two others and Molly Bursinger scored three times to help Liberty keep pace.
“We recently switched (Bursinger) to the draw and it completely shifted our draw-control unit,” Stines said. “She’s very, very consistent and she has a wicked shot. She’s such a confident player for a girl her age. I’m super-excited to see her develop as a leader.”
The Patriots tied Jerome five times in the second half after trailing 8-7 at the break, but they couldn’t get that go-ahead goal.
Hemminger and Finnegan each scored four goals to lead the Celtics (12-2), who picked up their 10th straight victory after starting the season 2-2.
Liberty senior goalie Ellie Corder stood on her head to keep Jerome from getting too far out in front. She stopped 16 shots in the setback.
“Ellie’s phenomenal,” Stines said. “There have been multiple big games where she’s definitely kept us in it.”
Corder is committed to play at North Greenville University (SC).
Her steps have gotten so much faster. Her stick, in terms of movement and meeting the ball, has gotten so much faster,” Stines said. “She’s gotten so much better at stepping out at girls and meeting them, not being afraid to be a very active goalie and not sitting back on the line.”
The two teams combined to score 13 goals in the first 14 minutes, 11 seconds. Jerome added its final goal of the half with 3:06 left to go up 8-6, breaking up a drought of 7:43.
Liberty led by two goals early, but the Celtics scored six of the next eight before a Bursinger goal cut the lead to one before the break.
The teams traded goals throughout the second half. Jordan Reineke scored back-to-back goals for Liberty – the last of which tied it 12-12 with 6:33 left. But, Liberty couldn’t find the go-ahead goal.
Mandy Menning, Isabelli Francati and Kate Edwards had two goals apiece, Hannah Rashidi had an assist and Mackenzie Potts stopped 14 shots in goal for the Celtics.
Ali Tomsho had two goals and Mollie McCormick and Madison Rapier finished with a goal apiece to round out the scoring for the Patriots (9-5).
Liberty is right back at it tonight when it travels to Medina for a contest scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
“I’m really excited to see them against Medina,” Stines said. “I think they’re gonna come out really, really hard to try to redeem themselves. They’ve never played Medina before, which will be really awesome.”
Thomas Worthington 22, Orange 12
Brooke Delara led the way with six goals, but it wasn’t enough as the Pioneers fell to the host Cardinals Thursday in Worthington.
Kailee O’Brien also had a nice game, finishing with three goals in the setback.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.