The Olentangy Liberty girls lacrosse team scored the first eight goals en route to a 20-6 victory over rival Olentangy Orange in the Division I Region 1 tournament Friday night in Powell.
The only thing that stalled Liberty’s hot start was a downpour that delayed the opening faceoff by about 20 minutes.
Molly McCormack led with six goals, Madison Rapier had four, Molly Bursinger tallied three and Grace Buckey finished with two goals and assisted on two others to lead the Patriots (13-6).
“When (we) get that fast start, (our) momentum stays the entire time,” Liberty coach Nicole Stines said. “I think that was one of the big key differences. The last couple of games at the end of our regular season, we didn’t have that fast start and the team got kind of down on themselves early.”
Jordan Rieneke had two goals and an assist, Julia Swaro scored twice and Lauren Alexander added a goal to round out the scoring for the Patriots.
“I think, finally, all the little things are coming together,” Stines said. “The girls were just really fired up … this was their last home game.”
Ali Tomsho, Emma Shear and Kendall Gallagher each assisted on goals and Ellie Corder stopped seven shots in goal for Liberty.
“If they keep playing like they (did tonight) – they got a really, really good shot,” Stines said.
Bella Lindell and Brooke Delara had two goals apiece and Hannah Lower and Alex Lowry each added a goal for Orange.
Corynn Schneider made four saves and Grace McAninch stopped two shots in goal for the Pioneers (6-13).
“You know what – Liberty’s a great team. They’ve got speed, they’ve got athleticism and their confidence … hats off to them – they played an incredible game,” Orange coach Megan Noone said.
“These seniors – the whole group – we never gave up and I’ll give that to them. Our perseverance was amazing,” she added. “I already had many conversations on the sidelines with our underclassmen … it’s what we do in the offseason now. Let this fuel you.”
With the win, Liberty will meet third-seeded Medina, which beat fourth-seeded Olentangy 10-9, in the regional semifinals Tuesday night at a time and site to be announced.
Hayes 9, Medina 3 (Division I Region 1 tournament); Watterson 19, Buckeye Valley 3 (Division II Region 7 tournament).
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.