TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 6/18/13
The Upper Arlington girls’ lacrosse team claimed the Ohio state championship June 1 when it defeated Cincinnati Sycamore, 14-8, at Thomas Worthington.
It was the first state title since 2008 and fifth overall for the Golden Bears, who had lost in the state final each of the past four years, including the past three to Medina.
“Definitely, the losses against Medina served as a huge motivator for the season and fueled our desire to make it back to the state championship game,” said Upper Arlington coach Wendy Pinta. “I also think that the losses were a great learning lesson.
“We played as a whole unit rather than as individuals like we had in last year’s state championship game.”
The Golden Bears finished 16-2 and won their final 10 games after dropping a 7-4 decision to Medina, which got knocked out by Sycamore, 10-3, in the semifinals.
“Yes, I think that we played a lot better as the season progressed,” said Pinta, who returned as the team’s coach in 2012 after a four-year hiatus. “Again, we had ‘tests’ in the mid-season (like the one goal, come from behind games against Kilbourne and New Albany) that emphasized the point the we all had to be on the same page, running the same play or set, while also learning how to use the clock and control the tempo of the game – which served to be very useful in the state championship game.
“I think that players also became more and more familiar with the plays, particularly the options off the plays, which the opposing teams had a difficult time stopping. We also spent a lot of time learning how to attack a zone, which very few teams in our league run.”
Pinta said teams tried to use the zone defense in the playoffs against the Bears, but to no avail.
“Many teams that we faced in the state tournament ran zones and we just got a lot more comfortable about creating and finding space in a zone,” she said. “Finally, there was just this undeniable will to win from our senior class that played a huge role in our last two games.”
In the title win, The Golden Bears turned a 3-1 deficit into a 7-6 lead early in the second half before taking control by dominating the draws.
UA won eight of the 10 second-half draws, as senior attack Samantha Farwick scored three of her five goals in the second half and her twin sister, Sydney Farwick, tallied four. Sophomore midfielder Molly Plasket added two goals and two assists as UA outscored the Aviators 7-2 to close the game.
“We had really big games from Syd & Sam Farwick (Kennesaw State), Macauley Mikes (Gettysburg), Nicole Stines (University of Findlay), and Abbey Stricharczuk,” said Pinta. “Sam & Syd alone combined for 18 goals between them in the last two games alone and Nicole was key on the draw, winning 7 of the last 9 taken in the state championship game.”
Pinta guided the Bears to state titles in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Lynda McCandlish, who played for Pinta at UA, took them to the 2008 championship.
The Bears lost the 2009 final to Sycamore, 7-6, and they then fell to Medina, 15-9, in 2010; 14-13, in double overtime in 2011 and 10-9 last year.