State semifinal loss ends amazing season for Heights Girls Lacrosse
Members of the Heights Tigers Girls Lacrosse Team celebrate the team's 8-7 victory over Hudson, which advanced them to the semifinals. Photo by Glenn Collins.
The Heights Tiger Girls Lacrosse Team’s dream of a state championship turned into a nightmare Friday, June 1, as the number-one ranked Golden Bears of Upper Arlington dominated every aspect of the semifinal game, winning 11–5.
The Tigers had beaten Upper Arlington in April, 9–6, and came into the state semifinal game feeling confident. The Golden Bears scored in the first minute, but Tigers senior co-captain Margeaux Apple tied the score on a pass from senior co-captain Meg Lentz.
Upper Arlington scored a minute later, but the Tigers showed their mettle, tying the score 2–2 on a goal by sophomore Meredith Matia at 18:12. For the next ten minutes, Heights sophomore goalie Maddi Kohr fended off shot after relentless shot. Upper Arlington opened the flood gates with 8:45 left in the first half, scoring four consecutive goals to take a 6–2 lead at the break.
Meg Lentz won the draw control to start the second half and drove down the field, scoring after just 20 seconds to bring Heights to a 6–3 deficit. Then the speed, athleticism and depth of the Upper Arlington roster started to show. Forcing multiple turnovers from the rapidly tiring Tigers and winning every draw control, the Golden Bears pressed their advantages to score three successive goals and open a 9–3 lead with 15 minutes to play.
The Tigers, led by Meg Lentz, scored two more goals, but it wasn't nearly enough as Upper Arlington matched the tallies and won the game.
Upper Arlington won 15 of 18 draw controls and caused at least a dozen turnovers. The score might have been much more lopsided had it not been for a dazzling display between the pipes by Maddi Kohr, and tenacious defense from the Tigers’ back line. Heights goals were scored by Lentz, with three, by Apple and Matia, with one each.
Heights coach Terry Saylor commented after the game that the Tigers were slow in the attack zone, often finding themselves trying to go "three on seven."
The game ended the high school careers of senior co-captains Meg Lentz, Margeaux Apple and Ellie Austin. Next year, the Tigers will be led by seniors Kyra Schoonover, Isabel Collins, Allie Sharon, Sara Friedberg and Kelly Dawson. Meredith Matia, Madeleine Winans, Prisca Ngolo and Kalah Saunders will represent a strong junior class. Sophomore Maddi Kohr, who finished her first year as goalie, and freshman Sarah Lentz, who showed tremendous progress through the year, will be back.
Although the season did not end the way Heights had dreamed, the Tigers showed surprising determination, crafting a successful season that exceeded expectations. Highlights of the year included defeating Upper Arlington in April; winning a close game against the Division 2 champion, Hathaway Brown; beating the team’s cross-town rival, Shaker Heights; and holding on to win a thriller against the number one team in western Pennsylvania, Peters Township. The Tigers finished the year 9-2, and when they defeated their nemesis Hudson in overtime in the district finals, 8-7, they found themselves in the state final four.
John Lentz is the proud parent of two Heights Girls Lacrosse Team members.