Coffman accepts the pressure to defend his title

The Dublin Coffman women’s lacrosse team would love nothing more than to follow through on a 2021 season that included many firsts by accomplishing many of the same goals this spring.

What the Shamrocks won’t have is the element of surprise, but that feels more like an adjustment than creating a new mentality.

After defeating Upper Arlington 11-9 in the Division I, Region 3 championship game for his first victory over the Golden Bears and his first regional title, Coffman beat New Albany 13-12 to avenge a regular season loss to the Bears. Eagles and capture his first state championship.

“There’s definitely a lot of pressure,” said junior striker/midfielder Kate Tyack. “Last season, personally, I knew we were going to be much better than everyone thought. But now everyone realizes that we are a good team and I think that’s a lot more pressure than the last season. When we played against good teams (last season), we had nothing to lose because we had lost against them for so many years. And if we won, everyone would be like, ‘Wow, we didn’t expect that.’

“With the pressure, there is a lot more motivation. If we still want that, I gotta go hit the wall and get out there and shoot more.

Coffman has a new coach in Adam Beasley, a graduate of Hilliard Davidson in 1997 who previously coached the men’s teams at Bexley (2006-07), Westerville North (2015) and Davidson (2017-20) and also helped the Coffman boys from 2011 to 14 and last season.

Michael Murphy led the Coffman girls to a 123-59-1 record in 10 seasons, including an 18-5 record last spring before retiring.

“I bring a lot of things from my male system,” said Beasley, who is coaching a female program for the first time. “I bring a boxing mentality from the boys’ game, so you’re going to see a lot more choice, a lot more off-ball movement, and you’ll see seven girls touching the ball on offense with every possession.

“The ball will go very fast. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time and I met with a lot of college coaches to make sure I knew what I was doing.

Beasley knows the Shamrocks had one of the best talent pools in the state a year ago.

Coffman lost midfielder Amanda Bailey after having 69 goals and 20 assists, but Tyack (68 goals) and junior midfielder Bailey Morris (61 goals) are back.

Sophomore hitter Ava Westmeyer scored the game-winning goal in the state finals and finished with 18, while senior hitter Elliot Chinnock had 31 goals.

Tyack is an Ohio State draftee who has two older brothers — Coffman graduates Peter Tyack and Ethan Tyack — playing at Denison.

Sophomore Quinn Hammond and junior Morgan Halli, a southpaw, are expected to be other key forwards.

Junior Olivia Lantz is a comeback that will see time in midfield with freshmen Libby Berg, Izzy King and Malori May, and the Shamrocks also have senior Lily Holmes, a signing from Ashland, to anchor their defense.

Holmes will be joined by senior Audrey Bajec and juniors Meghan Shera and Macaiah Parks.

“We had never managed to get this far until last year, so we had nothing to lose,” Holmes said. “Abbie Elliott (graduating in 2021) was a key leader for our defense, so now as a senior I have to step into her role, which is big shoes to fill.”

Junior Kiki Jose will be in goal after registering 56 saves last season while supporting 2021 graduate Olivia Shafer (73 saves).

“They’re all good kids,” Beasley said. “(Murphy) has left the closet very, very full. They work very hard and they’re a special group. They work with me as I go from coaching boys to coaching girls. I’ve had more fun at coach these girls than I haven’t had in a long time. We have high expectations and we have the potential to meet those expectations, but it’s up to us to earn it.

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COFFMAN

•Coach: Adam Beasley, first season

• Best Players: Elliot Chinnock, Morgan Halli, Quinn Hammond, Lily Holmes, Kiki Jose, Bailey Morris, Macaiah Parks, Kate Tyack and Ava Westmeyer

• Key losses: Amanda Bailey, Kenzie Bicking, Abbie Elliott, Mary Proctor and Olivia Shafer

•Last season: 18-5 overall

• OCC-Central 2021 ranking: Upper Arlington (5-0), Coffman (4-1), Olentangy Liberty (3-2), Hilliard Davidson (2-3), Olentangy Orange (1-4), Hilliard Bradley (0-5)

• Post-season 2021: Def. Fairmont Kettering 21-4; def. Hilliard Darby 14-3; def. Jerome 7-5; def. AU 11-9; def. Loveland 9-7; def. New Albany 13-12 in Division I final

JEROME

•Coach: Katlin Crooks, first season

• Best Players: Sarah Bell, Zara Johnson, Ida Modin, Ashley Westerheide and Paige Wleklinski

• Key losses: Olivia Brooks, Kara Gosnell, Katelyn Root and Izzy Seikel

•Last season: 11-6 overall

• OCC-Cardinal 2021 ranking: Thomas Worthington (5-0), Jerome (4-1), Hilliard Darby (3-2), Olentangy (2-3), Olentangy Berlin (1-4), Marysville (0-5)

• Post-season 2021: Def. Pickerington Central 15-12; def. Def. Spring Boro 11-10; lost to Coffman 7-5 in the Division I, Region 3 semifinals

•Outlook: The Celtics are under new management as Katlin Crooks replaced Kendall Gordon, who resigned after going 38-14-2 in three seasons.

Jérôme was a regional Division I runner-up in 2019 and won the OCC-Cardinal titles in 2018 and 2019.

Key midfielders include senior Ida Modin and sophomores Sophia Czekajewski and Catelin McLoughlin, while the attack will feature junior Sarah Bell.

Defenders include seniors Zara Johnson, Ashley Westerheide and Paige Wleklinski, and sophomores Devin Mitchell and Kameryn Yegerlehner will split time in front of goal.

• Quoteable: “The team is great. They are very dedicated. They are receptive to feedback not only in sports, but also in life. It’s a good group of girls. They have good attitudes, good everything. … I want to win. I would love to take them to the state tournament. We have a lot of potential. I would like to send some of these seniors with a good season. — crooks

—Frank DiRenna

SCIOTO

•Coach: Sarah Zink, fifth season

• Best Players: Claira Celek, Denise Fadalalmawla, Erika Lytle, Christiana Nickleson, Alec Rothe, Sophia Schwab, Tiffany Trinh and Madison Zechman

• Key losses: Ashleigh Rothe, Karleigh Rothe and Avery Schwab

•Last season: 13-4 overall

• OCC-Capital 2021 ranking: Worthington Kilbourne (5-0), Scioto (4-1), Big Walnut (2-3), Delaware (2-3), South Westerville (2-3), North Westerville (0-5)

• Post-season 2021: Lost to Springboro 12-11 in the second round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament

•Outlook: Scioto is looking to continue to build on his recent success. The Irish finished 13-4 last season after 14-4 in 2019 and 12-4 in 2018. The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.

Junior goaltender Denise Fadalalmawla made 80 saves and was a league first-team all-star a year ago.

Senior midfielder Tiffany Trinh was second team in all leagues and honorable mention in all regions with 19 goals and 11 assists. Senior midfielder Holland Bell and second-year striker Sophia Schwab were part of the second team in all leagues, with Schwab tallying 42 goals and 29 assists.

Senior midfielder Erika Lytle and second-year forward Alec Rothe each had 15 goals and seven assists.

The major graduation losses were Ashleigh Rothe, Karleigh Rothe and Avery Schwab. Schwab (forward) was in the first team in all states, all regions and all leagues. Karleigh Rothe (midfielder) was second team all-state and first team all-region and all-league, and Ashleigh Rothe (midfielder) was first-team all-league and second team in all the regions.

The three combined for 202 goals and 110 assists last season.

• Quoteable: “We have good numbers this year. Our girls really advertised and tried to get a lot of new people to play. We have a very good team chemistry in that our players want the same goal, a common goal, to work together, to play together. All that team vibe. There is no single player who dominates everything. They play as one team. —coach Sarah Zink

—Frank DiRenna

About Marie A. Gingrich

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