King reigns supreme, Panthers sack Chiefs

Starr’s Mill claims two area titles with wins over McIntosh


Katie Linkner

Sophomore Chief Brooks Baro shoots at junior Panther goalie Derek Saylor. Baro scored four goals against Starr’s Mill, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Panther offense that averages over 17 goals per game.

Rilee Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief

Last Thursday, the McIntosh Chiefs lacrosse teams traveled to Panther Stadium for two matchups with Starr’s Mill. For both the boys’ and girls’ teams, an area championship was on the line. Neither Chief squad put up much of a fight, and both Panther teams defeated McIntosh for the third straight year.

“That’s two [area championships] in a row for these seniors and that’s never been done before,” boys’ head coach Jeff Schmidlkofer said. “We’ll get some rest and get into the playoffs and see what we can do.”

Katie Linkner
Junior Alyssa Angelo avoids a Lady Chief Defender. Sophomore Ryanne King led a Lady Panthers offense that averages 16 goals per game, while sophomore goalie Karlee Jenks anchors a Starr’s Mill defense that only allows four goals per contest.

Sophomore Ryanne King led the Lady Panthers with five goals and a handful of assists. Her speed and strength proved to be too much as she nearly outscored the Chiefs by herself. Sophomore Jordyn Richards added two goals of her own, and sophomore goalie Karlee Jenks locked down the goal for Starr’s Mill.

Senior Marie Ogletree notched a hat trick for McIntosh, but the Chiefs’ lackluster offense and stagnant defense were too much to overcome. The goalie for McIntosh saved many shots, but the McIntosh defense allowed too many opportunities for Starr’s Mill. Ogletree was able to find the net on offense, but she lacked help from the other attackers.

“[King] is ridiculous,” community coach Kris Beardsley said. “She’s aggressive, she’s strong, she’s smart with the ball. She’s everything you want in a player.”

Neither team scored in the first seven minutes of the game, but at the 18:35 mark in the first half, King scored her first goal of the match. Just 21 seconds later, senior Alexis Coullias handed Starr’s Mill an early 2-0 lead.

McIntosh responded two minutes later with a goal of their own, but their defense crumbled right after. Over the next two minutes, Richards scored two goals and King added another to put the Mill up 5-1 with 13 minutes left in the first half.

Starr’s Mill quickly cooled off, and neither team scored for the next eleven minutes. Ogletree broke the stalemate at the 2:14 mark with her first goal of the night. Less than a minute later, King beat the McIntosh goalie once again. Junior Lady Panther Caroline Andrews scored the last goal of the first half, and Starr’s Mill went to the break leading 7-2.

“The transition downfield was amazing,” head coach Mary Lehman said. “We had such an amazing team effort from all these kids.”

[Ryanne King] is ridiculous … She’s aggressive, she’s strong, she’s smart with the ball. ”

— community coach Kris Beardsley

Three minutes into the second half, Ogletree launched a shot past Jenks to bring McIntosh within four. Over the next ten minutes, King scored twice and Ogletree scored once, putting the score at 9-4 with 12 minutes left in the game. Sophomore Anna Beardsley and freshman Jess DeLuca then scored back-to-back goals, and the Lady Panthers increased their lead to 11-4.

Over the last eight minutes, the teams traded goals but McIntosh showed no signs of a late comeback. Starr’s Mill drained the clock and walked off of the field as area champions for the third consecutive year.

“I’m feeling good right now,” King said. “If we play our best we should be able to get [to the state championship].”

After the senior night festivities, the boys took the field in their area championship game. Both schools came into the contest with flawless area records, but senior Panthers Ethan Sack and Avery Jenks made sure Starr’s Mill finished undefeated.

Sack scored all five of his goals in the first half, while Jenks scored four of his five in the second. The Panthers’ abundance of offensive firepower was too much for McIntosh, as the Chiefs lacked the scoring ability to keep up.

Sophomore Brooks Baro scored four goals for McIntosh, including their first three of the game. Baro was able to penetrate the Panthers’ defense and fire shots into the net, but he didn’t have enough help from his teammates to overcome the Panthers’ offensive juggernaut.

“[Sack and Jenks] have been consistent, they’ve been consistent all year,” Schmidlkofer said. “They’re experienced, and experience, you can’t buy that.”

Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter. Starr’s Mill took many shots, but misfired on almost all of them. Baro opened the scoring at the 10:30 mark in the first quarter when he drove past a Panther defender and beat junior goalie Derek Saylor for an easy goal. Two minutes later, Jenks scored the first goal for Starr’s Mill, and evened the score at 1-1. Later in the quarter, Baro ended a five-minute scoring drought with a behind-the-back shot that found the back of the net. McIntosh held a 2-1 lead until 33 seconds left  in the first quarter, when Sack scored his first goal of the night.

After ending the first quarter with a goal, Sack opened the second quarter with another. Four minutes later, however, Baro beat Saylor again for his third goal of the night. Junior Reid Harrison scored and gave Starr’s Mill a 4-3 lead, and then Sack took over. Driving, spinning, and juking his way through the Chief defense, Sack willed his way to three straight goals to blow the game wide open. Both teams traded goals in the final minutes before halftime, and Starr’s Mill held a comfortable 8-4 lead at the intermission.

Katie Linkner
Junior Reid Harrison drives past the Chief defense. Ten of the Panthers’ goals came from seniors Avery Jenks and Ethan Sack. The duo torched McIntosh all night and the Chiefs were unable to find an answer.

“I had the matchup on their short sticks and I was hitting the goal,” Sack said. “Coach told me to keep going.”

Starr’s Mill opened the second half with three straight goals, and McIntosh quickly fell behind 11-4. However, the Chiefs quickly recovered and scored three straight goals of their own to pull within four with three minutes left in the third quarter. Jenks answered with back-to-back goals to put the Panthers ahead 13-7 going into the final quarter.

Starr’s Mill slowed down in the fourth quarter and began to chew clock. Both teams were scoreless in the quarter until Jenks fired a shot into the goal at the 5:42 mark. McIntosh missed their shots and could not get anything going on offense until the final minutes of the game. The Chiefs scored three goals in the final two minutes, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit. The Panthers won their third straight game against McIntosh and clinched their third area title in the three years.

“We practiced all year to come out here and beat McIntosh,” Jenks said. “After halftime I was thinking I needed to slow down and play smart, and I executed in the third quarter.”

Both Panther squads will move on the GHSA State Playoffs following a week off. The boys are coming off of an early exit last year while the girls look to build upon a final four appearance two seasons ago. Both teams are seeking deep playoff runs and a chance to play for a state championship.

The girls will host Woodward in the first round.  The boys’ opponent, and both game times and dates, had not been released at time of publication.

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