• Dr. Herpy

Kenston Lacrosse Sails Under Closen

Published in The Geauga County Maple Leaf
April 8, 2014
Jason Baxtor

The Kenston Bombers are off to the best start in program history under new head coach Kelsey Closen — 5-1, with their lone loss coming to undefeated Thomas Worthington last Saturday.

Closen played lacrosse and field hockey during her time at Washington & Jefferson in Washington, Penn., and is a graduate of Western Reserve Academy.

She will be the fourth new bench boss for the Bombers in five years. She is helped by varsity assistant Maura Lyons and junior varsity coach Abby Hudson.

The Bombers are coming off a 2013 season in which they finished 12-5-1 and advanced to the third round of the Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association before losing to Olentangy, 13-12. The Bombers were unbeaten (one tie) before the loss to Olentangy.

The 12 wins were a school record for the young Bombers program; they have won 23 games the last two seasons. As of last week, dating back to the 2012 season, the Bombers had won 67 percent of their games.

One of the keys to success for any area lacrosse program is numbers. The Bombers have more than 30 student-athletes in the program, and are fielding a junior varsity team for the third straight season.

Many of the current Bombers got their starts in the feeder program for many Kenston athletic programs, the Kenston Community Education program. The KCE is currently hosting travel teams for athletes between fourth and eighth grades.

The Bombers, during this year’s five-game winning streak, outscored opponents 72-29. Last week, they played host to Brecksville, and used a quick start to dispatch the Bees, 14-3. Kenston put on an early offensive showcase against the Bees, jumping out to an 11-1 halftime lead.

Closen said, “I’m really excited how the season started off. I really had no idea going into this about the program, but these girls have come together. Many of them have dealt with adversity having new coaches every year.

“They have been supportive of me, and really willing to learn new things and try new things. They have come together as a team, and they’re showing it.”

Kenston showed great balance in the game against Brecksville as nine Bombers found the back of the net.

“We have a strong attack and defense,” their coach said. “We don’t really have a girl that does everything that we run plays through. Everyone touches the ball, everyone gets an assist or score. On defense, I would trust any of them in all of those positions.”

The Bombers were led in scoring against Brecksville by senior captain Sarah Newcomb, who finished with three goals. Fellow seniors Samantha DiSanto, Megan Lyons and Marion-Margaret Brosko also chipped in two goals a piece to propel the Bombers over the Bees.

DiSanto, Lyons and Newcomb will serve as captains for the Bombers this season.

“Starting off this year obviously we have a new coach,” said Newcomb, a four-year letterwinner. “But we have had a really strong start to the year, and we’re really happy with that. We have kind of continued how we played last year, but we have enhanced it and have made it better.”

Newcomb will also handle the draw control circle for the Bombers; the draw control is similar to a face-off in hockey.

Katelyn Gilday and Eleni Bruzik round out the senior class for Kenston. Bruzik will serve as the starting goalkeeper for the third year.

Bruzik said she became involved in lacrosse after playing catcher in softball and goalkeeper in soccer. When asked about the growth of the program, Bruzik said, “We’re constantly improving every year regardless of who we lose. The youth program is getting large; I worked a clinic last night, and there was over 30 girls. I was able to help out the four goalies.”

The junior class includes Becky Parker, Carri D’Angelo and Emily Lamb. Parker and D’Angelo were on the varsity roster last year as sophomores.

The sophomore and freshman class is large, with 17 players across both varsity and junior varsity. This will help to ensure the future success of the Bombers. Sophomores getting an opportunity on the varsity team include Amanda Cheravitch, Kendal Bodlak, Erica Abbarno, Shelby Zenobi and Caroline Madden.

One game the Bombers are looking forward to is an early season matchup with rival Chagrin Falls. The Tigers currently stand at 2-0 after an OT win over Hudson on Saturday night. Kenston is winless in six meetings all-time against their Route 322 rival.

The remainder of the Bombers’ schedule is highlighted with games against two of the top programs in the state, like Medina (Division I) and Walsh Jesuit (Division II). They also have multiple matchups with local rivals remaining: Hawken, Mentor, Hathaway Brown and Beaumont School.

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