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Windermere Observer Thursday, May 5, 2016 2 years ago

SIDELINE SCENE: TItans' terrific trio of seasons deserves praise

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Olympia girls lacrosse made the state semifinals three consecutive years — under three different head coaches.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

Three years, three coaches, three appearances in the state semifinals.

All of this by a public school from Central Florida.

Steven Ryzewski

Obviously, the ladies of the Olympia Titans girls lacrosse team really would like to have a state championship ring to show for their remarkable three-year run, but the lack of one doesn’t take away from what they’ve accomplished.

Olympia fell to Bartram Trail 11-10 in the state semifinals April 29, with Bartram going on to win the state championship in overtime against powerhouse Vero Beach, 8-7. 

Of the three state semifinal losses, this was probably the hardest for the Titans because it was the closest margin of defeat.

They were really close to playing for a state championship for the first time.

Still, it doesn’t offset the significance of what the program has done the past three years. Consider that only Vero Beach also has been to the Final Four in each of the past three years, like Olympia. That’s impressive.

Girls lacrosse in this state has a top tier of regular contenders and, along with the likes of Vero Beach, Ponte Vedra and Barron Collier, the Titans are right up there.

That the Titans have remained a well-oiled machine while cycling through three coaches (Chip Carbiener, Elyse DeLisle and Brooke Tobin) in three seasons is as much a testament to the girls’ maturity and leadership as it is to their talent. 

And although there has been some recognition in lacrosse publications for standouts such as senior Ashley Matthews and Finley Cassidy, this run largely has been fueled by a strong team dynamic and a willingness by the team to reinvent itself each season to suit its roster.

That the Titans have remained a well-oiled machine while cycling through three coaches (Chip Carbiener, Elyse DeLisle and Brooke Tobin) in three seasons is as much a testament to the girls’ maturity and leadership as it is to their talent. 

That sort of success in the face of instability doesn’t happen that often. Most powerhouse programs are defined by coaches who have been on campus for years.

Olympia will graduate a talented class of seniors who will be missed, so perhaps next year will snap the Titans’ streak of regional championships. 

Then again, I wouldn’t bet against them.

After all, for juniors on the team, why not try and make it four-for-four in making it to state?

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