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Lady Titans lacrosse team edged in WPIAL semifinals

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 11:22 a.m.
 

When Jen Perestock arrived at Shaler as the girls lacrosse coach, she had aspirations of building a program everyone could take pride in.In her third season at the helm, Perestock guided her team into the house of the defending WPIAL Division II lacrosse champion North Hills Lady Indians in the WPIAL semifinals. The Lady Titans fell one goal short, but made a statement that the team is not going anywhere anytime soon."We are a blue collar team," Perestock said. "That is how we prepare. We just tweak a thing here or there."Shaler opened the game at North Hills with a 4-1 lead. Beth Snider and Shannon Lynch led the charge early for the Lady Titans.Then, North Hills tore off eight unanswered goals to take a 9-4 lead into the half.Shaler could have folded at that point, and nobody would have thought less of them, but the team battled back once again, scoring five-straight goals to knot the game at 9-9.Shannon Lynch, Nellie Parks, Courtney Ambrozic, Elizabeth Casertano and Snider contributed to the rally.Perestock said words can not describe how proud she is of a team that will return all but two players from this squad next year.The team will lose Casertano, who will go to Oregon on a lacrosse scholarship, the first Shaler lacrosse player, boys or girls, to accomplish a DI scholarship. Also playing in her final game was Snider, who carried the load much of the season with her senior counterpart out with an injury."They have both been my captains for each of my three seasons," Perestock said. "Elizabeth is our star, our MVP … it was hard to have her on the bench until the playoffs."Bethany stepped it up and averaged six goals a game for us. She will play at Thiel College next year."It was hard to conclude the season sooner than expected, but Perestock is proud of the team for its dedication on the field, as well as the work in the classroom."About 94 percent of our team is on the high honor roll …," she said. "This is a young group, and the future is promising."

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