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Fox Chapel field hockey looks to break through

| Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 7:36 p.m.

It's been 15 years since Fox Chapel won a WPIAL championship in field hockey.

The Foxes have had chances, finishing runner-up two of the past three seasons.

But after a 1-0 win over North Allegheny in last week's semifinals, Fox Chapel (12-4) looks primed for a breakthrough.

The Foxes take on defending champion Penn-Trafford (14-3-1) at 8 p.m. Wednesday at North Allegheny in the Class AAA championship.

Senior forward Kate Hardiman scored the game's only goal in the semis, but Fox Chapel coach Jen McCrady said she has 10 players with three or more goals this season.

“Any one of them, on any given day, can be the hero,” McCrady said.

Fox Chapel beat Penn-Trafford, 3-0, earlier this season. A good omen, for sure, but not a guarantee of a repeat.

“We can't just bank on that,” McCrady said. “They'll be ready to play us.”

Fox Chapel could have an advantage at goalkeeper. Alaina George has been solid, making seven saves in the semis.

Amanda Steffey is one of Penn-Trafford's top scorers. She found the net twice in a 3-2 win over top-seeded Peters Township in the semifinals.

The Foxes lost to North Allegheny in last year's semifinals. In 2010, it fell, 2-1, in overtime to North Allegheny in the finals. In 2009, they dropped a 1-0 decision to Peters Township in the title match.

Despite the close defeats, McCrady has maintained a high standard.

“That's our expectation,” McCrady said. “My coaching staff and I have been here four years, and we have tried to establish a tradition of winning. We expect a lot of success.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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