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Shaler girls lacrosse team ready for next step

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal
Shaler junior center Nellie Phillips is a scoring macheine.
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal
Shaler's Courtney Ambrozic is one of many seniors who want to cap off the season with a WPIAL title.

After four seasons of building a program through her vision, Shaler girls lacrosse coach Jen Perestock is hoping to take four straight playoff appearances and a class of seniors who were her first freshmen all the way to the finals.

“We lost only two varsity starters and return 10,” Perestock said.

The talent begins with junior center Nellie Phillips. Phillips already has scored four goals in a two-minute span, and Perestock — a former center herself — expects a lot from her.

“Nellie is a team captain, and she can run a play down,” Perestock said. “She is definitely involved.”

Senior Courtney Ambrozic was the team's top scorer last season and plays a low-attack position. She is an athletic player, according to Perestock, and is getting some serious college looks partly because of her offensive prowess.

Senior Andra Labanc is an important midfield player. She is a captain and does good things in the midfield.

Goalie Saige Greygor has been a great keeper for Perestock the past three seasons. Also serving as a captain, Greygor is a key leader for the defense.

Senior attacker Kristel Chatellier is an all-around player for Shaler, and fellow senior Rachel Dalancey is a second-year starter who came over from the soccer team to play defense.

“Rachel is aggressive and is the fastest girl on the team,” Perestock said.

Perestock will sprinkle in some sophomores to boost the unit and help get them experience for the future of the program.

Neely Regan is a dedicated offensive and defensive player who earned her spot through hard work. Shannon Lynch is a midfielder who returns as a starter. Lynch started as a freshman and has a knack for stealing the ball, something Perestock expects to see more of this year.

Perestock was an offensive player with defensive capabilities when she played, but said she expects a strong offense from this team every game.

“That is one thing we have always been strong at — the center position,” Perestock said. “I have designed four new sets from scratch to add to our playbook.”

Perestock said this group is extremely coachable and they work so well together that it is “almost scary.”

“The girls have the offense down pat,” Perestock said. “They work hard, have added strength and our goal this year is to get to the WPIAL championship. We won the section my first year here, and now we have four solid years of playing experience together.”

Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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