Chartiers Valley lacrosse teams expecting big things
News faces on the field and on the sidelines along with some experienced athletes are looking to return the Chartiers Valley lacrosse programs to the WPIAL playoffs.
Below is a look at what the boys and girls squads are expecting during the 2013 season.
Matt Giglotti wasn't interested in getting into high school coaching.
Giglotti, an Upper St. Clair grad who played club lacrosse at Penn State, had coached lacrosse at the youth level with some summer travel lacrosse coaching mixed in. But when he heard about the coaching vacancy at Chartiers Valley, he couldn't resist.
“I knew many of the freshmen and sophomores from coaching them in the past,” Giglotti said. “And I know the talent coming up from seventh and eighth grade.
“I felt with Butler and Hampton moving up from Division II, the opportunity was there to win a WPIAL title and continue growing the sport.”
Giglotti has a mix of experience and athletic young players on his roster as he tries to get Chartiers Valley to clinch its fourth straight Division II playoff berth.
The Chartiers Valley offense will be young as it relies on freshmen Patrick Shaak and Cole Wasson for production. Junior Ben Wasson also will be in the mix.
The midfield will be boosted by the return of senior Craig Gillen and juniors Alex Formosa and Nate Collins. But the Colts are also young at midfield with underclassmen such as freshman Mike Weiss and sophomore Kevin McGoogan expected to make an impact.
Senior defenseman Jeff Novack is a captain and a physical presence. Junior long-stick midfielder Tyler Morrison is another captian. Seniors Mike Waldron and John Todd, along with junior Clayton Kelsch, return to make the defense highly experienced.
“Our defense is going to be a strong point,” Giglotti said. “Our offense is very young, and there is more senior and junior leadership on defense.”
Sophomore Sam Geffry returns in front of the net after starting in the position last season.
“He is very athletic,” Giglotti said. “He is also a wrestler. He has come up big in the games we have played so far.”
The team got a marquee win for the program last week as it defeated Greensburg Central Catholic, 9-8, in three overtimes. The Colts rallied from a three-goal deficit, and a Wasson goal gave them their first win over the Centurions in eight tries.
“They are a well-coached team, and it was a good test early in the season,” Giglotti said.
Giglotti said the staff has been preaching fundamentals, and the win over Greensburg Central Catholic is an example of what their message can produce.
“The first thing we want is for the team to get better every day,” Giglotti said. “We also want to win the section and win a WPIAL title.
“But we need to get better every day if we want that to happen.”
The Lady Colts had a big season in 2012, going 18-2 and reaching the WPIAL Division II title game. But the team was stunned in that championship game as it fell, 11-10, to North Hills.
Coach Julie Gould said the team hasn't forgotten the sting of that loss
“They know how it feels to win, and they want to keep doing it,” Gould said. “But they also know how it feels to lose a heartbreaker. They don't want to feel that again. A little reminder here and there gets them motivated.”
The third-year coach will look to guide the Colts to their third straight WPIAL Division II title game after finishing the past two seasons a combined 36-4.
“We have a nice balance of each grade contributing,” Gould said. “We have a lot of young, energetic freshmen with seasoned seniors leading them in the right direction.”
The offensive production will come from an experienced group including seniors Talia Cruz and Jennifer Rickens along with juniors Paige Onomastico and Hope Tornabene. Freshman Maria Stamerra also will see time.
A trio of juniors will control the midfield in Kelsey Quinn, Camille Scumaci and Katie Wiess. Freshman Margot Mason will be mixed in.
Gould was enthusiastic about the performance of goalie Haley Stamerra.
“I have not typically allowed juniors to be team captain on the teams I coached,” Gould said. “But she is the heart and soul of the team. She is just a special kid.”
Stamerra will have experience playing in front of her as senior Collen Bodnar and juniors Maddie Kehoe and Marissa Breitenstein return.
“ShyAnne Toomer is a freshman who stepped up and is playing like she had played three years for me,” Gould said.
The Colts are off to a 4-1 start after defeating Moon, Baldwin and Oakland Catholic last week.
Chartiers Valley returns to the field tonight, Thursday, when it travels to Bethel Park for a 7 p.m. start.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.