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Pine-Richland girls lacrosse team holds on against Fox Chapel

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal
Pine-Richland's Annia Kukieza and the Lady Rams rallied past Fox Chapel.

The Pine-Richland girls lacrosse team is looking to build of its most successful season to date last year, when a trip to the WPIAL finals heightened expectations for the current season.

The team has lived up to expectations with a section record of 10-0 and 12-1 overall, but the consensus on the team is it's all about a championship this year.

Tess Drotar is leading the way on offense, and as a senior, she is one of the players responsible for guiding the team.

“We have had some injuries lately, so it was an adjustment with some younger players stepping up,” Drotar said. “We are still peaking on offense, and our defense is playing well.”

Against Fox Chapel last week, the Lady Rams could have let a late surge by a young Lady Foxes team derail them. Pine-Richland goalie Kaelin Clogan made two fantastic saves late (13 total) to preserve a narrow lead and give the offense time to get back on its feet.

“Everyone is going to give us their best game,” Pine-Richland coach Tori Trombetta said. “Fox Chapel has a good young team with Natalie Bonaroti, and I give them respect for not backing down, but I credit our team for responding mentally.

“It's a tribute to the girls and a strong senior class.”

Trombetta said the underclassmen have worked hard, as well, and there have been a lot of assists on the goals this season.

“Some games we attack well and others our defense plays well,” Trombetta said. “Against Fox Chapel, I was going to call a time out if they tied the game late, but Kaelin made the save.”

Clogan's save changed the momentum and ultimately may have been the game-saving play in the Lady Rams' 18-14 victory.

Pine-Richland's Taylor Thene had a good game with four goals and an assist. She said that the depth of this year's team is a definite plus heading forward.

“Kids are stepping up and keeping us going through injuries,” Thene said. “You can't underestimate anyone. There are no easy teams — we have to stay focused and work hard.”

Fox Chapel controlled the game early, as evidenced by the 4-1 lead. Thene and Hannah Christensen scored a goal each to cut the lead to one goal at the half. Pine-Richland came out in the second half refocused and scored seven unanswered goals to take control.

For the game, Christensen scored 10 goals, Maddy Kurlandski scored a pair and Drotar and Kim Lubic each scored one.

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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