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Hempfield girls lacrosse team making history

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Hempfield's Mary Burns eyes a loose ball during their May 7, 2013, match versus Latrobe at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Hempfield's Mary Burns eyes a loose ball during their May 7, 2013, match versus Latrobe at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Hempfield's Erin Ward looks for an outlet pass as Latrobe's Breanna Scanlon defends during their May 7, 2013, match at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Hempfield's Erin Ward looks for an outlet pass as Latrobe's Breanna Scanlon defends during their May 7, 2013, match at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.

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By Brittany Goncar
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

Hempfield lacrosse is writing history.

Under the leadership of Rebecca Bragan and assistant Megan Mittleider, the fifth-year program finished the regular season 7-5 overall and 6-4 in Division II, Section 1. Third in their section, they qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time.

The Spartans were scheduled to play Knoch (6-8-1) in the opening round Tuesday, but results were unavailable prior to this edition's deadline.

Hempfield's trip to the postseason has been spurred by defensive play, led by Julie Ryan, Erin Ward and Amanda Gennaro.

“Our defense has finally clicked together,” Bragan said. “I would say that any game we've lost it hasn't been because of defense, because just a little bit of that offense has been working out the kinks.”

Senior offensive starters Lexi Greene and Mary Burns have peaked just in time for playoffs. The duo has a long basketball and lacrosse history together and feed off of each other well, the coach said. Burns has the team-high in goals with 56 followed by Greene with 30.

“I know how (Burns) plays,” Greene said. “We don't even have to think about it. We know each other's moves. We are connected. That's why we play so well together.”

The Spartans also welcomed senior Lauren Condrasky back to the offense. The starter missed several weeks with an injury, but now fully recovered, Condrasky has stepped back into her game.

Probably the most developed player is sophomore goalie, Jenna Jablonsky. In only her first year as a full-time starter, the goalie has developed strong confidence to raise the Spartans above .500 for the first time in school history.

“I started and I had two days of practice before our first game,” Jablonsky said. “It's just funny to see how different it is this year because I'm comfortable doing it. My coach helps give me confidence. We practice before every game, and she shoots on me. It's just more fun now.”

If Hempfield does have room to grow, it's with the mental approach, Bragan said, staying patient and making smart passes in the offensive zone.

Brittany Goncar is a freelance writer.

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