Top-seeded Mt. Lebanon to face challengers in boys lacrosse playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Mt. Lebanon boys lacrosse team began the regular season with an abundance of questions about who would replace some rather significant players who had graduated.
The Blue Devils ended it as the team judged best in the WPIAL.
Mt. Lebanon is 13-4 and lost to just one WPIAL opponent all season. That earned the Blue Devils the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL Division I lacrosse tournament that begins Wednesday.
“Every year, it's a process with a new team without whoever we graduated from the year before, and we've got new guys coming in to fill in the voids,” coach Mike Ermer said. “You pretty much start from scratch, and I'm very pleased with the way some of our guys stepped up.”
Among the eight seniors on last season's team were at least five who played very prominent roles. Pat Donnelly and Dylan White were named All-Americans.
One such honoree returned this season — senior attack Doran Graham has 50 goals and 15 assists. Graham is a four-year starter who has committed to play at Division I Jacksonville University.
“He's a very talented and athletic kid who has a lot of experience,” Ermer said. “There's a lot of trust in him, he makes the right looks and makes the right calls and kind of manages the team and quarterbacks the offense.”
Sophomore attacks Brian Kelly (24 goals, 30 assists) and Sam White (23 goals) and senior midfielders Tim McNichol (22 goals) and Chris O'Dell (19 goals) give Mt. Lebanon a well-rounded offense. Senior Will Nabors is solid in goal, while seniors Blake Woodyard and Clay Wyda anchor the defense.
The only WPIAL team to defeat the Blue Devils this season was No. 3 seed Shady Side Academy (10-5), which also beat Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL semifinals last season. No. 2 seed North Allegheny (9-6) won Section 2, beating out defending champion Seneca Valley, which did not qualify for the playoffs. Mt. Lebanon was the only team to defeat No. 4 Peters Township (14-1) through the Indians' first 15 games.
“Going into this tournament, I honestly think it's pretty much wide open,” Ermer said. “Any of the eight teams that made it can win this tournament.”
Seton builds to WPIAL favorite
Matt McGervey and Robert Lomire were there from the beginning for Seton-La Salle. They were on a winless team as freshmen during the Rebels' first season as a WPIAL boys lacrosse program in 2010.
Now, they have a chance to go out on a team that wins a WPIAL championship.
McGervey, an attack, and Lomire, a midfielder, are among the leaders for a Seton-La Salle team that enters the WPIAL Division II tournament as the No. 1 seed. Quarterfinal games begin 7 p.m. Thursday.
Seton-La Salle went 5-10 in its second season in the WPIAL in 2011 then made the playoffs last year. Before this season, after Brian Yates took over as coach, junior defender Liam McLane gathered the team during an optional practice.
“He said, ‘Guys, I want you to look around this gym. What don't you see?' ” Yates recalled. “He let everyone know there were no lacrosse banners and we'd be getting one this year.
“He got the guys passionate about that — and then helped see it through. We won the section so we're getting a banner in the gym.”
The Rebels (12-1) are out for a WPIAL title banner against a field that also includes No. 2 seed Greensburg Central Catholic (6-6), No. 3 Quaker Valley (11-3) and No. 4 Mars (7-6).
Whoever wins will be a first-time champion — Hampton has won three of the four WPIAL Division II boys lacrosse championships and Butler (2010) the other. Both moved into Division I this season.
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Flyers’ success in Pittsburgh stems from power play
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Developer delays renovation plans for Northway Mall
- Police investigate pair of fatal rush hour incidents in Shaler, Marshall
- Obama vetoes union election bill; streamlined election process to move forward
- Pirates notebook: Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut
- Husband of accused drug-dealing teacher faces his own drug, intimidation charges
- Monessen police investigating drive-by shooting
- Burrell wrestler Beattie picks Pitt-Johnstown
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Man awaiting trial for offering drugs to 2 teens found hanged in his Belle Vernon home