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Sewickley girls stay positive after postseason lacrosse loss

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Sewickley Academy's Riley Roberts (front) pressures Seneca Valley's Hailie Sandor during their lacrosse game Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Jackson Township.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:12 p.m.

When the Sewickley Academy girls lacrosse team came to the sidelines after falling to Peters Township, 20-8, in the WPIAL Division I playoffs, there weren't many tears shed. There were no signs of frustration or heads held low.

The Panthers gathered in a circle, listened to a few words from the coaches and finished it off with an exuberant team cheer.

“Our team has always been positive,” junior midfielder Maggie McClain said. “Last year, our team word was pillow because that is something we could rely on. That is how we feel about our team. We are comforting to each other. We love each other no matter win or lose.”

The battle with the Indians started well for Sewickley Academy. The teams battled to a 3-3 tie midway through the first half. But during the 12 minutes before the break, Peters Township scored eight unanswered goals — four of which came from senior Hannah Wilcox, who now has 201 career goals.

“We let them get in our head,” Sewickley Academy coach Cheryl Lassen said. “One thing went wrong, and we let it effect us and our ability to work as a unit. The one thing I liked about our effort was that we didn't quit. It showed a lot about the players' character and what they can do in life.

“If things don't go your way, you can fold or you can try and figure it out. It was a great lesson for them.”

McClain had a strong performance with four goals. Senior Tori Pawk added two.

The loss dropped Sewickley Academy to 8-8 on the season. The team finished third in Division I, Section 2 with a 7-5 mark. Six of the Panthers' losses were by a total of 11 goals — and three of those games were one-goal losses. While the results could be frustrating, it should pay dividends for the young team down the road.

“All season we were starting freshmen and sophomores,” Lassen said. “We came into the playoffs and played a huge school whose senior class size is bigger than our entire school, pre-k through 12. I really think the players have learned this year what they need to do and maintain to be successful.”

The team should have success with the returning players next season. Sophomore goalie Jackie Bushee will be a year wiser, as will the defenders in front of her — junior Kennedy Stine and sophomore Ellen Clouse. And the Panthers will have goal scorers in McClain in sophomore Kayla Guerin.

But it will be hard to provide the presence the 2013 seniors provided.

“Happiness,” McClain said when asked what she will remember about the five seniors. “Alexis (Bosilavic) was hilarious. Tori was the mom. Micaela (Becker) was the friendly giant you could always go to. Arianna (Carley) was the speedster no one expected, and Elle (Burge) was the defender who was always there.

“We will miss them. Hopefully, we can build from what they did.”

Panthers fall

The Sewickley Academy boys lacrosse team saw its season come to a close with a 9-2 loss to Shady Side Academy in the opening round of the WPIAL Division I playoffs. The Panthers kept it close in the first half, trailing 3-2 at halftime. But the Indians dominated the second half with six unanswered goals.

Sewickley Academy finished the season with a 7-11 record. The team started the year 0-7 but rallied to win seven of its final 10 regular-season games.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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