Shaler girls lacrosse wins WPIAL championship
The Division II girls lacrosse finals were a storm with heavy rain, thunder and lightning above the field, and on it.
After falling behind 1-0 to Chartiers Valley Shaler put on a lightning display with five unanswered goals before a literal lightning delay halted the game with the score 5-1 in favor of Shaler with 18:19 left to play in the first half.
Each team battled, had control, but it was Shaler's Kristel Chatellier who threw the final haymaker in a 15-14 comeback win.
Shannon Lynch got frenzy going with her first goal of the game, followed by scores by Chatellier, Nellie Phillips, Chatellier and Lynch again.
Nearly an hour passed before the game resumed and when it did, so did the Shaler onslaught.
Shaler controlled much of the first half, but Chartiers Valley's Maria Stamerra helped cut in to Shaler's lead. The score at the half was 12-8 thanks to three unanswered Chartiers Valley goals.
Chartiers Valley cut the Shaler lead to three early in the second half, forcing Shaler head coach Jen Perestock to call time and rally her team.
The Lady Colts continued to build momentum behind Stamerra, who helped her team score eight unanswered goals to take the lead for the first time since the opening moments.
Chartiers Valley built its biggest lead of the game with 12:41 left in regulation, 14-12. Then … another lightning delay. Shaler may have felt like it was struck by lightning, as nine straight goals put them in a difficult situation.
“We came out strong, then, in the second half, we came out a little flat,” said Jen Perestock, Shaler head coach. “I don't know if they felt they were up by enough, but I kept telling them there is another half to be played.”
Lynch and Chatellier scored the final three goals of the game, with Chatellier nailing the tying and winning goals. Lynch led the team with six goals, Chatellier had four, Ambrosic three and Phillips two.
“I was so excited and into it, but it all came down to being a team,” Lynch said. “”I knew we had a chance when we were up 5-1, but our heads were down when they took the lead. But, it just happened, we wanted to win, and it came down to us being a team.”
Chartiers Valley had been in the title game the previous to years, falling to North Hills each time. Shaler was in the big game for the first time, but they showed the determination of a champion.
“Chartiers Valley regrouped after the first delay, and we regrouped after the second,” Perestock said. “The seniors did it, we did it. I was wiping tears in the locker room (during the second delay) and told the girls I didn't want (us) to leave here crying.
“We talked and felt it in our hearts.”