Chartiers Valley's Scumaci represents Pittsburgh at lacrosse tournament
What was the best way for Camille Scumaci to get over the Chartiers Valley girls lacrosse team's heartbreaking end to the season?
Getting back on the field.
A day after the Colts fell to Shaler, 15-14, in the WPIAL Division 2 championship game, Scumaci made the trip to Lehigh University with 19 other players from Western Pa. to represent Pittsburgh in the US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament.
“It is why I love going to nationals,” the junior said. “We have had a heartbreaking loss two years in a row, and it really helped. It truly helps to cope. One of the girls on the national team, Shannon Lynch, is a player for Shaler. It goes to show how we all came together as a team.
“One day we are rivals and the next day teammates. The way it brings us together is awesome.”
Scumaci made the team for the second straight year after enduring the intense tryout. The players are tested with seven hours of nonstop action as the coaches look for the best of the best.
Scumaci had an extra layer of stress at this year's tryouts.
“I forgot my stick in the locker room at Chartiers Valley,” Scumaci said. “I had to use a stick I never used before. It is probably some of the best lacrosse you will see, because everyone is giving 110 percent to try and make the team.”
The Pittsburgh team had only one practice before its first game at the national tournament, but due to the bond many of the players had from travel teams, the transition period didn't last long.
“A lot of the girls actually play for Pittsburgh Premier,” Scumaci, a defender, said. “Something like 14 of the 20 girls. We needed the first game to see where passes went. We started communicating and knowing where each other stand. We had a connection after only one game.”
Pittsburgh played in Pool A of the Mohawk Division. It went 2-2 in its pool, defeating Nor Cal 2, 16-9, and Orange County/LA, 17-5; and falling to Washington State, 14-7, and Virginia, 11-6. In the fifth-place consolation game, Virginia defeated Pittsburgh, 10-8.
The event allows college coaches to attend and scout potential recruits. It also helps players learn where they need to improve their games.
“It is an awesome experience,” Scumaci said. “You get to test yourself against players from across the country.”
The improvements she will make from the national tournament will benefit the Colts next season.
Chartiers Valley returns a large portion of its 2013 roster, including a talented freshman class as well as a 10-member junior class.
The amount of returning talent has the Colts hopeful they will snap a three-year streak of being the WPIAL Division II runner up.
“I know for a fact our team will not stop for anything to achieve our goal,” Scumaci said. “This past year, our freshman class never suffered one of those losses and were so hungry for it. I know all of us will be working twice as hard to get to the championship.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.