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Making postseason play a goal for Fox Chapel girls lacrosse

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Fox Chapel girls lacrosse team has been absent from the WPIAL playoffs for the last two years.

Coach Jen McCrady and her players are hoping to reverse that trend this year.

“Our goal is to get back,” McCrady said.

They will have to do it without the nine seniors who graduated.

However, McCrady doesn't foresee much of a problem because of the talent she has returning.

There will be six seniors on the roster including returning starters Rachel Wight (attack), Hannah D'Cunha (attack) and Taylor Perka (defense).

Other seniors are goalie Clara Barnes, attacker Cat Clarke, and defender Ally Dunn.

Returning on defense are junior Elizabeth Savin, sophomore Julia Lynch and junior Meghan Lucas. A newcomer to the defense is sophomore Emily Robosson.

The midfield will feature new players in freshman Megan McCrady and sophomores Nikki Stumpf and Sammy Bernacki.

Rounding out the attack are returning sophomore Margot Savin and freshman Mikayla D'Cunha. Junior Dana Gerson is returning in goal, as well.

“This is the best group of team talent we have had in years,” McCrady said. “The past few years, we have had to rely on strong play by individuals. This year, we have people all over the field who can play lacrosse. We are finally reaping the benefits of getting freshmen and sophomores playing for us who have two to three years of experience behind them.

“Thankfully, with that experience, we are able to move at a much faster pace fundamentally and strategically.”

A concern for McCrady is the youth of her team.

“We are young. Underclassmen fill eight of the starting slots on our team at this moment,” she said. “However, some of our younger players have more experience than our older players. We have a lot of speed on this team, as well. We have one scrimmage behind us already and have one more coming up.”

The Foxes' first game is at home this Friday against Greensburg Central Catholic.

“We really like what we saw in our scrimmage with Shady Side Academy,” McCrady said. “We certainly have a lot of growth ahead of us, but we really like where we are so early in the season. We just need to keep everyone healthy.”

McCrady feels that the battle for section supremacy will be a tough one.

“Our section is very tough,” she said. “Pine-Richland, North Allegheny, Seneca Valley, Sewickley, Quaker Valley and Franklin Regional will all be fighting for the four playoff spots,” she said. “There is never a moment to relax in our section. Every year, it is down to the wire as to who grabs those slots. We feel that we will be competitive and hopefully claim a playoff berth.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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