Penn-Trafford boys lacrosse continues to show progress
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With his team ineligible to play in the WPIAL postseason until next year, Penn-Trafford boys lacrosse coach Dan Hagerty isn't necessarily looking at the final score to gauge his team's progress. He's looking at the games themselves to see how the Warriors stack up competitively with some of the higher-end programs around the area.
Thus far, Penn-Trafford is showing improvement in that area.
While the Warriors (3-2) lost, 14-3, to Indiana on Monday, the team has already exceeded its win total from last season and is looking for continued progress throughout the season.
“From what I've seen this year, they're developing quickly between the start of the season at the beginning of March and today,” Hagerty said. “They're really coming along quickly. Some of the upperclassmen who really only have two years under their belt now are starting to step it up and score some goals and put some shots on net.”
Hagerty said it can take some time for players to become proficient in lacrosse, with strategy and field sense sometimes taking the longest.
“Most of them are good athletes to begin with,” Hagerty said. “It's the field sense. It's knowing how plays will unfold before they unfold.”
Because Penn-Trafford's players are still developing their field sense, the team can have trouble with playing more established teams like Indiana or Greensburg Central Catholic, which beat the Warriors, 12-5, earlier this season. Hagerty said he was hoping the team could show more competitiveness against opponents like GCC as the season continued.
But Penn-Trafford is showing improvement from last season even in losses. The Warriors lost, 15-0, to Indiana and 20-2 to Latrobe last season.
“It's teams like that where last year we wouldn't even have a shot to compete with,” Hagerty said. “This year, we clearly could have played better (against GCC) and they played very well. But going into the game, I thought we had a shot to compete with them. That's something that is different this year, that we have folks coming along and a little more firepower on offense where I think we will be able to start playing with some of those mid-pack teams.”
Hagerty said the team's offense is showing progress. The Warriors scored 42 goals in their first five games, reaching double digits in victories over Gateway (10-9) and Plum (16-3).
Grant Shonesky scored the team's first two goals in the win over Plum last week. Brett Laffoon, Joseph Berardino, Zachary Chronowski, Vincent Ferragonio and Jake Grieco also scored for the Warriors, while goalkeeper Alex Martin and the defense held Plum in check.
“(Offense) is where some of our older guys are contributing,” Hagerty said. “Grant Shonesky is a big one. He has probably one of the best shots on the team. He can really light up the net when he gets into the right spot.”
Penn-Trafford will continue its season at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Aquinas Academy and will play at Gateway on Saturday.
“I'm sure (Gateway) will be an interesting rematch,” Hagerty said. “We're pretty evenly matched with them. It'll be a tough contest, I'm sure.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib. Penn-Trafford High School student Sean DiBiase contributed to this story.
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