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GCC girls lacrosse making strides

| Thursday, April 24, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Samantha Orie (left) battles Latrobe's Ava Petrosky for the ball during their lacrosse game April 15, 2014, at Rossi Field in Latrobe. Hempfield defeated Latrobe, 15-9.

While facing top competition in the area, the Greensburg Central Catholic girls lacrosse team has shown perseverance and overall improvement by winning its first game in two seasons ... and then some.

The Centurions have started this season 4-5, including three Division II, Section 1 wins. The victories came with a total of 17 players, including two sidelined with injuries.

They have victories over Indiana, Yough, Greensburg Salem and Norwin, a first-year program.

But the amount of players on the roster hasn't stopped first-year coach Ruth Ann Wargofchik, who started the boys lacrosse program 11 years ago, and the Centurions from backing down from top competition and are gaining confidence.

“Well, right now since they won four games and last year they didn't win any, it's more of a confidence building thing right now and I think their confidence is picking up,” Wargofchik said. “Also, their skill level is improving, and they are working more like a team.”

Greensburg Central Catholic has been led by two seniors, Brooke Snyder and Brianna Jacobs, who are the team's leading scorers. On defense, the Centurions are led by senior Jess Sichner and junior Sophie Czarnecki.

With the limited numbers, seven freshmen have played crucial minutes, including goaltender Sarah Wieghaen.

“I think we could win more games but our biggest problem is that we only have 17 girls and we have two that are injured, so I really have three subs. Those three subs are novices and freshman and they have very little experience,” Wargofchik said. “It's hard because we play against Hempfield, Latrobe and Greensburg Salem. They come off with 50 girls, and we have such a small group so it's kind of hard. We are progressing every game.”

Even with the limited resources, the Centurions kept pace with Hempfield before falling 11-9.

“Because they are winning a little more their confidence level is up, and because they got the taste of winning they want to really win. We think that is helping along the way,” Wargofchik said. “They stay focused and play hard to the end of every game.”

Even with all the adversity, the Centurions have a chance to qualify for the playoffs if they win three of their final seven games.

“I'd like for them to make it to the playoffs,” Wargofchik said. “I don't know how far we will make it in the playoffs but I would like to get there. Since we are graduating six seniors, I would like to get more players to have a viable team next year.”

Even if the Centurions don't qualify for the playoffs, according to Wargofchik, the team has shown a huge improvement.

“I tell them to try their hardest and don't give up. They need to stay focused and keep the drama off the field,” Wargofchik said. “I tell them they need to play smart, and they are learning more and more to not make stupid mistakes.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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