Chartiers Valley boys lacrosse making late-season surge
Last week's 10-6 win over Seton-La Salle might be the biggest game for the Chartiers Valley boys lacrosse team during Matt Giglotti's two seasons as head coach.
The win over the defending WPIAL Division II champion put the Colts in control of their own playoff destiny.
“It was a great win for us,” Giglotti said. “It was our best defensive game of the season. Our defense allowed us to score in double digits. We feel pretty confident in our chances if we can do that.”
The Colts haven't looked like a playoff contender all season. The team opened on a 0-4 streak. But Giglotti credited the opening stretch with improving the team.
“We played a lot of Division I teams,” Giglotti said. “We lost to Upper St. Clair and they are competing for the No. 1 seed in Division I.”
Since a 15-4 win over Trinity on March 31, the Colts have gone 8-2 and played themselves into playoff contention. During the run, the team's only losses have come from a combined three goals against Moon (13-0) and Mars (10-3).
Part of the resurgence can be credited to the team growing up. The Colts are extremely young and actually start three freshmen – Cian Malcolm and Caleb Zajicek and defenseman Dom Pocci.
The youngsters have made an impact as Malcolm leads the team with 30 goals and 12 assists. Zajicek has added 16 goals and 12 assists.
The offense as a whole has improved as the team is scoring three more goals per game this season than it did in 2013. Senior attack Nate Collins has recorded 24 goals and 11 assists. Junior midfielder Kevin McGoogan has 20 goals and sophomore midfielder Cole Wasson has 10.
Junior midfielder Robert Hilpert has 12 assists while sophomore midfielder Mike Weiss has nine.
The defense is also playing better, dropping from a 10.27 goals against average last season to 7.06 this season. Chartiers Valley ranks 12th overall in the WPIAL in goals against.
The Colts ended their season Wednesday with a trip to Canon-McMillan. A win would clinch a berth in the WPIAL Division II playoffs. Even with a loss to the Big Macs, Chartiers Valley's playoff hopes wouldn't be ended.
“We would need some help from other teams,” Giglotti said. “Making the playoffs would be a great building block to reach our long-term goals. But we wouldn't be happy just making the playoffs. We'd want to do something. We want to compete for the WPIAL title.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.