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Mt. Lebanon, Quaker Valley focus on WPIAL title lacrosse sweeps

| Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 10:06 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Mt. Lebanon midfielder Alyssa Battaglia looks to pass in front of North Allegheny's Maddie Birmingham on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Mt. Lebanon.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley's Megan Amorosso runs with the ball as Pine Richland's Maddy Kurlandski tries to defend during a game on Friday, March 28, 2014, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
Randy Jarosz | for the Signal Item
Hope Tornabene takes a shot during Chartiers Valley's 13-8 win over Shaler on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at Chartiers Valley Stadium.
Louis Raggiunti | Tribune-Review
Shaler's Shannon Lynch is a versatile player for the defending WPIAL champion Lady Titans.

In a year where WPIAL lacrosse showed parity in the regular season, two programs are looking to establish themselves as being among the elite, and a few are out for revenge.

Highmark Stadium will play host to the girls and boys lacrosse championships Thursday and Friday, respectively, with the Division II finals starting at 6 p.m. and the Division I finals following at 8.

The girls and boys teams from Mt. Lebanon and Quaker Valley will play for a WPIAL title.

The Mt. Lebanon boys (12-8) will face Shady Side Academy (13-4) in the Division I finals; the Quaker Valley boys (17-0) will take on Indiana (11-4) in the Division II finals, and the girls teams will face each other in the Division I game.

“For our program and school in general, this is a big step forward, not only for what we've done, but the girls as well,” Quaker Valley coach Bill Marcotte said. “If we could be known as a lacrosse school, that would be really cool.”

In the boys Division I final, Mt. Lebanon is playing for its second straight title and fourth in the last six seasons. After yet another narrow victory over rival North Allegheny in the semifinals, 10-9 in double overtime, the Blue Devils face a familiar foe in Shady Side Academy.

Although Mt. Lebanon won its meeting with the Indians earlier this year, Blue Devils coach Mike Ermer doesn't expect the game to play out the same.

“I'm not taking anything from that game,” Ermer said. “We're also a very different team.”

With all but three players returning from last season, including All-WPIAL attackman Jimmy Perkins, Quaker Valley is looking to bounce back from its loss to Seton-La Salle in last season's Division II final.

“We've got enough discipline and enough senior leadership on our team to know that we don't want to find ourselves in the same predicament as last year,” Marcotte said. “We certainly have a feeling of unfinished business.”

The Mt. Lebanon (19-0) and Quaker Valley (18-0) girls have past championship history, but the Blue Devils' last title came in 2006, and Quaker Valley hasn't claimed a championship since 2010 when they were in playing in Division II.

“The girls know the history of the program,” Mt. Lebanon coach Brian Kattan said, “but I think that they want to set their own history now.”

The Division II girls final features an anticipated rematch of last year's championship in which Shaler defeated Chartiers Valley, 15-14, marking the third straight year that Chartiers Valley lost in the WPIAL final.

The Colts (13-1) defeated Shaler (18-1) in their matchup earlier this year 13-8 but are hungry to complete their revenge.

“Everything we did, everything that we tweaked, was to perfect what we needed to do to get to this game,” Chartiers Valley coach Julie Gould said. “I have 10 seniors on this team that have been with me for four years. They've battled through three WPIAL losses. It's not going to happen this year.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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