Shaler girls lacrosse team exacts revenge, captures WPIAL championship
The Chartiers Valley girls lacrosse team handed Shaler its only loss earlier this year, but the Titans got their revenge when it counted.
Shaler defeated Chartiers Valley for the second straight year in the WPIAL Division II final 11-9 on Thursday at Highmark Stadium.
“It shows hard work and dedication,” Shaler coach Jen Perestock said. “Half the girls on the field right there are freshmen, so I can't wait to see what the future brings.”
As Shaler looks to the future, Chartiers Valley inevitably will be looking back as the loss marks the fourth straight year the Colts have lost in the WPIAL championship game.
“It's a hard pill to swallow,” Chartiers Valley coach Julie Gould said. “I'm telling you, this team was the team to win WPIALs, and it pains me that we played so poorly tonight. I give Shaler a ton of credit, but we lost that game. They didn't win it, we lost it.”
Junior midfielder Shannon Lynch scored six goals and added an assist to Nellie Phillips on the eventual game-winner, and junior goalie Kaylee Coyle made 10 saves to lead the Titans (19-1) past the rival Colts (13-2).
Lynch scored four goals, and McKenna Ash added two in the first half to help the Titans take an 8-3 lead into halftime, but the lead wasn't safe. Chartiers Valley senior midfielder Maria Stamerra led her team on a 5-0 run to tie the game within the first five minutes of the second half.
But when her team needed her most, Lynch scored again on a diving effort to break the tie.
“They were a little asleep there for a second, so we said they needed to wake up, and they did,” Perestock said.
After Shaler stretched the lead to 11-8 late in the fourth quarter, Stamerra scored her fourth goal of the game, but the Titans ran the clock out to seal the win.
Coyle came on strong toward the end of the season and provided Shaler with a huge boost on the defensive end, Perestock said. Her play was key in holding the Colts' offense at bay in the first half.
“Let's be honest, people didn't expect her to be the goalie she is today,” Lynch said, “but she's been working so hard, and she deserves the win.”
Division I Championship
In the Division I championship, Mt. Lebanon (20-0) won the battle of the unbeatens over Quaker Valley, 9-7, claiming its first title since 2006. Alyssa Battaglia scored five goals, and Megan Gibbons added two in the win.
“It's a great job for them,” Mt. Lebanon coach Brian Kattan said. “They knew coming in that they had a great chance to go out and win every game they played, and they went out and proved it. They worked hard every day at practice.”
Trailing 8-5, Megan Amoroso and Aubrey Bouchard scored a pair of goals within 30 seconds for Quaker Valley (18-1) to cut the deficit to one goal with less than five minutes to play.
But Battaglia answered two minutes later to preserve the lead for the Blue Devils.
Mt. Lebanon and Quaker Valley will advance to the first round of PIAA tournament Wednesday, time and location to be determined.
Mt. Lebanon has a chance to sweep the Division I titles as the boys face Shady Side Academy Friday in the final.
Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.