Latrobe girls lacrosse wraps up another playoff season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It was a pretty quiet bus ride for the Latrobe girls lacrosse team as it made its way back from a win over Greensburg Central Catholic on April 24.
That was before the news spread that Ellis School had defeated Hempfield, which opened the door for the Wildcats to make a run at the Division II Section 1 title.
“The girls went crazy,” Wildcats coach Kaytie Russo said. “We had the opportunity to be full section champs, which we hadn't done yet. That was the fuel that lit the girls.”
In 2013, Latrobe claimed its first section title as co-champions with the Ellis School. Once the Wildcats knew they had full control of their destiny this season, they took advantage of it.
After defeating the Centurions, Latrobe won the next four, including the regular-season finale against rival Hempfield to split their season series and secure the section title.
The Wildcats fell to Mars, 11-10, in the WPIAL quarterfinals May 15.
Under Russo's guidance, Latrobe has made the playoffs three of the past four years. Its 14-3 record, including 11-1 in section play, was the best yet.
“I never had a team that worked so well together,” said Russo, a 2007 Latrobe graduate and former player. “I think the advantage is we had eight returning starters.”
The Wildcats were sixth in the WPIAL in goals per game with an average of 12.6. Jessica Kostic led the team in goals (53) and assists (28). Katie Stallings, a St. Vincent recruit, was second with 43 goals to go with 15 assists, followed by Anna Ayers with 36 goals and 21 assists.
The defense was anchored by Alexa Stynchula and goalie Kaitlyn Bereit.
A big reason for the breakout season, according to Russo, was a change in the offseason workout program. Before the focus mostly would be on conditioning, but Russo decided to switch to a more lacrosse-oriented program that focused on passing, catching and footwork.
The girls soaked up all they could. Because they were such a tight-knit group, they quickly figured out each other's tendencies.
“Off the field they're all really good buds, and it translates to the field,” said Russo.
Now that Russo has cultivated a winning culture, she hopes to keep the Wildcats atop the difficult section and advance deeper into the playoffs.
“We've shown that we can get to the playoffs,” she said. “Now we want to show we can do something in the playoffs. That's the main goal.”
Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UPMC researcher who died of cyanide poisoning committed suicide
- Penguins finally break through, defeat Devils at Prudential Center
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
- HOF finalist Bettis ‘behind everything’ in 2005 Super Bowl run
- Penguins notebook: Bennett a healthy scratch
- Rooney says Pittsburgh is ‘good place’ for next northern Super Bowl
- Pirates sign 2 to minor league deals
- Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M
- Dungy, Greene represent more Steelers ties in hall of fame voting
- Homework: Pittsburgh Home Show to feature celebs, wine and pets
- McCord to plead guilty to federal charges from campaign fundraising