Chartiers Valley girls lacrosse falls in fourth straight WPIAL title game
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Once again, it was a nightmarish ending to the season for the Chartiers Valley girls lacrosse team.
After making it through the season without dropping a single WPIAL Division II game, the Colts fell to Shaler, 11-9, in the title game at Highmark Stadium last week. It was the fourth straight season Chartiers Valley fell in the title game.
“It's a hard pill to swallow,” Chartiers Valley coach Julie Gould said. “I'm telling you, this was the team to win WPIALs, and it pains me that we played so poorly. I give Shaler a ton of credit, but we lost that game. They didn't win it, we lost it.”
The Colts looked shaky from the start as the Titans built an 8-3 halftime lead. Junior Shannon Lynch scored four goals in the opening 25 minutes for the Titans while junior McKenna Ash added two.
But in the opening minutes of the second half, Chartiers Valley showed a spark as sophomore Maria Stamerra led the Colts on a 5-0 run to tie the score at 8-8.
“I told them it takes one 50-50 ball, one draw control, one goalie save to change the momentum,” Gould said. “I said we needed to lean on that momentum for 25 minutes. It was do or die.”
The offensive outburst may have drained what was left of Chartiers Valley. Lynch would score what would become the deciding goal of the game minutes after the game became tied.
Stamerra scored her fourth goal of the game late but the Colts were unable to pull any closer.
“We just couldn't get it together,” Gould said. “It looked like everybody was looking to everybody else to pick the team up on their shoulders.”
It was the second straight title win for the Titans as Shaler downed the Colts 15-14 last season.
“It shows hard work and dedication,” Shaler coach Jen Perestock. “Half the girls on the field are freshmen, so I can't wait to see what the future brings.”
The Colts' last three WPIAL championship losses have been by a combined four goals.
This year's loss came in a game that Chartiers Valley played uncharacteristically. The defense gave up double-digit goals for only the second time this season and for the first time since the Colts fell to Division I champion Mt. Lebanon, 11-9, on April 17. The nine goals scored was near a low for the team.
When Gould presented each player their silver medal after game during the award ceremony, the fourth-year coach said each apologized.
“They know they didn't play well,” Gould said. “All I said was ‘I have given you the tools all year long, now it is time for you to put them together and make it work.'”
The Colts finished the season with a 15-2 mark with the only losses coming to the WPIAL Division I (Mt. Lebanon) and Division 2 (Shaler) champions.
It was the final game for 10 seniors on the Colts roster. During their four seasons, Chartiers Valley won four section titles and compiled a record of 68-9.
And while their high school careers ended with a loss, Gould said there is much more to remember than a single game.
“I told them to not let a single game ruin an entire season,” Gould said. “We lost two games this year. One was to Mt. Lebanon (who went undefeated) and we lost in the WPIAL finals. Some don't get to do that. Don't let that one game ruin the memories like the bus trips, the spaghetti dinner, the goofiness in the locker room.
“Don't let one game ruin it. It's not worth it.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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