Shady Side set for title tilt with Mt. Lebanon
Moments after its come-from-behind overtime victory over Upper St. Clair in the Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association's semifinals Wednesday, Shady Side Academy coach Darrell Schmitt was worried.
"We have to get these kids home," Schmitt said. "They have final exams tomorrow."
Getting his players' minds off of tests and ready for today's WPSLA championship game against top-ranked Mt. Lebanon at Fox Chapel shouldn't be difficult. After all, his team was two minutes away from not even making it.
No. 7-seed Shady Side trailed, 4-1, with two minutes remaining in the fourth period. The Indians then rattled off three unanswered goals in the final 95 seconds, capped off by senior mid-fielder Tanner Fogerty, who put the ball in the net with 37 seconds remaining in regulation. Fogerty, a first-team WPSLA selection, then won the game for the Indians in sudden death with an unassisted goal.
Shady Side will have to contend with a Mt. Lebanon squad that has four WPSLA first-teamers, starting with junior attacker Brendan Young and his brother, senior midfielder Brian.
"They are the critical parts of the team," Mt. Lebanon coach Larry Story said. "Brian has dominant speed and good stick handling, and Brendan can control the ball."
Brendan scored four goals and Brian added one in Mt. Lebanon's 9-5 victory over Sewickley Academy in the early semifinal game Wednesday.
Schmitt understands the importance of containing the Young brothers.
"We're going to have to make the least amount of mistakes. And, hopefully, when we make a mistake, it is not towards those guys," Schmitt said. "They're good players. They're two of the best players in the league."
Both coaches emphasized the importance of mimimizing mistakes, scrambling for ground balls and playing the style of game that got them there, but neither plans to make significant changes.
"Mt. Lebanon's a good team," Schmitt said. "We just have to limit our mistakes and play hard."
"We have great players, we play hard, and we're going to go after the goal," Story said. "Lacrosse is a pretty simple game once you get to the playoffs."