Lynch leads Shaler to 2nd WPIAL girls lacrosse title in a row

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Junior midfielder Shannon Lynch scored six goals, including the winner with 18:33 left in the second half to lead Shaler to an 11-9 victory against Chartiers Valley in the WPIAL Division 2 girls lacrosse championship game Thursday night at Highmark Stadium.

It was the second consecutive championship for coach Jennifer Perestock's Titans, who finished the season with a 19-1 record.

The loss ended Chartiers Valley's season at 13-2.

It was the fourth year in a row the Colts have lost in the Division 2 title game and the second in a row they have lost to the Titans.

The Titans raced to an 8-4 halftime lead on the strength of four Lynch goals. But, after the Colts stormed back to score four consecutive goals with Hope Tornabene tying the score, 8-8, with 21:05 left, Perestock called a time out.

"We just tweaked a couple of things and told them to do a better job in the second half," Perestock said.

"They are an amazing team," Lynch said of the Colts.

"I was just so nerve-racked, especially after what happened last year, but our goalie [junior Kaylee Coyle] has done so much better.

"She put in the work, and it definitely showed."

Coyle, in her first year as Shaler's starting goalie, confirmed her coach's assessment.

"She told us to stay calm and make sure that we got the ball back on offense so that we could score," she said.

That included playing a more solid style of defense.

Although the victory came against the same team the Titans beat in the title game a year ago, the win was sweet.

In Shaler's fourth game this season, Chartiers Valley beat the Titans, 13-8, March 29.

Perestock said her team went through a growing process that lasted the better part of the season.

"Our freshmen learned where they fit on the field, and our defense [improved]," Perestock said.

Sophomore midfielder Maria Stamerra led the Colts with three goals and had a fourth denied when Coyle made a solid save with less than two minutes remaining and the Titans holding an 11-9 advantage.

Stamerra made a move to Coyle's right side, but Coyle matched Stamerra's move and stopped the shot.

"I saw her coming down and watched where she was taking the ball and tried to make the save," Coyle said.

Chartiers Valley coach Julie Gould believed this team would give the Colts their best chance to win a WPIAL title because of a lineup packed with 10 seniors.

"This was very hard [to lose]," she said.

"We prepared all season, and we thought this was the team that was going to do it.

"They just didn't play at 110 percent."

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