Mt. Lebanon falls short to Conestoga in PIAA girls lacrosse semifinals
June 7, 2016
By Lindsey Smith | Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 4:09 p.m.
It was the classic tale of East vs. West, which for PIAA girls lacrosse, usually means a lopsided outcome.
Unfortunately for the Mt. Lebanon girls lacrosse team, Tuesday’s PIAA semifinal game against Conestoga was no exception.
The Pioneers, the No. 5 seed from District 1, handed WPIAL champion Mt. Lebanon a jarring 20-5 defeat to advance to their second consecutive PIAA championship appearance.
Conestoga (18-6)* will play in the PIAA championship Saturday against either Radnor or Garnet Valley at West Chester East High School. [22-1]*
“A five seed there means they are more like a No. 1 seed here,” Mt. Lebanon coach Brian Kattan said. “I was hoping we would come out and play hard, and we did that. We hit a couple posts early on, and that could have made it a different game, but they never gave up.”
The loss broke the Blue Devils’ 13-game winning streak as the team could not match up with Conestoga’s aggressive, fast-paced playing style, which racked up a 13-2 lead in the first half.
“They go for it, and we were playing a little passive,” Kattan said. “We are used to playing teams that aren’t as aggressive. That really is the difference; we just weren’t ready for their aggressiveness.”
The Pioneers were led by senior Monica Borzillo, who tallied her 100th assist of the season during the first half when she assisted on seven of Conestoga’s 13 goals in the first 25 minutes. Borzillo put Mt. Lebanon’s defense on its heels, as it was not prepared for the tight blocking needed to stop the Pioneers’ top attackers.
“Monica has been great all year long,” Conestoga coach Amy Orcutt said. “She’s been stepping up and getting the numbers, not only on goal, but also coming up with assists, and 100 assists in one season is a pretty outstanding stat.”
In the opening minutes of semifinal play, Megan Gibbons kept Mt. Lebanon’s spirit high with a quick shot to cut Conestoga’s early lead to one, but the Pioneers responded with 11 unanswered goals before the end of the half.
Gibbons also scored the final Mt. Lebanon goal, while Kate Sramac had two goals and two assists for the Blue Devils. Sophia Klaber rounded out the scoring for Mt. Lebanon with a goal in the opening minutes of the second half. Renee Cline had four saves for Mt. Lebanon.
The Blue Devils also struggled on draw controls, gaining possession of just three in the first half, leading to the lopsided score, as Conestoga scored on nearly every possession.
“Sramac usually does a great job for us, but that girl (Conestoga’s Liz Scott) was tremendous. She was a machine out there,” Kattan said. “We went into this game thinking we would be even on draws. I don’t know how she did it on some of those, but she got them out there.”