Ellis Elite: Tigers Win 4th Straight WPIAL 1-A Field Hockey Crown
By: Don Rebel
Thursday, November 2, 2017 | 4:27 AM
The Ellis School Tigers won their fourth straight WPIAL championship on Wednesday night with a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Shady Side Academy Indians. Ellis School became the first team to win four consecutive WPIAL crowns since North Allegheny won seven in a row from 1998-2004. It is the eighth WPIAL title program history for the Tigers.
For most of the night, the game had a good back-and-forth pace with each team getting their fair share of scoring opportunities. Shady Side goalie Clara McCormick and Ellis net minder Genna Barge kept the contest scoreless until the Tigers were finally able to break through on a penalty corner late in the first half. With 1:18 remaining before halftime, senior Corinne Hartman tallied a goal to give Ellis School a 1-0 lead going into intermission.
In the second half, Ellis School was able to extend the lead on the strength of another penalty corner. Freshman Tegan Poerio scored her team-leading 31st goal of the season with 19:03 left to play for a 2-0 lead.
Following the Poerio goal, Shady Side Academy first-year coach Valerie Lohr called a timeout and the Indians responded with inspired play in the remaining minutes. On their own penalty corner opportunity, the Indians cashed in with 13:25 on the clock courtesy of a marker by junior Ella Benec to trim the score to 2-1, Ellis School. For the night, Shady Side was 1 for 9 on penalty corners and Ellis School was 2 for 8.
Shady Side Academy continued to pressure in the waning minutes but ultimately couldn’t find the equalizer as Ellis School hung on for the 2-1 triumph.
With the win, Ellis School not only claims the WPIAL title but also advances to the PIAA playoffs on Tuesday night.