After deep playoff run, Penn-Trafford boys lacrosse continue to grow

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Sunday, May 28, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Before the season, Penn-Trafford coach Charlie Hach and his players set goals of making the playoffs, winning a playoff game and reaching the Final Four.

Mission accomplished.

The Warriors (15-6) completed their finest season, finishing 9-1 in the section, won their first home playoff game and reached the semifinals in Class 2A before falling to a talented South Fayette squad, 18-9.

“We’ve showed continued progress the past three seasons,” Hach said. “It was a great season, we just ran into a team in South Fayette that was running on all cylinders.

“They were very good. It wasn’t that we played poorly, they were just better.”

The Warriors defeated Shaler, 15-14, after receiving a first-round bye. They dropped a third-place match to Hampton, 14-8, to end their season on May 24.

Since Hach took over in 2020 the program has made steady progress.

The Warriors will graduate six talented seniors in co-captain Sam DiDio, co-captain Jackson Kerrigan, face-off specialist Xavier Solomon, defensive mid Jake McClintock, midfielder Brady Paliscak and midfielder Nate Loughner.

“Sam was a great leader,” Hach said. “He’s a great player and was big part of growing the program.”

In 2022, the team finished 10-8 and qualified for the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs, defeating Pine-Richland, 17-8, before falling to North Allegheny, 20-3, in the quarterfinals.

“The program is in a good spot right now, and the future looks bright,” Hach said. “We have a good young group coming up the next couple years. We lose a great senior group, but we have a good nucleus returning.”

Leading that group is junior Braedan Mastine, the team’s top scorer with 65 goals and 65 assists this season.

“We’re starting over with some new faces next year,” Hach said. “We do return many defensive players and some key offensive players.”

DiDio followed with 52 goals and 19 assists while sophomore Gavin Weaver had 41 goals and 11 assists. Sophomore Carter Vandrak and Kerrigan also contributed double-digit goals.

Also back will be goaltender Chase Morocco, who Hach said played well.

“We have a lot of players who can score goals,” Hach said. “We’re able to spread things around.”

Hach said he’s also pleased with the play of junior Mark Jollie and Connor Alsing on defense along with junior Jake Luchs.

“Jake has picked things up well in his first season,” Hach said. “I have a lot of players who have played together for years.

“This group has improved its strength and speed. They’re playing for each other. We have a talented and experienced group who love the game.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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