After program’s 1st playoff berth last year, Penn-Trafford girls lacrosse keeps growing

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Sunday, April 14, 2024 | 11:01 AM


The Penn-Trafford girls lacrosse team qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in 2023.

Now the squad, which graduated four seniors, has set a bigger goal.

“They want to hang up a banner in the gymnasium,” Penn-Trafford second-year coach Rich Vislocky said. “The girls are excited to get after it.”

Penn-Trafford is off to a great start, 8-1 overall and 3-0 in Section 1-2A. It is coming off an impressive 11-3 victory against Plum on April 10.

“We’re playing well,” Vislocky said. “One of the contributing factors is their better understanding of the game. The girls are always asking questions and increasing lacrosse IQ.”

Penn-Trafford has improved defensively. They went from causing 7.6 turnovers per game to 14.3. And they are allowing 6.4 goals per game, down from 10.

Penn-Trafford finished 11-8 overall in 2023, falling to Quaker Valley in the playoffs. Its lone loss this season was to Class 3A Canon-McMillan.

Vislocky is counting on senior attacker Sophia Green, sophomore midfielder Annabelle Aquino, sophomore attacker Georgia Vislocky and junior midfielder Ayla Moffa to carry the offense.

Vislocky said Moffa brings her ice hockey energy to the field.

Leading the defense are juniors Maura Spadone, Gianna Botti and Cecilla Doughty, a newcomer. The goalkeeper is sophomore Madison Hagan, who broke her thumb late in the 2023 season.

Others expected to contribute are freshman attacker Avery Bosack, freshman attacker Lily Crenshaw, freshman defenseman Mary Brobst and sophomore midfielder Adalyn Hawk.

Sophomore Torrie DeStefano is another talented athlete, but she’s been slowed by injuries. She is recovering from a basketball injury and Vislocky said she’s is hoping to come back.

“Our defense is contributing factor to our success,” Vislocky said. “Even our attack is playing better defense. It has changed our progression. Our points per game are up from 11 to 13.5 goals per game and our assists are up from 3.4 to 7.4. We’re drawing the attack and dumping it for better shots.”

Vislocky said he’s coached some of the girls for four years.

“Our first year in middle school, maybe we won two games,” Vislocky said. “The second year we won the tournament. I see it translating to the high school level. It’s fun to watch.”

Penn-Trafford was scheduled for a big game April 15 at Hampton (3-1) and then another April 17 against Indiana (4-0) at home.

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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