Chartiers Valley runs past Mars to capture 1st WPIAL girls lacrosse championship

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 | 11:46 PM

If Chartiers Valley raised a few eyebrows with an upset win over top-seeded Blackhawk in the semifinals, the remaining eyebrows are now up.

The Colts used a couple of runs in each half to defeat second-seeded Mars, 17-6, to win the school’s first WPIAL girls lacrosse championship in the Class 2A finals Wednesday afternoon at Robert Morris.

After a 2-2 start, the Colts used a 6-0 run to take an 8-2 lead. Senior Josie Jones capped that run with a pair of goals. Jones added four assists in the win for Chartiers Valley.

“That was very exciting,” Colts coach Melissa Moran said. “It was very similar to what we did against Blackhawk, and I knew that once we got the first few goals, we could settle in and play our game.”

Chartiers Valley led 10-3 at halftime and ended the game by scoring seven of the final eight goals.

If senior leadership and production wasn’t enough to sink Mars, the play of freshman midfielder Juliana Betts certainly was. Betts, who scored eight goals in the semifinal win over the Cougars, added seven more in the title game to go with three assists for a 10-point night.

“(Julianna) is an outstanding freshman,” Moran said. “She doesn’t play like a freshman because she looks like she’s been out there for four years. She is a huge factor for us on possession off the draws and she just finds ways to get open.”

Betts scored four times in the first half for the fifth-seeded Colts, and she added three more in the second as Chartiers Valley (16-2) cruised to its first title.

Freshman Ava Warzinski added two goals and two assists for Chartiers Valley, and fellow ninth-grader Kaitlyn Kuczinski made six saves in the net to make it stand up for the Colts.

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Moran said of the first championship. “I’ve coached these girls in youth lacrosse, and I knew this was a possibility if we put our minds to it.”

For the defending Class 2A champions from Mars, Duquesne-bound Charlotte Stamper notched a hat trick to finish her season with 57 goals. Zoey Krock and McKenna Merritt each had a goal and an assist for the Planets (14-4).

Jones, who is headed to Seton Hill, now has 99 career goals for Chartiers Valley, which heads in the state playoffs as the top seed from the WPIAL. Mars will also represent District 7 in the PIAA tournament, which begins Tuesday.

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