Defense helps Fox Chapel boys lacrosse to playoff win

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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 11:01 AM


The Fox Chapel boys lacrosse team didn’t stray from what allowed it to advance to the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. During the first round against Norwin, the Foxes leaned on their defense to collect a 10-7 victory and move on to the quarterfinals.

Fox Chapel only allowed 54 goals during its 16 regular-season matches. The Foxes had the third-best defense in their section. Shady Side Academy led Section 2-3A by allowing 26 goals, while North Allegheny was second by conceding only 40 goals.

“It started with our defense,” Fox Chapel coach Jordon Hoddor said. “We were winning everything at the X. … (Norwin) had a player who is going Division III that has over 100 goals in his career; we limited him. We made them one-dimensional. Physically, we out-pressured them.”

Fox Chapel was set to take on defending WPIAL Class 3A champion Mt. Lebanon in the quarterfinals.

This is the second straight year Fox Chapel advanced past the first round of the playoffs. Hoddor believes the Foxes still need to figure out how to start strong against the elite competition to continue moving forward.

“It’s about controlling transition,” Hoddor said. “We need to control the middle of the field between the 30s. We have to slow teams down and not give them extra-man breaks. If we control the middle of the field, we can be in the spots we need to be.”

The Foxes’ attack produced several strong performances against Norwin. Ryan Napolitan led the team with four goals, while Jake Siddons scored three times.

Kaeden Pekarcik made 10 saves for Fox Chapel in the win over the Knights.

Hoddor is excited to see how the Foxes will handle the challenges of taking another step forward in the playoffs.

“I think it’s a challenge,” Hoddor said. “I think our team is ready to take on these challenges. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot at the start of games where we played big programs. We don’t have to be afraid of them. We can take it to them like they take it to us.”

Girls advance too

Caroline Grimsley led the Fox Chapel girls lacrosse team with five goals and an assist to help the Foxes move past Butler, 18-4, in WPIAL Class 3A playoff action. Sydney Schutzman scored four goals, while Caroline Leland added three. Fox Chapel improved to 13-3 on the season.

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