Fox Chapel girls lacrosse facing busy stretch after hot start

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Saturday, April 23, 2022 | 9:01 AM


Fox Chapel opened its post-spring break portion of its girls lacrosse season with a 14-8 victory over Shaler to go 6-0 on the season.

But now a meat grinder of a schedule looms.

With a combination of make-up matches from weather and the school district’s spring break, the Foxes are looking at four matches in a week.

“I can’t complain at all, certainly,” said coach Kellee Cribby on her team’s hot start. “I’m very much a coach who focuses on what’s next, so were just focused on the back half of our season now.”

And that back half will be filled with challenges.

Said Cribby: “It definitely is a challenge coming back from spring break and the other (weather) cancellations early in the season that have to get fit in. We’re taking it one a time, but four in a week is definitely a challenge.”

The Foxes are led by a strong defensive unit that consists of seniors Annabel Siddons, Aldem March and Mira Tramontina.

“They’re our core defensive unit, they provide great leadership and all three are captains,” Cribby said. “I also have senior captain Sydney Kennedy, one of our top attackers.”

Fox Chapel is also getting strong play from sophomore goalkeeper Tess Petrucelli, yielding only 4.6 goals per game.

“She’s been phenomenal and has risen to the challenge,” Cribby said. “It helps having three seniors in front of her, but I’m proud of how she’s playing.”

The leading scorer thus far is sophomore Sydney Schutzman, averaging five goals per game.

Also enjoying fine seasons are junior attackers Lindsay Sheffler and Mercer Murton.

There was reason for optimism in the preseason, with seven seniors dotting the lineup.

“We have a really great senior class that loves the sport and are motivated to perform well,” said the third-year coach. “They help setting an example of working hard and making sure they are executing during games. I felt really confident with the leadership we had that we could have a really great season, and the others have really stepped up and really risen to that level.”

The closest game the Foxes have had going into their busy week was a 13-8 victory over North Allegheny in early April.

Cribby gives considerable credit to her assistants, Eleni Brown, a teammate from their days at Allegheny College, and Erik Ingram, who is also Fox Chapel’s highly-successful boys soccer coach.

Fox Chapel had three straight section titles from 2017-19 only to see that streak broken by the pandemic in 2020. Last year was marked by some covid-related cancellations, but things have pretty much returned to normal this season.

With 38 players on the roster, Fox Chapel is also able to field a junior varsity team and has reaped the benefits of girls playing in an AAU program serving various age groups in the Pittsburgh region.

The WPIAL playoffs are set to begin around May 15.

The top six teams from each of the two Class 3A sections make the postseason.

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