Franklin Regional girls lacrosse progressing ahead of WPIAL playoffs

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Saturday, May 6, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Regan McComb has seen steady progress since she took over the Franklin Regional girls lacrosse program in 2021.

The team reached the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs in 2022, losing to Quaker Valley in the first round, and has already qualified for the 2023 playoffs.

McComb said because the players know the game better, she doesn’t have to teach the basics as much. McComb grew up near Philadelphia, a hotbed for lacrosse.

“We have a nice feeder program now which allows the coaching staff more freedom to coach,” McComb said. “We’ve progressed really well. The biggest thing is the players understand all phases of the sport.”

Franklin Regional (10-5, 8-3 in Section 2-2A) has eight seniors and a talented freshman class.

“The seniors have become leaders, the team is playing team defense and the players know when to attack.” McComb said.

Senior Gwen Shilling, who recently scored her 100th career goal, has 43 goals this season, including a five-goal game in a 12-9 win against Oakland Catholic on May 2.

“Gwen is a complete player,” McComb said. “If she sees an opportunity, she goes for it. She is very knowledgeable. She has a ton of ability and has a great shot.”

Teammate Ingrid Varley has 42 goals, and the team has only allowed more than nine goals in a game once. Sophomore goalkeeper Katelyn Patts has made 145 saves this season.

Franklin Regional defeated Penn-Trafford, 6-4, in a game McComb described as a defensive battle.

Defensively, senior Sarah Holt has become a leader.

“Her teammates look up to her and listen to what she has to say,” McComb said. “Junior Kate Lowe is another top defenseman. If there is a 50/50 ball on the ground, she usually gets it. She also does a great job creating a ton of turnovers.

“A couple midfielders who have developed well are Varley and Catherine Helm. They are good at draws, and Varley has become a consistent scorer.”

McComb said the future looks bright for the program because they are developing a lot of talented players.

“We have a nice group of freshmen and a lot of new players that are playing at a high level,” McComb said. “It’s nice not to spend the early part of the season on the basics. Now they’re coming in with a solid base.”

Before the playoffs get underway, Franklin Regional had games scheduled against Norwin on May 4 at home, Hempfield at home May 9 and at South Fayette on May 10.

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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