Freshman Walsh lifts Shady Side Academy to WPIAL girls lacrosse title in double OT
By: Michael Love
Friday, May 24, 2019 | 6:53 PM
For Shady Side Academy’s Molly Walsh, the wait was worth it.
The Upper St. Clair and Shady Side Academy girls lacrosse teams returned to Robert Morris on Friday to complete their WPIAL Class AAA championship game suspended Thursday because of bad weather.
With just five seconds left in the second three-minute overtime, Walsh, a freshman attacker/midfielder, found the back of the net to give Shady Side Academy the WPIAL title, 12-11.
“I saw there were five seconds left, and I was like, ‘We’re not going into triple overtime,’ ” said Walsh, who finished the game with a team-best four goals. “It was definitely a high shot, and my coaches have been telling me all season that I have to shoot high because I only shoot low. Of course, the one time I shoot high, it goes in for the championship.”
Shady Side Academy, which won a WPIAL title for the first time after several runner-up finishes, advances to the PIAA tournament and begins play Tuesday against District 10 champion McDowell at Mars High School.
Upper St. Clair (16-2) will look to regroup in the state playoffs. The Panthers will take on District 1 third-place finisher Garnet Valley on Tuesday at State College.
“We got some things to work on, so hopefully we’ll see (Shady Side Academy) again at states,” USC coach Brianne Laffey said.
The Panthers had tied the game at 11 on a goal by Lauren Hart a few minutes before the game was stopped.
“Overall, I thought the girls worked extremely hard,” Laffey said. “They gave it their all, and we need to just keep our head up and stay positive and know we can still go on to win states.”
Pine-Richland, the No. 3 team from the WPIAL, will take on District 3 champion Manheim Township on Tuesday in Mechanicsburg.
The game was stopped Thursday with 28 seconds left in regulation and Shady Side Academy in possession of the ball.
When play resumed Friday, video was used to position the players from each team on the field.
“The hard part coming back in was that you had to plan for 28 seconds, and then you had to plan for overtime,” Shady Side Academy coach Katy Phillips said. “You put a lot of time in. There wasn’t a lot of sleep last night, but it was obviously well worth it.”
CeCe Messner resumed the possession for the Indians, but Upper St. Clair forced a turnover.
Panthers senior midfielder Lindsay Newton fired an unsuccessful shot on goal with two seconds left on the regulation clock.
USC possessed the ball for the first 1:22 of the first overtime and again for another 1:03 late in the period but couldn’t get a ball past Shady Side goalie Gianna Lamanna.
Shady Side’s game-winning possession came out of a timeout. Lamanna carried the ball to near midfield before generating the final push into USC territory. Coco Redican had a shot sail just left of the goal about 25 seconds before the game-winner.
Emmie Lau and Dylan Green each had a hat trick for Shady Side Academy. Lindsay Newton finished with three goals to lead USC.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .