Gateway boys lacrosse to host 1st WPIAL playoff game in program history

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Friday, May 10, 2019 | 8:26 PM


The Gateway boys lacrosse team achieved another first in its seventh season as a full member of the WPIAL.

The Gators, who finished third in Section 1, were awarded the No. 7 seed for the Class AA playoff tournament and host a postseason game for the first time.

They were to face Sewickley Academy in the first round at Antimarino Stadium on Tuesday, after deadline for this edition.

“The guys stepped up and finished strong, but I wasn’t sure where they would seed us,” Gateway coach Dan Alexander said.

Gateway won its final four section games to finish 6-3. Included in that streak was what Alexander and his team, including the 18 seniors, thought might be the final home game of the season, a 16-12 victory over North Catholic on May 2.

“The guys are really excited about (the home playoff game),” Alexander said. “It’s one last chance to defend the ‘G’ as we like to say. A main goal coming into the season was to win a playoff game for the first time, and to have the opportunity to do it at home is icing on the cake. They went undefeated at home (6-0) in the regular season, and they don’t want to put a blemish on that.”

Gateway started the four-game section winning streak with a senior-night victory over Knoch on April 25 and followed that up with the program’s first-ever victory over Indiana on April 30.

The Gators capped the section slate with a 20-11 win over Plum on Tuesday.

“We knew that Plum would come out and hit us hard,” Alexander said. “It is a backyard rival, and it meant a lot to win that game. They take it very personal if they lose to Plum.”

Mars and Hampton finished 1-2 in the section and are the top two seeds for the playoffs.

The top four seeds in Class AA received byes to the quarterfinals.

The winner between Gateway and Sewickley Academy travels to Hampton on Thursday for an 8 p.m. quarterfinal game.

The Gators are in the playoffs for the fourth time. They made their playoff debut in 2014 with a 9-8 overtime setback to Chartiers Valley in the first round of what was then the Division II playoffs.

Gateway also suffered first-round losses to Latrobe (2016) and North Catholic (2017).

Sewickley Academy has been a top playoff contender in the WPIAL and also before the WPIAL began governing boys lacrosse in 2009. The Panthers won the WPIAL Division I title in 2010.

Sewickley Academy played in Class AAA through last season

“We know what kind of program Sewickley Academy is with their tradition,” Alexander said. “We’re going to be ready for a battle.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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