Pine-Richland girls lacrosse looking to ‘bounce back’ in ’21

Saturday, March 27, 2021 | 10:01 AM

Every year Pine-Richland girls lacrosse coach Brittany Adams asks the team’s seniors to come up with a motto for the season. For 2021, they chose “bounce back.”

Those two words are fitting on a couple of levels.

They signal a return to play after the 2020 season was canceled because of the covid-19 pandemic and the start of a journey toward trying to get back to the top of WPIAL Class AAA after their two-year run as champions was ended in 2019.

The Rams have 13 seniors and seven players returning that either started or contributed in 2019, so there’s a baseline of experience to build on.

“We’re fortunate that some sophomores got some varsity time in 2019 and that would have been starters or contributors in 2019,” Adams said. “That certainly helps put us in a good spot as we get ready for the season. Having so many seniors that have experience helps set the precedence of what varsity competition could look like and the level of play that it’s helped the rest of the team step up their game.”

Since the team reconvened for workouts in January the focus has been on connecting and creating a culture of family to help bridge the gap of not seeing any game action together in two years.

Seniors Haleigh Albrecht and Mia Petzuk and sophomore Caroline Gentille are midfielders. Seniors Abigail Turner, Katelyn Terchick and Sofia Zappa and junior Erica Hudock are defenders. Adams said some if not all of them could play multiple positions for a team that has versatility. Most of them were on the sidelines as freshmen when the Rams won their second WPIAL title and got some playing time in a run to the WPIAL semifinals and subsequent PIAA playoff appearance.

Albrecht is a Lafayette recruit.

“Haliegh is extremely skilled and versatile. She’s a midfielder that’s a strong attacker,” Adams said. “She’s strong at shot placement and at feeding, winning draw controls and winning 50/50 balls. This senior class has a lot of players that could play at the next level, but their direction for academics is a priority over playing at the next level and that’s as it should be.”

Senior Zoe Katres is the most experienced keeper on the team with senior Emma Hoffman and freshman Rachel Jones also on the roster as seniors.

The Rams are in Section 2 with Butler, Fox Chapel, Freeport, Moon, North Allegheny, North Hills, Seneca Valley, Sewickley Academy, Shady Side Academy and Shaler. They open against Mt. Lebanon in a nonsection game and have an early section tilt against defending WPIAL champion Shady Side Academy.

“Those two teams are traditionally strong, so, right out of the gate we have a good gauge on where we stack up,” Adams said. “I feel with our schedule laid out that way it’ll be nice to see our progress as our team continues to grow.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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