Pine-Richland notebook: Dominant run continues for field hockey team

Sunday, November 5, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Led by a pair of goals by Jessica Albertson, Pine-Richland field hockey advanced to another Class 3A field hockey championship with a 3-0 win over North Allegheny in the Class 3A semifinals Oct. 28.

The Rams were seeking their fifth consecutive WPIAL championship when they faced No. 2 Peters Township on Nov. 4 at Washington & Jefferson’s Cameron Stadium. That game was past the deadline for this edition.

Kushi Saini also scored for the Rams in the semifinal win.

Pine-Richland was 18-0 entering the WPIAL championship game. The Rams’ run of dominance against WPIAL opponents has been impressive. Entering Saturday’s championship game, they hadn’t lost to a WPIAL opponent since 2018.

Pine-Richland beat Peters Township twice in the regular season. They won 3-0 on Sept. 20 and 1-0 on Oct. 16.

The Rams have yielded only three goals all season.

Thompson qualifies for states

Pine-Richland sophomore Lucas Thompson put a period on a breakout sophomore season with a 14th-place finish at the WPIAL cross country championship Oct. 26 at White Oak Park in McKeesport.

The finish was good enough to qualify for the PIAA meet, which was set for Nov. 4 at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey.

Thompson’s run was the third highest Pine-Richland finish at WPIALs in the last 25 years. It was one of the Rams boys’ best performances since Michael Sanford won the WPIAL title in 1996.

Ben McLean (36th), Kevin McLoughlin (51st), Thomas Devito (63rd) and Charlie Kapanowski (70th) rounded out the top five for the Rams boys, who finished ninth in the team standings.

Maren Iski led the girls team with a 23rd-place finish. Ella Yanni placed 41st and Teagan Yurocko was 50th.

The girls placed eighth in the team standings.

P-R football seeks repeat

Pine-Richland football received the third seed in the WPIAL Class 5A bracket and was scheduled to host No. 6 Bethel Park in a quarterfinal matchup Nov. 3.

The Rams were the second seed last year and went on to win the WPIAL 5A title and state title.

Pine-Richland went 7-3 in the regular season and finished on a four-game winning streak. The Rams had a signature win over Class 6A No. 1 Central Catholic, 26-19, on Oct. 6.

Last year, they had the dual-threat ability of Ryan Palmieri at quarterback as their catalyst on offense. This season, they’ve found success with a wildcat offense featuring running back Ethan Pillar taking plenty of snaps.

A potential rematch with Penn Hills loomed in the semifinals. The Indians beat the Rams, 26-20, in the Northeast Conference opener Sept. 8. Penn Hills also beat Pine-Richland last year.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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