Shady Side Academy boys lacrosse motivated to rise

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Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 9:14 AM


The Shady Side Academy boys lacrosse team is hoping to improve on its 2018 season, which ended with a 10-6 record and section co-championship. The Indians lost to Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals.

“We lost a few key contributors to graduation in leading scorer and all-section attackman Ben Ream, team MVP Blake Benko, defensive midfielder Spencer Smith and faceoff man Marco Germinaro,” SSA coach Cam Thompson said. “But we will return a great core group.

“We return a motivated group that has matured with experience and (is) led by two-time captain Ronan O’Connor and his twin brother, Colm.”

Ronan, a senior defenseman, was named all-section and all-WPIAL last year. He will play lacrosse at Williams next year. Colm, a midfielder, is also a returning all-section player.

Other returning starters include junior goalie Mike DiMarsico, who was all-section; junior midfielder and captain Jack Naughton, junior attackmen George Grune and Eric Evenson; junior defensemen Thomas Muse and Jack Calihan and sophomore midfielders Jack Todd and Chaz Troutman.

Thompson also expects big contributions from junior attackman Trent Lane and senior attackman Matt Cotterio. Freshman Thompson Lau should also be in the mix.

“He looks to step in as our long stick midfielder taking over for the void left by Benko,” Thompson said.

“We are in our second year as a staff here at Shady Side Academy. The boys are more familiar with us and have developed a strong team culture and set of expectations of what it means to be a part of our program, both on and off the field. Last year, we had a number of younger players play significant roles for us. We asked our young guys to step up and make plays in big time wins versus WPIAL runner-up North Allegheny, Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon.”

Thompson has a few areas of concern.

“It will be tough replacing Ream, our leading scorer, and Germinaro,” he said. “Also, playing the toughest schedule in the WPIAL will be a challenging task, but we believe it will prepare our group for a difficult play off run in May.”

SSA will be competing in WPIAL Section 2-AAA along with Allderdice, Seneca Valley, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, Shaler, Central Catholic, Pine-Richland and Butler.

“Our section will be very competitive with teams such as Pine Richland and North Allegheny. We expect the top teams in the WPIAL this year will be NA, Pine-Richland and Mt. Lebanon.

“Our team has been extremely focused this offseason in the weight room. They have prepared their bodies to play through the toughest schedule in the WPIAL. The attention to detail in our preparation, and focusing on our ultimate team goals and not individual successes, will be imperative for us to take the next step this season in winning a WPIAL championship.”

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