Shady Side Academy girls lacrosse completes WPIAL 3-peat

Thursday, May 26, 2022 | 12:17 AM

In 2019, Shady Side Academy needed two overtimes to beat Upper St Clair for its first girls lacrosse championship. Last season, the Bulldogs needed a goal from Jenny Wooding with 26.8 seconds remaining to best Mt. Lebanon.

There was no such drama Wednesday night at Robert Morris. The Bulldogs shut out the Blue Devils in the second half on their way to 15-7 win in the Class 3A championship game.

“It feels really good,” Shady Side coach Katy Phillips said of the three-peat. “This group started as freshman and became a really strong senior class. You see a lot of it on the field, but even the kids that aren’t getting that many minutes have had a huge impact on this team.”

There was no season in 2020 due the covid pandemic.

Phillips also enjoyed the fact that this title was achieved with less drama.

“It was nicer to be a little bit further ahead and have a little cushion,” she said. “But Mt. Lebanon is a formidable opponent, so you can’t slow down against them.”

The first half went back and forth, but Shady Side took an 8-4 lead before Mt. Lebanon scored the final three goals to pull within one.

Late in the half, Mt. Lebanon senior midfielder Reagan Murdoch, who notched a first half hat trick, injured her wrist, and the American University recruit did not return, which helped change the fortunes for the Blue Devils.

“Obviously, you never want to see someone get injured, but we were able to slow our game down in the second half,” Phillips said. “We rely a lot on three middies, and we did a really good job of all of that in the second half.”

Woodings, who is headed to Florida to play lacrosse, scored five goals on the night to lead the top-seeded Bulldog attack. Molly Walsh added four goals and two assists for Shady Side Academy while Columbia bound senior Ce-Ce Messner scored four goals and added an assist.

Addie Murdoch added a goal and two assists for Mt. Lebanon (17-2) while Lilly Girod finished with a goal and an assist for the Blue Devils. The only two losses this season for Mt. Lebanon have come against Shady Side Academy.

The Bulldogs (17-3) were efficient in the win, scoring 15 goals on 16 shots.

“What we tried to focus on is taking the opportunities to make the best shot and not just shoot,” Phillips said. “We’ve struggled with that this season, and this was about making sure those shots counted.”

Both Mt. Lebanon and Shady Side Academy have qualified for the PIAA playoffs. The Bulldogs will take on the fourth-place team from District 3 next Tuesday, while the Blue Devils are set to face District 6 champion State College.

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