SSA girls lacrosse returns experienced roster

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | 5:14 PM


The Shady Side Academy girls lacrosse team, coached by Katy Phillips, is hoping to improve on last year’s 16-5 record that included a trip to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals. This year, they will be competing in Section 2-3A, which also includes Butler, Freeport, Indiana, Moon, North Allegheny, Fox Chapel, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley and Shaler.

“We weren’t hit hard by graduation, and we have eight returning starters,” Phillips said.

A total of six senior starters will return: Ella Benec (defense, captain), Paige Golden (attack), Emmie Lau (midfield,captain), Hannah Price (defense), Josie Szlachetka (midfield) and Abby Todd (midfield, captain). Junior Coco Redican (attack) and sophomore Claire Taylor (attack) also started.

There are also eight returning letterwinners: juniors Zoe Conomikes (attack) and Addie Todd (defense) along with sophomores Avery Benko (midfield), Cat Johnson (midfield), Charlotte McDaniel (defense), Maevis Rosengart (midfield), Julia Roupe (attack) and Amy Yu (midfield).

There are several promising newcomers who Phillips believe will be contributors.

“We have a very talented group of freshman that will contribute in all positions,” she said. “We will also have a new face in goal in sophomore Gianna Lamanna. She will bring a dynamic take to the position. These younger players will allow our staff to be very creative.”

There are three factors Phillips believes will be the strength of the team this year.

“We will have strong leadership from the top. We have experience from playing in the WPIAL semis last year, and we have a hungry group of underclassmen anxious to contribute in any way possible. On the flip side, I do have concerns about the youth of our team.”

She is pleased with the WPIAL realignment.

“The new WPIAL sections will be a huge help to all of us in prepping for post season and state play. In Section 1, both Mt. Lebanon and USC return solid teams. In Section 2, the race is on. I think the sleeper is going to be North Hills. They have been slowly but steadily building a very good program. We are a confident group, and we’re looking forward to the season.”

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