MCMURRAY – Midway through the second half of Friday’s WPIAL Division I girls lacrosse quarterfinal against visiting Sewickley Academy, Peters Township senior Hannah Wilcox sprinted up the right sideline and adjusted her mask while holding her stick aloft and working around a defender.
No, things were not that easy for the Indians.
Though with the offensive firepower that Wilcox, Allison Hurley, Sarah Bootman and Caitlin Carey possess, sometimes it might seem that way.
Wilcox scored seven goals, Hurley contributed a game-high nine points, and Peters Township overwhelmed Sewickley Academy in a 20-8 rout, launching its defense of the 2012 WPIAL Division I title in grand fashion.
“It’s really exhilarating, just being able to run those sets and make those passes,” Hurley said. “It really works out.”
Unless, of course, you’re trying to stop those four from scoring, an unenviable task that fell to Sewickley Academy’s Cheryl Ann Lassen.
“They’re fast, they have very good stick skills, and they can move the ball quickly,” Lassen said. “There are about four of them that really work well together; they kind of feed off each other.”
Is there a way to stop them … you know, outside of hiding their sticks?
“You’re not going to be able to shut all of them down, but if you can at least make it a little more difficult … ,” Lassen said before trailing off. “We were doing that in the beginning, then we kind of fell apart. They were able to capitalize, and that’s what a good team does.”
The game was tied at three before Peters Township erupted for 11 consecutive goals, getting five from Wilcox and two apiece from Hurley and Carey.
In that stretch, Wilcox scored her 200th career goal – she also eclipsed the 300-point mark – and Hurley notched No. 100.
“We have a lot of weapons on the attacking end,” Peters Township coach Kristin Slemmer said. “I think it really just makes my job easy. They have been playing together for so many years that they know where each other is on the field. They could probably pass to each other with their eyes closed.”
Carey will play lacrosse next season at Duke, but she’s not the only NCAA Division I recruit on Peters Township’s roster; Bootman (four goals, two assists) is headed to American; Wilcox to Jacksonville University; and defender Isabella DiGnazio, a key part of holding Sewickley Academy scoreless for a 22-minute stretch, to Philadelphia University.
No roles are designated within the group, save for Hurley’s spot near the goal cage, the job of someone playing low attack.
“I’m good at knowing where to pass it,” said Hurley, who had six assists Friday, one prettier than the next.
Stopping Peters Township (15-2) doesn’t appear to be an easy task, but the Indians aren’t thinking too far ahead, Wilcox said.
Next up will be Pine-Richland, the semifinal scheduled for 6 p.m. next Tuesday at North Hills, and that’s it. No mention of winning a fifth WPIAL title or following up last year’s.
“Defending our WPIAL title is kind of in the back of our minds,” Wilcox said. “We go into every game like it’s a brand new game. We don’t really look to the future. We try to think about what’s going on then and play to the best of our ability, leaving it all on the field.”
Angela Esposito and Melanie Morgret split the goalie duties for Peters Township. Bootman had four goals and two assists. … Maggie McClain had four goals to pace Sewickley Academy (8-8). … With her team ahead, 18-4, Carey, still going all out, dove out of bounds and onto the track while trying to save a ball.