A cursory look at the brackets for the 2012 WPIAL Division I and Division II girls lacrosse tournaments shows that two Eastern area teams -- Oakland Catholic and The Ellis School -- made the field for either tournament.
Oakland Catholic's Eagles lost a first-round game to eventual runner-up Pine-Richland, 14-6. The Ellis Tigers dropped a Division II, first-round game to Shaler Area, 11-7.
Oakland Catholic was 5-8 a year ago, and finished fourth in Division I, Section 1 with a 3-7 record. The Eagles earned section victories over Upper St. Clair (9-6), Seton-LaSalle (6-3) and Upper St. Clair (11-7). Their closest margin against a ranked team was a 13-10 loss to Shady Side Academy.
The Ellis School finished 2012 with an 11-6 record, and the Tigers were ranked No. 16 out of 34 Western Pennsylvania teams as ranked by Laxpower.com. The Tigers finished a very respectable fourth in Division I, Section 1 behind WPIAL Division II runner-up Chartiers Valley, Bethel Park and Baldwin. Those three schools are three of the larger schools in the WPIAL.
The Eagles and the Tigers have high hopes to return to the WPIAL tournament. For other schools east of Pittsburgh, a lot of work is in store.
Franklin Regional was 0-14 a year ago in Division I, Section 2. The Panthers hope for better success this season. The rest of the schools in the Eastern area played a Division II schedule a year ago, and they will do again this year. Those schools are Latrobe, Winchester Thurston, Greensburg Central, Greensburg Salem, Yough and Hempfield. None of those schools made the playoffs a year ago.