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Peters Township girls' lacrosse team has solid opener against Chartiers Valley

Written by Joe Koch on .

Peters Township High girls lacrosse coach Kristin Slemmer had hoped her team would follow through on the goals it set going into Wednesday night's season opener against host Chartiers Valley.

After the teams traded the game's first 10 goals to forge a 5-5 tie with 17:26 left in the first half, the Indians went on a 6-1 run for the rest of the first half and went on to post a 15-7 nonsection victory over the Division II Colts. The Indians are idle until Tuesday when they host Division I, Section I rival Shady Side Academy.

"We accomplished all of those team goals today," Slemmer said. "We wanted to control the draws (the girls' games equivalent of faceoffs) and shooting. We struggled in the first half, but we did better in the second. Defensivly, we wanted to get some turnovers off our defensive sets, and they did a good job of meeting the team goals. We weren't as pleased with the first half as we were with the the second. They were able to show me they were listening."

Slemmer called a timeout after Duke signee Caitlin Carey cut in front of the Charties Valley net and scored to tie the game at 5-5. Right after that goal, Slemmer called a timeout.

"We reminded the girls they were being outworked and outhustled," she said. "They needed to pick it up. We laid into them a little bit, and that started a fire."

The scoring was dominated by two players: senior midfielders Hannah Wilcox and Sarah Bootman. Wilcox, who signed with Divison I school Jacksonville had six goals, while Bootman signed with another Division I school, American University.

Bootman said the timeout came at a good time.

"This was our first game of the season, and we're a different team than we were last year," she said. "We're trying to work out the kinks, and we implemented a new play system (this past Tuesday). We were trying to work that out and shake off the cobwebs. Last year, we had an almost-all senior defense. This year, we have one senior on defense. We're trying to get everyone acclimiated to the varsity setting."

Slemmer said it's no mistake that many of the goals are a result of excellent passing.

"We have a team that's been playing together for a while," she said. "They know where they are on the field, and they make the passes. It's not a one-man show."

Melanie Morgret, who signed with Seton Hill University, had several terrific second-half saves when Chartiers Valley threatened to close the gap.

"(Her saves) got the defense pumped up," Slemmer said. "When your goalie makes a save, the defense wants to take care of the ball and get it out of there and help one another out. As long as we play as a team and not as individuals, we'll be OK."

Hannah Wilcox, who scored six goals, said Morgret's effort in the second half was a big factor in the team's win.

"She was amazing," Wilcox said. "She set a fire under all of us. When she'd make a save, it would pump all of us up."

Morgret said she had to perform well with the game on the line.

"I felt I had to step up to hold up our defensive end," she said. "There were a few mistakes that I made that I thought I could fix. (Fixing those mistakes) helped us turn the game around for our offense."

Chartiers Valley coach Julie Gould believes Colts' mistakes set the early tone.

"The girls got a little behind, and they felt they couldn't catch up," she said. "(Peters Township) has a good team, and we don't really get tested a lot like that this early in the season. It was unbelievable. I knew my girls were in shape, but (Peters Township) was so fast, it put us back on our heels. If you double-team one player, the other one takes advantage of that. That's a team that is so well-disciplined and so well-coached. My girls' heads were spinning at one point until we settled them down. When you get down by six goals, it's difficult: especially when you are playing a team like that. We couldn't find a weakness anywhere."