By: Rachel Graziano –
The Seton-La Salle girl’s lacrosse team is determined to score more than just “game goals” this season! With a new theme of “together” the girls are working towards achieving personal goals as well as team expectations. Over the past 10 years, the lacrosse team has struggled to keep up because they are in the toughest section with some of the most talented competition in Western Pennsylvania. The rivals include: Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Oakland Catholic, Chartiers Valley, and Shady Side. Head coach, Brian Klisavage has his girls working on a new open motion offense. This is because of the increase in offensive players he has received this year.
“We’ve always had a very strong defense. They are extremely aggressive which helps us to cause our opponent to turn the ball over often. My top defensive players are seniors Ashlyn Bellisario and Cristiana Nicholas, and junior Mary Kate Cipollone.” explained Klisavage.
There are ten girls graduating this season. Among them is WPIAL all-star and leading scorer of last year’s season, Olivia Caragein. Caragein is the fastest and most skilled player on the team. She has committed to Seton Hill University and is planning to continue her lacrosse career. Caragein is not the only one committed to play at the next level. Seniors Jess Hudak and Cassandra Barone are signed to play at Gannon University and Walsh University, respectively.
“I am so excited to play college lacrosse. It has been my dream ever since I was a little girl! I am in no way rushing this season though, because I’m really going to miss my coach and my teammates. Next year will be an adjustment,” Barone shared.
Barone has been the starting goaltender for three seasons now, and she has begun sharing playing time with junior Kaitlyn Binotto to get her ready to lead the team next season.
“We have many young players that are big advocates on this team. Newcomer and sophomore Cassidy Trautman has never played the game before, but has picked it up better than any new player in program history by far,” Klisavage said.
Next to Trautman is super sophomore Ellie Grefenstette, whom is already being recruited by Division 1 schools for her domination in games. Grefenstette broke all of the freshmen records last season.
“We accept everyone on this team. Age doesn’t matter. Coach puts his best players even if they aren’t seniors or juniors. With that being said, everyone does get a chance to share their skills and contribute.” Captain Ashlyn Bellisario stated, “I can’t wait for this season.”
Expecting big things this year, Klisavage has the girls practicing every night for two hours. Their team goal is to win WPIALS, and go to the state playoffs. Go Lady Rebels!