The Mt. Lebanon boys and girls won semifinal games on May 22 at Bethel Park High School stadium to return to the WPIAL lacrosse championship finals.

The Blue Devil boys steamrolled past rival Upper St. Clair, 18-5. They invoked the Mercy Rule in the third quarter.

“The guys played a really good 36 minutes,” said Lebo skipper Mike Ermer. “That is something we talked about all year, putting together a whole game.

“The guys came out and were focused. They executed. They were passionate and energetic.”

Ben McAuley ignited the attack as he dominated the face-off circle.

“He set the tone,” Ermer said. “The unique thing about lacrosse is if you make it, you can take it. If you win the face-off, you can keep the pressure up. Ben did a great job in a group, team win.”

On the attack, Miles Halter contributed seven goals and six assists while Joey Hetz followed with four scores and two assists.

Brady Westbrook had a hat trick while Luke Prezioso (2), Fred Lasota and Kish Sullivan completed the goal-scoring.

Lasota registered four assists. Sullivan (2), Prezioso, and Keegan Green also picked up assists.

Sam Meyers anchored the defense.

“We have a young defense in front of him and his leadership has been outstanding all year,” Ermer said. “He’s a steadying force for us.”

AJ Hyland, Jake Shraven and Aiden Carlstrom were among the standouts on defense but Tyler Harpst is the hero of the unit. A senior, he moved from midfield to shore up the defense this season.

“When we saw how things were shaping up in the pre-season, we knew we needed veteran leadership down there,” Ermer explained. “I asked Tyler to consider the move and without hesitation he eagerly accepted. He’s done a great job for us.”

The Murdoch sisters did the job of dispatching Fox Chapel, 16-5, as the Lebo ladies moved on to the finals to face Pine-Richland, a 7-4 winner over Shady Side Academy in the other semifinal match.

While Addie submitted a four-goal, two-assist performance against the Foxes, Quinn pitched in with a hat trick.

“They are a great tandem,” said Lebo skipper Brian Kattan. “Addie obviously is the best player in the WPIAL but you would never know it by her demeanor. She just wants what is best for the team.”

Goalie Madison Flynn also did her best to put the Blue Devils back into the finals for the third year in a row. She anchored a defense that showcased the talents of freshman Chloe Shea, Laura Girod and Olivia Maher not to mention the leadership of señor Kate Lamendola.

“Kate’s another one who plays wherever we need her and does whatever we asked. She’s a tough defender. A rock back there,” Kattan said.

In the scoring department, Morgan Daniels and Reagan Quigley each tallied two goals while Madison Flynn produced a hat trick. Single tallies were recorded by Mollie Steingrower, Nora Austin, Teagan Hoover, Lilly Cramer

Steingrower and Austin added two assists each. Daniels had one.

In other semifinal action, Peters Township dropped a 19-7 decision to Shady Side Academy but South Fayette defeated Penn-Trafford, 18-9, to advance to the Class AA championship match.

The Chartiers Valley girls lost their bid to defend their Class AA title when they succumbed to Mars, 17-8. 

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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