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Girls Lacrosse Competes in Midnight Madness Tournament

Maddie Stas, Staff Member

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Midnight Madness: The only tournament in Pittsburgh to lax until the early morning. The girls lacrosse team participated in the annual Midnight Madness Tournament that goes from 7pm until 2am at the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena (PISA) in Harmarville. The team competed against some of the top teams in Allegheny County, including Hampton, Shaler, and a True travel team.

It was nice for the girls to be able to compete against teams like this, because Shaler, for example, is a team they will see during the regular season. This lets them get used to there style of play, and better themselves for when they have to play them when it really counts. Sophomore Ainsley Novotny loves the learning experience midnight madness brings for the upcoming season. “It is an eyeopener for what we all need to work on in the upcoming season, and gives us something to work toward when we see what teams have perfected.”

The girls arrived at 5:45 to partake in a clinic that started at 6. The tournament sponsor implemented a clinics into the nights events. One focused on offensive skills, and two focused on defensive skills. Two college coaches, one from St. Bonaventure and the other from Hiram college, ran the offensive clinic.  The coach running the first defensive clinic, which focused on clears and fast breaks, was IUPs head coach, and the other defensive clinic was run by Edinboro and St. Vincent coaches that taught double teams.

This tournament is a good opportunity for girls to be recruited and take there lacrosse skills to the next level. Members of every team were able to email coaches from a wide range of schools giving them there game schedule and asking them to come watch them play.

The team wasn’t just made up of Latrobe players this year. Coach Kaytie Russo decided to bring some girls from other local school districts onto the team to add depth. Four players from Norwin, and one player from Greensburg that played as a wildcat for the night. Since so many people signed up for the tournament, the teams had to be broken up into two. Girls in 9th and 10th grade were put on the JV team or the “Wildcat Black” team which competed with teams in the division two bracket. Girls in 11th and 12th grade were put onto the varsity team or “Wildcat Orange” which competed against teams placed in the division 1 bracket.

The wildcats continue to go back to this tournament as, it is a great way for new players to get game play without getting intimidated. “We really like to give the girls an opportunity to play lacrosse as much as possible before the season begins.  This tournament is especially great because we are able to play against teams that we will see during the regular season and be challenged against teams who are stronger than we may be.  Generally we take a Varsity and Junior Varsity team. For the varsity team, it’s a great way to brush up on their skills. For the Junior Varsity team, it’s a great opportunity for newer players to get into a game-like situation and experience the pace and game of lacrosse,” said Coach Kaytie Russo.

The wildcat orange team started the night off early playing shaler at 7:00. This was the first time the girls had played together in an actual game since last season. Fans could tell the girls were conditioned from all the time they put in weeks before at pre-season practices, but the lack of communication on was evident. The girls ended up losing 10-3.

The next two games played out the exact same way. The girls could keep up with the pace of the game but didn’t mesh as a team just quite yet. They lost the next game to Hampton 13-2, and the last game to the True Open team 11-1.

The wildcat black games outcome was the exact same, coming out with a record of 0-3. They lost to the Mustangs, Aquinas Academy, and Ohio Premier.

Neither the Wildcat Orange or Black made it to the playoffs, meaning they were all done playing by midnight. Each team’s record does not accurately demonstrate all the benefits that came out of the night, one of them being team bonding.

Returning senior captain Kaylin Kostic has a positive outlook on the night. “We got killed by every team, but it doesn’t matter because it was a good team bonding thing and we’ll get better.

Sophomore Talia Mongelluzzo feels the same way as Kaylin. “You learn a lot about everyone while playing lacrosse at 1 in the morning and it really brings the team together”.

Freshman Lily Kesler, who just started playing explained, “it was a really good experience to see game play and get to know all the girls a little better.”

VOICE BOX

What was your favorite memory from Midnight Madness?

“Maddie drove us and we made it on one piece and even jammed to some One Direction” -Junior Addy Vavick

“I got whacked with a stick so I bruised on my elbow very close to my funny bone.” -Sophomore Ainsley Novotny

“We were only allowed to eat food from the cafe so we started throwing bananas” -Sophomore Maddi Bentley

“I got a nice shirt” -Freshman Lily Keslar

“I ate a sandwich that had Sidnie’s cleat marks on it” -Senior Raven Dupilka

“It screws up your sleep schedule but it’s worth it”- Junior Keegan Clark

“I tried to catch a ball with my hand.” -Junior Lauren Willner

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Girls Lacrosse Competes in Midnight Madness Tournament