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Penncrest beats Wilson in first round of PIAA Class 3A lacrosse playoffs

Penncrest defeated Wilson 20-16 in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A girls lacrosse playoffs at West Lawn on Tuesday.

The District 3 runner-up Bulldogs (17-4) fell behind early and could not overcome the deficit as it was an uphill battle throughout the game.

Wilson’s Audrey Miller scores during an opening-round loss to Penncrest in the PIAA playoffs Tuesday at George Mack Stadium in West Lawn. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

“We hit a few unfortunate pipes,” Bulldogs coach Chelsea Rosiek said of the loss. “We were very efficient on the attack and defensively we struggled in the first half to get our legs together. They built too much of a lead and then it was just tough to crack the seam but I’m very proud of their efforts.”

The offenses dominated the contest.

To begin the game, Mattie Keiser sprinted downfield after the faceoff and scored the first goal which was assisted by Alexa Kairis in the first seven seconds.

The District 1 fourth-place Lions (17-6) then went on a 3-0 run to take the lead.

Keiser answered by scoring her 100th career goal with 2:17 remaining in the quarter. Less than a minute later Lexi Brensinger tied the game with a goal of her own.

The Lions scored two more goals in the last minute for a 5-3 lead going into the second quarter.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 5 on goals by Keiser and Kaitlyn Coldren.

Penncrest then got its offense flowing, with six different girls scoring in the quarter on an 8-1 run before halftime.

A game that could have gotten out of hand was stopped by the Bulldogs in the third.

Keiser scored her fourth and fifth goals as the Lions’ offense stalled. Audrey Miller and Brooke Prentiss each got the ball in the net to cut the deficit to 14-10 with 12 minutes remaining.

There was no quit in the Bulldogs’ attitude as they stayed within striking distance but could not get over the hump to tie the game back up.

In the fourth, three Lions players each scored two goals apiece to keep their lead as the clock ticked down.

Wilson’s Alexa Kairis looks for an open shot during an opening-round loss to Penncrest in the PIAA playoffs Tuesday at George Mack Stadium in West Lawn. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Kairis, Miller, and Ainsley McClain combined for six goals before time ran out on Wilson’s season.

“They love each and this sport so much,” Rosiek said of her team’s emotions after the loss. “They’ve accomplished so much this year and wanted to see it through.”

For the Bulldogs, Miller finished with four goals and Kairis had three goals and one assist.

Penncrest will play Downingtown East, the sixth-place finisher in District 1, in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Downingtown East beat District 12 champion Northeast 24-4 on Tuesday.