Girls LAX Player of the Year

Megan McCrady was destined to play lacrosse.

“My dad played at Michigan State and my mom played in high school and both my parents have coached at the high school level for a long time,” McCrady said. “It was kind of a given for us to play.”

Though McCrady may have had a lacrosse stick in her hand almost from birth, it didn’t guarantee success. But the end result couldn’t have turned out any better for this Fox Chapel senior.

In her four years with the Foxes, she finished as the school’s all-time record holder with 245 goals, 108 assists and 353 points. Despite being marked at all times, she capped off her stellar career by scoring 80 goals and chipping in 119 helpers as she led Fox Chapel to the WPIAL Class 3A title game and into the PIAA quarterfinals for the first time in school history.

In the WPIAL championship game loss to Pine-Richland, she scored five goals and also notched a hat trick in a loss to Downingtown East in the state quarterfinals. For her efforts, the Georgetown recruit has been named the 2017 Post-Gazette Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year.

“She has just developed not only as a player, but as a teammate,” Fox Chapel coach Katie Lundburg said. “When she was a freshman, she didn’t have a lot of talent around her so she had to do a lot by herself. As the years have gone on, she’s been surrounded with more people which has allowed her to grow her game rather than to feel like she has to do it all herself all the time.”

Because she comes from a family of coaches, she used that teaching background to help bring along some of the other Fox Chapel players. By the end of the season, Kate Goodwin had led the team with 107 goals and had taken four more shots than McCrady.

“She is the most unselfish player and so, while she’s developing as a player, she’s also developing those around her, which I think makes her a really great athlete as well,” Lundburg said. “When you’re able to make yourself better and make yourself better, it shows, especially when you’re like her and you always put in the work.”

This season it really paid off.

Fox Chapel won its first 19 games and went into the WPIAL playoffs as the No. 1 seed. The Foxes also came from behind in the championship game against Pine-Richland as McCrady scored four second-half goals to help force overtime.

“We had a lot of really great new players and, to have such great freshman talent and have a whole team that can play after having teams that were just strong in certain aspects was really great,” McCrady said. “It was a heartbreaker in the end, but to make school history was amazing.”

Now comes the hard part as she will head to a Division I program with a Hoyas team that has high expectations after losing to Denver in this year’s Big East championship game.

“I’ve played on club teams in Baltimore and, when you play in the hotbeds, you see the differences between Pittsburgh and the Baltimore or Philly kinds of lacrosse,” McCrady said. “I think it’s the speed of the game that’s really different, so I just have to adjust my game in that sense and just pick up the pace of my game.”