The North Pittsburgh Girls U14 ice hockey team has had quite a ride this season.
After finishing at just 1-15 two short seasons ago, and then losing in the finals last year, the girls felt like they had some unfinished business this season.
After a historic march through the division that resulted in a perfect 16-0 record, they completed the mission in Morgantown, West Virginia this past weekend, winning two playoff games to claim the organization's first girls title and secure an undefeated season.
The quest, which began with practices in August, includes several Cranberry Township residents.
Protecting the goal were sisters Justine (defense) and Maryrose (goalie) Szurley as well as forwards Erika Bender, Mikayla Michael and Lauren Mudrany. Each of these local girls played a key role in their playoff victories.
As the season began and the victories started to accumulate, there was a midseason showdown with rival Indiana, who came into the contest with a stellar 8-1 record.
The North Pittsburgh girls took control of the division with a convincing 5-1 victory and never looked back.
The team grew stronger with each victory while getting key contributions from different player in each and every game.
This season was truly a team effort!
The season culminated with two playoff victories to complete the clean sweep and secure the title with a finals victory. Once again, it was against rival Indiana, in a 4-0 win, with the local girls once again leaving their mark on the victory.
Maryrose Szurley recorded her 11th shutout of the season with sister Justine playing shutdown defense. Lauren Mudrany scored two goals, including the game winner to secure the title for the Wildcats.
This was a spectacular effort produced by a very special group of ladies who dedicated themselves to improving every time they were on the ice and showed what you can accomplish when you commit to playing a team game.
It is an effort that anyone who has been around this team this season will not soon forget.