By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/23/14
Kate Forrest scored two late goals within 54 seconds to lift Friends’ Central to a shocking 13-11 victory today over Agnes Irwin in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) championship game at Radnor’s Memorial Field.
The Phoenix (15-9) was the No. 6 seed in the tourney and had lost to the top-seeded Owls (22-2), 20-7, in the season’s first game.
But on this day, Friends’ Central led most of the game until Agnes Irwin stormed back from an 11-7 deficit with four straight goals, the last coming from Kristen Burnetta (five goals) with 8:03 to play. Forrest, a senior co-captain who scored three goals, out her team ahead with 5:49 to play and added the insurance goal before Friends’ Central held the ball most of the remainder of the game.
Friends’ Central, which fell to three-time defending champion Episcopal Academy in last year’s PAISAA finals, had rebounded from an overtime loss Saturday to Germantown Friends in the Friends Schools League championship by winning its first two state games by one goal.
“We played our hearts out at champs and barely lost,” said Forrest of the defeat to Germantown Friends. “We had a really hard practice on Monday and we said, ‘You know what, we have to do this!
“It doesn’t matter that we lost – PSAIAA is something different. We worked our tails off, won three tough games and we pulled it out because everyone did their part and everyone gave 100 percent.”
Senior co-captain Emma Dahle – who had one goal, three assists, two groundballs, four caused turnovers and two key defensive plays in the last few minutes when Agnes Irwin finally got the ball back – said her team rose to the challenge.
“They talk about team leadership but I never truly knew what it was until theses playoffs,” she said. “We have such a good coaching staff and such a good group of girls. We needed every single person on the field, everyone on the bench and everyone on the coaching staff to pull that off.
“It feels unbelievable. It’s really great. In the beginning of the season we talked about leadership. When we played today, We didn’t have two leaders, we had 12! Everyone took it upon themselves.
“As much as we do this for our team and ourselves we do it for our coach, Lauren (Becker) Rubin. She is an incredible mentor to us and everyone respects her, and we are really happy to bring this home to her.”
Emily Tedesco led Friends’ Central with four goals and Lorna MacFarland added a pair while Ann Pizzini made eight saves.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and that we were going to expect pressure the whole game,” said Rubin. “I felt we had to control possession, so every time we had it we held it and we tried to take them out of their pressure game.
“And I think that really helped because the more we held it the more they started pressing. We were able to find seams. I think the kids executed the game pan unbelievably.”
Both teams have had injury problems this year. Friends’ Central had four starters sitting on the bench due to injuries and Agnes Irwin was without several starters, including two of their standout sophomores, Hannah Keating and Laura Pansini.
Rubin said the State title was the ultimate accomplishment for a program that had won four straight Friends Schools League titles until this year.
“I rate this at the top,” she said. “It’s almost unbelievable. We had four starters sitting on the side with injuries and people stepped up and played to the best of their ability.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment. Just the last two weeks we started to believe we could play as well as we’ree playing. It took us all season to kind of conquer our fears and conquer their own doubts. Today everybody was playing without fear.”
Bridget Chakey had three goals for Agnes Irwin and Hailey Andress had six saves.
“I think our youth caught up with us today,” said Agnes Irwin coach Jen Duckenfield. “I think Lauren is a tremendous coach and congratulations to them. They executed their plays, while we made a lot of turnovers.”
Friends’ Central 13, Agnes Irwin 11
AIS 5 5 6 – 11
FCS 7 6 – 13
Abby Crowley; 1 goal, 5 assists, 1CT, 2GB
Emily Tedesco: 4 goals, 1 assist, 3CT, 2GB
Emma Dahle: 1 goal, 3 assists, 2GB, 4CT
Kate Forrest: 3 goals, 2CT, 1GB, 2DC
Avital: 4 DC, 2GB
Anne Pizzini: 8 saves
Lisa Bernstein: 4 CT, 2GB
Julia Lynn: 1CT, 1GB
Julie Levitan: 1CT, 1GB
Hannah Anderson: 1DC
Miranda Mastrocola: 1 goal, 2CT, 1GB,1DC
Lorna Macfarlane: 4GB, 1DC,
Sophie Berger: 2CT, 1DC, 1GB
Emily Flick: 1GB
Lila Barker 2g
Kristin Burnetta 5g, 4dc, 1ct
Bridget Chakey 3g, 1a, 1gb
Emily Fryer 1a, 4gb, 7dc 1ct
Sarah Nicholson 1g
Alicia O’Neil 1gb, 1dc, 2ct
Morgan Pergolini 1gb, 1ct
Elizabeth Spitz 2gb, 4dc
Julianna Tornetta 1gb, 1ct
Kate White 1ct
Daniela Wright 2gb
Hailey Andress 6 saves, 1gb