By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/21/15
Agnes Irwin’s motto for today’s Pennsylvania Athletic Independent State Athletic Association (PAISAA) championship game was “PTM 50” or “Pedal to the Medal for 50 minutes.”
And that’s exactly what the Owls did – push the medal hard for both halves.
Hannah Keating scored six goals and Lila Barker had five goals and two assists as Agnes Irwin routed Episcopal Academy, 14-4, to win its first PAISAA title at Cabrini College.
The Owls, who also won the Inter-Ac League title, closed a 23-1 season. They are ranked No. 6 in the STEPS Lacrosse North America Rankings and entered the week tied for No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com.
Click here for game highlights: https://www.youtube.com/embed/jB0XO7QcCDw
Agnes Irwin dominated from the start, forging a 7-1 lead and then tallying the last five goals after EA (21-5) had closed the gap slightly to 9-4 early in the second half.
“It came down to who wanted it more,” said Barker, a sophomore. “We decided we would leave with no regrets.”
Andress, a sophomore who posted seven saves in goal, recalled the feeling in the state final last year when Agnes Irwin fell to Friends’ Central in an upset.
“We have built for this game all season and we had the right mindset,” she said. “We remembered how we felt after last year’s loss and it was a horrendous feeling. We came out ready to play PTM for 50 minutes and that’s what we did.”
Keating said her team got a pre-game pep talk from Haverford School coach John Nostrant, whose 25-0 team in the No. 1 ranked boys’ squad int he nation.
“Coach Nostrant said to forget who we were playing and to go out and play our game and not worry about the rivalry,” said Keating, a junior. “We came out strong early and never let down.”
Julia Hondros, Jane Crager, Lily Crager and Grace Norley each scored once for EA, which was the only team to beat Agnes Irwin this year.
“At practice yesterday we talked about how we wanted to feel about this game when it was over,” said Agnes Irwin junior Kristen Burnetta, who had four assists and three draw controls. “And we kept that feeling in the back of our minds.”
Said defender Kate White: “We knew when we lost to them the first time (7-6 in OT) we wanted to come back strong. We beat them last time (8-7), but we wanted to do more on this big day.”
Agnes Irwin’s only scare came when Jane Crager and Norley scored 2:07 apart to make it a 9-4 game with 18:53 to play. After that, the Owls’ defense tighened up and Andress made several key stops.
“I am really thrilled,” said Agnes Irwin coach Jen Duckenfield. “They executed the game plan and took it to a whole different level. We threaded the needle on our passes and the defense put a wall around Hailey Andress.
“I want to say congrats to EA; they are fierce competitors and have a great team and I have the utmost respect for their team and their players.”
Hondros said her team had no regrets.
“Coach (Josie) Ferri said we need to think about all the good things that happened this season,” said Hondros. “We are disappointed that we lost, but we are not disappointed in how we played. We played our hearts our and left out on the field.”
Agnes Irwin 14, Episcopal Academy 4
Agnes Irwin 8-6- 14
Episcopal Academy 2-2- 4
Lila Barker 5g, 3a, 1ct
Kristin Burnetta 4a, 3dc
Kate Chernitsky 1gb
Emily Fryer 1ct, 1gb, 1dc
Hannah Keating 6g, 2dc
Emmie Kiely 1 interception
Laura Pansini 1g, 3gb, 1dc
Maria Pansini 2gb
Sarah Platt 1g, 1 interception, 1dc
Kate White 5ct, 1gb, 4dc
Daniela Wright 1g, 1ct, 1gb
Hailey Andress 7 saves, 1gb
Jane Crager 1g
Julia Hondros 1g
Garce Norley 1g
Lily Crager 1g