By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/8/15
Jane Crager said that Episcopal Academy had not lost any confidence despite being down 4-0 at halftime to undefeated Agnes Irwin in Tuesday’s Inter-Ac League showdown.
“Our attack wasn’t clicking and we just were not working as a team,” said Crager. “At halftime we got together and told ourselves, ‘This is it! Four-to-nothing is nothing; we can come back!’
With Crager, a senior signed with Michigan, scoring three goals, including the game-winner with 3 seconds left in overtime, EA claimed a critical 7-6 victory over the Owls.
The win evened EA’s Inter-Ac record at 1-1 (6-2 overall) after a stunning 13-12 loss to Academy of Notre Dame last week. EA has won 10 straight league titles, but Agnes Irwin (2-1, 7-1) was ranked No. 3 by Phillylacrosse.com and 13th in the STEPS Lacrosse North America Rankings.
“Coming off of our loss last week, we knew this was a must-win game,” Crager said. “It was a shocking loss, but it was almost good that we go it out of the way in the beginning of the Inter-Ac season.”
EA began its comeback when Crager cut the deficit to 4-1 early in the second half as junior Julia Hondros continued to dominate the draws. EA pulled within 4-3 on a tally by Colby Gallagher (two goals), but Emily Fryer and Danielle Wright (two goals) made it 6-3. Again, EA rallied as Grace Norley (two goals), Crager and then Gallagher scored to make it 6-6 with 8:28 to play.
Both goalies – EA’s Sydney Gagnon (9 saves) and Hailey Andress (10 saves) – were strong all day and had clutch saves in the final minutes of regulation. But Agnes Irwin took a yellow card late in regulation and Hondros won the OT draw.
EA held and held for the entire 3-minuite period and Crager took off to goal with eight seconds left. She drew a foul and then beat Andress stick side.
“Our plan to stall the ball until the clock’s ran down and then to take and look for shooting space or a foul,” said Crager. “She (Andress) made some really good saves but I just looked her in the eye and said, ‘This is going in.'”
Laura Pansini, Hannah Keating and Lila Baker also scored for Agnes Irwin.
“Julia Hondros did a great job controlling the draw,” said Agnes Irwin coach Jen Duckenfield. “I thought my goalie had a great day. We need to learn when we get a lead on a team like that we need to keep up our intensity.”
EA coach Josie Ferri said her team re-focused after the loss to Notre Dame and once it settled down in the second half it played to its potential.
“In the first half we had possession,” said Ferri. “I think we were just so amped up for this game that everybody wanted to do it for themselves. Once we talked about our game plan again at halftime, everyone was on board.”
Episcopal Academy 7, Agnes Irwin 6, OT
EA 0-6-1- 7
AIS 4-2-0 6
Jane Crager 3g
Grace Norley 2g
Colby Gallagher 2g
Lauren Repke 1a
Sydney Gagnon 9 saves
Lila Barker 1g
Emily Fryer 1g, 1a
Laura Pansini 1g
Hannah Keating 1g
Daniela Wright 2g
Alicia O’Neil 1a
Kristin Burnetta 1a
Hailey Andress 10 saves