By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/31/15
It wasn’t just that her team finished 23-1 and captured the Inter-Ac League title and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state title that made the 2015 season so successful in Hannah Keating’s eyes.
It was how well the Owls played in their final game, a brilliant 14-4 triumph over Episcopal Academy in the state final.
“I think we all look back and are so happy we ended the season like that, playing like a team,” said Keating, now a senior attack/midfielder. “It was an amazing feeling; the midfield, the defense, the attack and the goalie all pulled it together and we ended on such a great note.”
That victory over Inter-Ac rival EA was indeed the highlight of a dream season for the Owls, who won their first outright league crown in many years and first state title in the 5-year history of the tourney.
For her contributions to a team that finished third in the final Epoch Lacrosse North America Rankings, Keating has been named the 2015 Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year (with Garnet Valley junior Emily Mathewson).
In 2015 Keating had 102 goals and was the “go-to” player on a team with many possible “go-to” caliber players. But the Harvard commit said seeing her team jell as a team and closing on such a high note was her greatest satisfaction.
“I knew anyone on our attack could get the ball and go to goal,” said Keating, a US Lacrosse All-America. “I knew everyone was so talented and we all looked for the open girl because anyone could score.
“I think it was a pretty huge accomplishment considering where we came from in our freshman year. We came from the bottom to the top.”
The year before Keating and a standout class arrived, Agnes Irwin was 2-16. In her freshman year the Owls went 13-9 and then in 2014 they went 22-2 but fell to Friends’ Central in the state final when Keating and four other starters were out with injuries.
In 2015, Agnes Irwin suffered a 7-6 overtime loss to Episcopal Academy early in the season. But the Owls rebounded and later gained key wins over 2014 and 2015 PIAA state champion Garnet Valley, Episcopal and New Jersey power Moorestown.
In the final win over EA, Agnes Irwin dominated from start to finish in clearly its best game of the year.
“I think we needed confidence after the first EA game,” said Keating. “We had lost a little confidence and after we beat Moorestown we started playing more like a team.
Agnes Irwin coach Jen Duckenfield said Keating was the one player that could make the big play at any time.
“She has such an amazing quick release and she works so hard,” said Duckenfield. “She’s a really laid back girl; she doesn’t get caught up in accolades and doesn’t get caught up in the limelight or status. She is such a cool kid; she just wants to go out and play.
“She loves the game, that’s what’s so special about her. She’s going to be a captain next year and she raises the bar for everybody else.”
Tags: Agnes Irwin