By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/25/17
Agnes Irwin junior Sydney Wolfington will play this summer for the Philly Blast club team – coached by Episcopal Academy mentor Josie Ferri.
Ferri will be happy to have Wolfington on her side. But today Wolfington was the hero for the opposition as she pumped in five first-half goals and helped the Owls dominate EA, 14-7, in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association championship game at Cabrini University’s Edith Robb Dixon Field.
Agnes Irwin (21-5) had fallen to Episcopal Academy – the undefeated Inter-Ac League champion and top seed – in both regular-season games on last-second goals.
“We just moved the ball, worked and worked and played our game,” said Wolfington, a Penn State commit.
EA, the top seed, took a 2-1 lead as Olivia Dirks and Ally Marino sandwiched a score by Wolfington. But Wolfington scored three times to sdpark a 5-0 run that gave her team a 6-2 lead.
By halftime, Wolfington had her five goals, senior Lila Barker had scored three goals, and Agnes Irwin was ahead, 11-3. The Owls slowed the pace in the second half and never allowed EA closer than five goals.
“Our defense cut down their chances of getting the ball,” Agnes Irwin coach Jenny Duckenfield said. “We were winning draws in the second half. Lila had a great game, Hailey (Andress, the team’s senior goalie) played well, and our game management was what we needed it to be in the second half.”
Alex Hark led the Owls with six draw controls, while junior Maria Pansini contributed four and Natalie Pansini chipped in with three.
“Out game plan was to execute the slowdown of EA’s fast breaks from the draw,” said Duckenfield.
Duckenfield gave her team a pep talk before the game: “My statement was to play for your coaches, teammates, seniors, and injured teammates that cannot be there beside you and together we may have lost some battles. But today, we win the war!”
Andress, who is headed to Cornell, joined Barker and Maria Pansini on the All-America team. She learned the game as a fifth grader when Duckenfield was in charge of the Strath Haven youth program.
“I got so much help from my defense today,” Andress said, crediting Emmy Kiely, Brynn Smith, Kacy Hogarth, Kate Chernitsky, Pansini, Emma Macaione and Meredith Murphy for their work in keeping the EA attack in check.
“I’m just so thankful I had the chance to be a part of this program.”
Maria Pansini, who is committed to Princeton, said the Owls were well-prepared.
“We did what we needed to motivate each other for this game,” Pansini said. “We have enough good players coming back and coming up that we can think about having the chance to do this again next year.
Juniors Marino, who also had an assist, and Katie Crager both got two goals and one assist, and sophomore Dirks had one goal, two assists and four draw controls for Episcopal Academy. Freshman goalie Helena Morrison, who took over with her team trailing, 4-1, in the first half, turned away nine Agnes Irwin shots, and sophomore Izzy Rohr had six draw controls.
“I am so proud of our team and the way they handled themselves in the face of adversity today,” said EA coach Josie Ferri, whose team had a 20-game win streak snapped. “They never gave up and they represented Episcopal Academy through their grit, positivity, and sportsmanship.
“While our last game wasn’t a win, it certainly can’t take away from all we’ve accomplished this season.”
Agnes Irwin 14, Episcopal Academy 7
Agnes Irwin 11 3 – 14
Episcopal Academy 3 4 – 7
Agnes Irwin: Sydney Wolfington 5G, Lila Barker 3G, Alex Hark 2G 2A, Emily Wills 1G 1A, Natalie Pansini 1G 1A, Kacy Hogarth 1G, Maria Pansini 1G, Liv Carey 1A. Hailey Andress 5 saves.
Episcopal Academy: Ally Marino 2G 1A, Katie Crager 2G, Olivia Dirks 1G 2A, Olivia Tuma 1G, Devon Whitaker 1G. Tess McMullin 0 saves, Helena Morrison 9 saves.