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Freshman Whitaker scores in 3OT to give @EAgirlslax 13-12 thriller over Agnes Irwin

Tuesday, 4th April 2017

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Harrry Chaykun, Posted 4/4/17

Episcopal Academy coach Josie Ferri knew she and her players had a lot of work to do when practice began in March.

“Last year, we had nine seniors and eight were starters,” Ferri said. “This year, we have three seniors, all attackers.”

Devon Whitaker … scored game-winner

EA’s young players have had to grow up in a hurry. In the first 10 days of the season, Episcopal went 3-4 in games against several nationally-ranked teams from Maryland, Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area.

“Today was our first game against a team from Pennsylvania,” Ferri said.

That team was Agnes Irwin, three-time defending Inter-Ac League champion, No. 2-ranked team by Phillylacrosse and No. 10 team in the Summit Lacrosse North America Rankings. The host Owls (4-1) and EA were even after two halves and two scoreless overtime periods before freshman Devon Whitaker tossed in the game-winner at 2:09 of the third extra session, giving Episcopal Academy (4-4, 1-0) a 13-12 decision on Furey Field Tuesday afternoon.

Episcopal gained draw control in each of the three overtime periods, but Agnes Irwin goalie Hailey Andress made three of her 12 saves after the second half had ended. Katie Crager took one of the shots Andress stopped in the first overtime, and she fired a shot over the cage in the second extra period.

Irwin’s defenders paid close attention to Crager in the third overtime, which helped Whitaker get free for the deciding goal.

“Taylor (Lucey) had the ball behind the goal and they sent a double-team,” Whitaker said. “I cut in, was unmarked and took the shot when I got the ball.”

The shot got by Andress and prompted a request for a stick check from the Owls. After an officials’ conference and a short delay, Whitaker’s stick was checked. When it was ruled legal, the EA players poured from their places on the field and on the sideline to congratulate the ninth grader who played like a seasoned veteran.

“Our theme for this season is ‘Our Way,'” said Whitaker, who gave a verbal commitment to the University of Virginia just before the season began. “We know that we have to keep ourselves composed and play confidently. We have to focus on getting better and being prepared to play a lot of tough games.”

Whitaker joined Olivia Tuma, Ally Marino, Sarah Keffer and Crager in scoring two goals for Episcopal Academy. Lucey chipped in with one goal and four assists, and Izzy Rohr, Lauren Rodio, Lauren Devietian and Phoebe Christos in playing well defensively in front of freshman goalie Helena Morrison (seven saves).

“The girls played tough throughout our challenging spring break schedule and their hard work certainly showed today,” Ferri said. “We know there’s a lot to do before we see (Agnes Irwin) again on our turf May 2.”

Episcopal Academy will be back at Agnes Irwin Saturday morning to take on Merion Mercy in the Checking vs. Cancer Classic.

Emily Wills got three goals and one assist, Liv Carey, Natalie Pansini and Maria Pansini had two goals apiece, and Sydney Wolfington added one goal and two assists for Agnes Irwin, which will regroup after suffering its first loss following four wins, including a decision over Maryland power Good Counsel.

“We forced some things and tried to do too much at times,” Irwin head coach Jenny Duckenfield said. “Give EA credit for playing a good game.

“We just have to go back to working real hard.”

Episcopal Academy 13, Agnes Irwin 12

Episcopal Academy 6 6 0 0 1 – 13
Agnes Irwin 4 8 0 0 0 – 12

Episcopal Academy – Olivia Tuma 2G 1A, 2GB, 1 CT, Ally Marino 2G, Sarah Keffer 2G, Katie Crager 1G, 1A, 6dc, 2gb, Devon Whitaker 2G, Taylor Lucey 2G 5A, 1GB, 3 CT, Olivia Cunningham 1G, Olivia Dirks 1G, 4 DC, Izzy Rohr 3DC, 7GB, 4CT, Helena Morrison 7 saves

Agnes Irwin – Emily Wills 3G 1A, Liv Carey 2G, Natalie Pansini 2G, Maria Pansini 2G, Sydney Wolfington 1G 2A, Emma Macaione 1G, Alex Hark 1G, Lila Barker 1A, Hailey Andress (AI) 12.

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