By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/2/17
Devon Whitaker is making being in the right place at the right time a habit.
The Episcopal Academy freshman found herself open in the third overtime and got off the winning shot in an Inter-Ac League game at Agnes Irwin last month.
With the teams tied late in the second half of the rematch at EA Tuesday afternoon, Whitaker was behind the cage when a teammate shot high and she wound up being awarded the ball with six seconds to play.
Four seconds later, she had fired in another game-winning goal as Episcopal Academy (13-4) stretched its winning streak to 12 games with a 10-9 come-from-behind decision over visiting Agnes Irwin (12-3).
The win gives EA (ranked No. 3 by Phillylacrosse.com) a commanding lead in the Inter-Ac at 7-0. Defending champion Agnes Irwin (No. 5), which had a six-game win streak halted, is 5-2.
EA held Irwin scoreless for the final seven minutes while getting goals from Olivia Tuma, Taylor Lucey, Katie Crager and Whitaker, who used a strong crease roll move to get off her big shot.
“We had a play, but our shot went over the goal,” Whitaker said. “I was behind the goal and got the ball. I didn’t think there was much I could do with six seconds left, but my teammates were encouraging me.
“I just shot it, and when it went in that was a good feeling.”
Despite trailing by three goals, the Episcopal Academy players refused to believe that the game was lost.
“Everyone was very positive,” Whitaker said. “We all trust each other and do what we can to help each other.”
Natalie Pansini scored with three minutes left in the first half to give Agnes Irwin a 5-4 advantage at the break. Olivia Dirks, who had scored twice in the first half, got the home team even less than three minutes later before Pansini added another pair of goals sandwiched between one from EA’s Lucey, who was assisted by Dirks.
Emily Wills connected on an 8-meter shot with 7:08 to play to put AI up, 9-6. Less than a minute and a half later, Tuma began the EA comeback that would conclude with Whitaker’s goal.
Crager, a junior who has committed to Georgetown, earned five draw controls to help Episcopal to a 13-7 advantage, including an 8-2 dominance in the second half. Goalie Helena Morrison also was a standout.
“We beat Radnor the other day at Katie Samson (Lacrosse Festival), and that was the first time we won there,” Crager said. “Today was the first time we beat Agnes Irwin both times we played them in the regular season since I’ve been here.
“We just try to work hard together every game, and we want to keep winning.”
Agnes Irwin coach Jen Duckenfield had some concerns about the loss.
“Poor decision making really cost us,” she said. “We’ve got to work on making better decisions.”
Episcopal Academy 10, Agnes Irwin 9
Agnes Irwin 5 4 – 9
Episcopal Academy 4 6 – 10
Agnes Irwin: Natalie Pansini 4G, Lila Barker 2G, Maria Pansini 1G, Alex Hark 1G, Emily Wills 1G.
Episcopal Academy: Olivia Dirks 3G 1A, 2 DC, Katie Crager 3G, 5 DC, 1 CT, Taylor Lucey 2G, 1 CT, Olivia Tuma 1G, 2 DC, Devon Whitaker 1G, Izzy Rohr 5dc, 3gb, 2cto, Phoebe Christos- 3gb, Helena Morrison- 4 saves