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Phillylacrosse 2018 Girls’ Co-Player of the Year: Agnes Irwin 2018 MF Pansini

Monday, 12th November 2018

Categories, Girl's/Women's, High School is pleased to honor the accomplishments of the top players from 2018 re-posting its annual series

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 8/6/18, Re-Posted 11/12/18

Agnes Irwin’s Maria Pansini said she’s always embraced playing defense as a key part of her lacrosse game.

“Every coach I ever had emphasized how important defense is,” said the senior midfielder. “It’s really important in my career. People sometimes feel only attackers get noticed.

Co-Player of the Year Maria Pansini (left) is joined by Coach, Lauren Wray and her sister, sophomore Natalie Pansini after winning the PAISAA championship

“But the coaches I have had shaped me to play defense and showed me how important defense is. I enjoy it so much and it’s so much fun when you come together as a team. You can’t play defense alone; you need everyone else on the field and the goalie and when you do it it’s incredible.”

It is rare that a defensive player gets recognized as much as a top attack/midfield player. Pansini excelled in all areas while helping lead Agnes Irwin to a share of the Inter-Ac League championship and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association title with a 12-7 victory over rival Episcopal Academy. For her efforts, she has been named the 2018 Co-Player of the Year with Unionville’s Erin Garvey.

This year, Pansini collected 41 goals and 17 assists as well as 76 draw controls, 41 groundballs and 21 caused turnovers while earning US Lacrosse All-American and Academic All-American honors. Committed to Princeton, she also was an Under Armour Senior All-American.

Pansini was the quintessential all-around player who started as an 8th grader at close defense and continued to serve as the Owls’ go-to defender throughout her career.

“Maria was a dominant midfielder for us this year whose presence was felt on both ends of the field,” said Agnes Irwin first-year coach Lauren Wray. “She contributed in the offensive end while simultaneously matching up against the opponents’ top attacker.

“She is reliable and a great leader who plays with so much fire and intensity that it is inspiring to watch as a coach. She has a great future at Princeton next year.”

Agnes Irwin, 19-6 overall (19-6 overall) had hoped to win the Inter-Ac title outright, but Episcopal Academy won the second matchup, 10-8, to force the league tie. The season, however, finished in style with the PAISAA title win over EA, a game that saw Agnes Irwin race to a 10-2 lead.

“We had lost to EA once in the regular season and we had a lot of seniors who really wanted to win the PAISAA and end on a high note,” said Pansini, who scored the game’s first two goals and had three overall. “We put it together in this game and everyone had each other’s backs.

“We didn’t reach all of our goals. Obviously, with the PAISAA and the Inter-Ac, we reached those goals. But also we learned to play as one cohesive unit. That’s one goal we really accomplished. I love every single player on my team and I will miss them so much. I think that shows that our goal of playing together was achieved.”

Pansini, as a co-captain, said first-year coach Wray helped the team communicate.

“Coach wanted to always communicate with the captains and be free and open with any problems,” Pansini said. “We had captains meetings with her every week and we really got to know each other. I’ve only known her for a year, but it feels like it’s been a long relationship.”



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