Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/4/19
Episcopal Academy senior Olivia Dirk said her team knew the importance of this week’s Inter-Ac League schedule with key games looming against fellow contenders Academy of Notre Dame (Tuesday) and Agnes Irwin (today).
“We knew it would be a tough week,” said Dirks, an recent Under Armour All-American choice and a member of the USA U-19 Training Team. “We really wanted to set the tone and come out strong from the start.”
EA, the No. 2 team in the Phillylacrosse.com Rankings, indeed set the tone for a run to what it hopes is an Inter-Ac title. It claimed a 13-10 victory at Agnes Irwin today and, coupled with Tuesday’s 11-7 triumph over Notre Dame, it left EA with a 3-0 league start and a 7-0 overall start.
The teams will all meet again later this spring, but EA clearly has taken a major step forward.
Dirks led with six goals, two assists and 10 draw controls. Izzy Rohr, also an Under Armour All-American, had eight draws and Caroline Burt added three goals while Gianna Cilluffo had six saves, some when they were really needed.
EU built a 7-3 lead and never let the Owls get close.
“The key for success for us is alwasys to try and get the first goal and set the tone and just keep going,” said Dirks, signed with Penn State. “I think that was a key. We kept our composure and stayed focused. We played strong defense and pushed the transition and followed through on attack.”
Marissa White and Julianne Carey each scored three goals for Agnes Irwin (7-2, 2-1) and Natalie Pansini had two goals and an assist while Emily Wills scored twice.
Last year EA and Agnes Irwin shared the league title; two years ago EA won it outright.
“We really want to win the Inter-Ac outright,” said Dirks. “We have to keep pushing it every day in practice.”
“During Spring Break we made team goals and one was that we wanted to win the Inter-Ac outright,” added Rohr, headed for Penn. “Last year we tied with Agnes Irwin and we wanted to make our stand in the Inter-Ac with these two games against the toughest teams.
“We were hyped after beating Notre Dame, but we took the next practice and worked hard and didn’t relax,” she added. “We wanted to keep the momentum.”
Rohr said winning 20 of the draw controls was a key for EA.
“I think winning the draws was huge for us,” she said. “If they don’t have the ball, they can’t score. It gave our attack and opportunity and our goalie made six huge saves.
“We attached every groundball and came up with many 50-50 balls.
“I think we have this mentality that a target is on our backs after winning those two games. We don’t want to sit back. We know the next games they will come out playing even harder so we need to keep our heads up and play for the full 50 minutes.”
Episcopal Academy 13 Agnes Irwin 10
Half 7-3 EA
A. Capozzoli 1g
B. Piselli 1gb
M. Vetterlein 2gb
S. Groark 1g 1cto
C. Burt 3g
D. Whitaker 2g 2dc
J. Morley 1gb
S. Garino 2gb
A. Rau 1gb
I. Rohr 8dc 2gb
O. Dirks 6g 2a 10dc 1gb
S. Crockett 1a
G. Cilluffo 6 saves 1gb
Emily Wills 2g, 2dc, 2gb
Emily Coyne 1dc, 1gb
Lauren Rader 1ct
Jordan Williams 2gb
Julianne Carey 3g, 1gb
Kacy Hogarth 1ct, 1dc, 5gb
Natalie Pansini 2g, 1a, 2ct, 1dc, 3gb
Brynn Ammerman 2a, 1ct, 1gb
Samantha Hark 1gb
Marissa White 3g, 1gb
Paige Crowther – 9 saves, 1gb