Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/14/22 – From Staff Report
Episcopal Academy senior Bella Piselli was confident before the year began that her team could be Inter-Ac League champions.
“Yes, 100 percent,” said the Villanova signee. “Coming into preseason week, everyone was fired up and I felt very confident about this season. All the underclassman were eager and bought in and all us seniors were hungry for a title.”
EA had won or shared the Inter-Ac crown three straight seasons until finishing third in league play in 2021. But this year EA is near an outright title, claiming its latest victory Friday, 9-7 over host Agnes Irwin.
With two games to play, EA (17-2 overall, ranked No. 2 by Phillylacrosse.com) is 9-1 in the Inter-Ac. Agnes Irwin (7-3) and Penn Charter (7-3) are two games behind; EA can capture the crown outright by winning either Tuesday vs. Germantown Academy or Wednesday vs. Baldwin School.
Piselli said winning the Inter-Ac crown is sweeter since EA is not able to compete in the State Independent championships (PAISAA) due to scheduling conflicts.
“It’s huge,” she said, “Ever since freshman year when we won the title (the next season was canceled due to the pandemic) we’ve been working hard to win that title back. Not playing in states means we have to work that much harder in season to prove we are the best in the league.”
In typical style, EA flashed its balance and depth Friday. Piselli had three goals, six groundballs and three draw controls, Quinn Whitaker contributed three goals, two groundballs and a draw, Lex Ventresca had two goals, an assist, two groundballs and a caused turnover and Alexa Capozzoli added a goal, three groundballs and two draw controls. Grace Holland posted 8 saves in goal.
“Knowing that everyone on the field is an impact player is great,” Piselli said. “We don’t have to run specific plays for individuals we can just work off each other and create opportunities all over the field.”
EA has excelled in tight games (four one-goal wins) this year, especially in the Inter-Ac.
“(The key) is playing until the final whistle,” Piselli said. “Our motto is ‘Locked in together’ and we say as long as we’re all locked in the whole time there’s no reason why we can get the job done. We have a very positive culture and it helps in tight games.
“I am so proud of this group of girls and how far we have come since the beginning of season.”
Episcopal Academy 9, Agnes Irwin 7
Alexa Capozzoli 1g 2dc 3gb
Lex Ventresca 2g 1a 2gb 1cto
Avery Le 2gb
Bella Piselli 3g 3dc 6gb
Franny Gallagher 1cto 1gb
Grace McHugh 1gb
Kate Dente 1dc 2gb
Maisy Montgomery 1gb
Quinn Whitaker 3g 1dc 2gb
Sydney Richter 2dc 2gb
Grace Holland 8 saves 1gb