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Episcopal Academy wins ILWomen National Indoor High School Championships with strong team play

Monday, 9th January 2023

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 1/9/23

Episcopal Academy’s Franny Gallagher said the formula for success last weekend at the ILWomen National Indoor High School Championships at Spooky Nook in Manheim was simple.

“The level of competition was definitely extremely high throughout the tournament,” said Gallagher, an EA senior headed for Colby College. “It was not easy getting to the championship!

“However, I believe that the depth in our team and our ability to work well together was what differentiated us from the rest and gave us the opportunity to play with full intensity each game.”

Episcopal Academy – ILWomen National Indoor High School Champion

EA – last year’s Inter-Ac League champion – claimed the title in the 32-team field by defeating Rowdy Red (Archbishop Spalding, MD), 19-14. Many of the nation’s top teams from the 2022 season competed. From Philly, the field also featured the Lady Pioneers (PIAA 3A champion Conestoga), ABC (2A champion Conestoga), PA Independent State champion Penn Charter, Blue Streaks (PIAA 3A finalist Manheim Township), SJ Group 3 champion Moorestown, Shawnee, Agnes Irwin and Emmaus.

“We competed against some of the best players and teams in the country at this event,” said senior Lex Ventresca (Northwestern). “I give a lot of credit to our defense led by goalie Grace Holland, and their relentless hustle. They came up with countless stops which is huge in this fast pace game format.

“On attack, we knew if we took care of the ball and focused on high percentage shots we would come out on top. Overall, our team first mentality led to amazing chemistry on the field this weekend.”

The tourney format featured seven field players and one goalie. The goalies restart play after each goal and the teams play with a 60-second shot clock.

“It was fun to play in this format because we’re a super fast team, so we had the chance to capitalize on that,” Gallagher said.

Ventresca led five different scorers who had at least a hat trick with six goals as EA broke open a 6-6 game by outscoring Rowdy Red, 11-4, to take a commanding 17-10 lead..

“We played against some incredibly talented individuals and strong teams, especially in the playoffs,” said EA head coach Josie Tomaino. “Our girls were composed and played with a ton of heart every minute.

“We talked a lot this weekend about having vision as it relates to the game and our team. Not only on attack, in transition and on defense, but also having vision as far as what we can be and what we can accomplish as a team.

“It’s really important to be able to see past your own individual game and have a great vision for what the team can achieve if we perform together. I think the girls did just that.”

How much does this title help you going into the spring season ?

“We have a challenging schedule this spring, so winning this title helps us set the pace we need to play at from the beginning,” said Ventresca. “We have always played with an underdog mentality, but this experience definitely gives us more confidence going into the season.

“We have a lot of talent on our team, so we will continue to focus on working together and challenging each other at each practice so we get better, which is very important for any goals we have.”

EA had three blowout wins in the round robin games and then toppled Team Tsunami, 21-16, in the quarterfinals before edging the Cubs (Georgetown Visitation-DC), 15-14.

“This title gives our team an intimidating reputation and a ton of attention,” Gallagher said. “But we know that we can’t fixate on what we’ve already done, but what we need to do.

“I know that I can speak for all of us when I say that we are so excited for the season to start! We aim to continue to play as a unit and emphasize individuals’ strengths. We made program history this past weekend and intend to do so again this spring!”

EA roster


Sent from my iPhone

ILWomen Indoor National Championships
Gators (St. Paul’s, Md.) 16, Orange Crush (McDonogh, Md.) 15
Rowdy Red (Archbishop Spalding, Md.) 23, Lady Pioneers (Conestoga, Pa.), 19
Cubs (Georgetown Visitation, D.C.) 14, Cicero-North Syracuse 9
Episcopal Academy 21, Team Tsunami (Darien, Conn.) 16

xsemis 15-14 over Cubs, OTi



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