By Harry Chaykun
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/30/23
When Ella Springer and her Agnes Irwin teammates recently visited the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Baltimore, they learned a lot about the history of the game.
Springer and the Owls made a little history of their own at Phelps Field Thursday afternoon, putting a halt to two-time defending PIAA Class 2A champion Archbishop Carroll’s 33-game winning streak by rallying for a 9-8 non-league decision.
Springer’s goal on an 8-meter shot with 4:02 to play was the score that decided the match in a game in which Agnes Irwin trailed at halftime, 6-3.
“I stood there waiting and told myself it was just another 8-meter shot,” Springer said. “It’s just like we do in practice every day. I knew what I wanted to do, and it was just the best feeling when I saw that ball in the back of the net.”
The Owls, ranked No. 5 by Phillylacrosse.com, improved to 3-0. No. 3 Carroll fell to 1-1, dropping its first game since bowing to Conestoga, 10-9, on May 8, 2021.
Springer realized that everyone would remember her shot, but she understood that a lot more went into her team’s third consecutive victory than just that one play.
“This is huge for us,” said the junior, who will return to Baltimore to play at Johns Hopkins. “It means a lot when you have success because you play as a team. And the (players on the) sidelines contribute so much because of all the encouragement they give us when we’re playing. When we were at the Hall of Fame there were signs that talked about the importance of playing as a team.
“You need to play with confidence and with emotion. And there are times when how you are mentally turns out to be a big factor. There will be highs and lows, but winning a game like this means so much to us.”
Carroll owned much of the play in the first half as Ava Bleckley scored three of her four goals and sister Chloe Bleckley chipped in with a pair of goals and three draw controls.
“After that, we had our opportunities but we just didn’t finish,” said Carroll coach Lorraine Beers. “This will be a good wakeup call for us. We still have a lot of things to work on.”
Agnes Irwin outscored Carroll, 5-1, in the first 14 minutes of the second half, taking advantage of better draw controls to go ahead 8-7. Sophomore Mairyn Dwyer (4g, 2a, 5gb, 4dc) scored three of the goals and set up another.
Samantha Hewitt scored for the second time for Carroll to tie the score with 10 minutes to play, then the defenses dug in until Springer’s winning tally.
Hewitt’s goal came on a play on which what appeared to be an Agnes Irwin goal was waved off for a crease violation. The Owls began celebrating while the Patriots, realizing that they had just gained possession, threw the ball down the field and Hewitt had an empty cage in which to shoot.
“We did so much better in the second half with draw controls, our shot selection and getting 50/50 balls,” Agnes Irwin coach Lauren Wray said. “We have new people out there after losing so many seniors from last year.
“I’m proud of all of them, and I have to credit our defense for shutting down a very good team in the second half. So many of our defenders are new this year.”
Sophomore Blair Fox (1g, 1a, 2gb, 5dc) came up big for AI on draw controls after halftime. KK Lerch, Emma Tayloe, Olivia Daniels and Lily Halpert were keys on defense in front of goalie Maggie Mullen, who turned back eight shots.
Agnes Irwin 9, Archbishop Carroll 8
Arch. Carroll 6-2-8
Agnes Irwin 3-6-9
Caroline Chisholm – 1g, 2a, 2ct, 2gb, 1dc
Mairyn Dwyer – 4g, 2a, 5gb, 4dc
Blair Fox – 1g, 1a, 2gb, 5dc
Catie Holmes – 1a, 1ct, 2gb
Ella Springer – 1g, 1gb – game winner
Molly Chorin – 1a
Rowan Lawrence – 1gb
Hunter Fleitas – 2g
Kelsey Young – 1gb
KK Lerch – 1ct, 2gb
Maggie Mullen – 8 saves
Ava Bleckley 4g, 2dc
Chloe Bleckley 2g, 3dc
Sam Hewitt 2g
Machaela Henry 1dc
Bridget Robinson 10 saves