Penn Charter’s Jamillah Buie (left) stands guard in the goal cage as her teammate Leslie Goodman marks Lily Gannon (right) of Norwood Fontbonne Academy. (Photo by Chris Thistle)

by Tom Utescher

In a middle school lacrosse encounter between two Northwest Philly teams last Wednesday, the girls of host Penn Charter scored seven of the first eight goals of the day and went on to win, 15-7 against visiting Norwood Fontbonne Academy.

The NFA Bears played better late in the first half and asserted themselves again in the closing minutes of the game, but the Quakers dictated the outcome by their strong performance in the early stages of each of the two periods.

Leading the attack for the winners with four goals apiece were Gwen Davis (two assists) and Courtney Cubbin, while Perri Keefuss scored a hat trick and also handed out an assist. Jamillah Buie made 13 saves in goal for the Quakers as they ended their season with an overall record of 4-5.

Norwood came away with a mark of 2-6-1, with two matches still left on the schedule. The Bears’ new coach this season is Hanna Mason, a former Mount St. Joseph Academy player who went on to Catholic University.

Last Tuesday, PC quickly went up 2-0 as Greer Guyer drove in to score from the left side of the arc and Keefuss cashed in on a free position opportunity. Five minutes in, a shot by Norwood’s Lily Gannon hit the left post of the Quakers’ cage, but the next two actual goals belonged to PC’s Cubbin, making it 4-0.

Gannon eventually broke the ice for the Bears, scoring a little over 11 minutes into the match off of a feed from Jacquelyn Nyzio. PC’s Cubbin completed a personal hat trick and then Davis got going, assisting on a goal by Keefuss and then scoring one herself.

Norwood’s Nyzio recovered a ground ball near the PC goal and fired into the net to make it 7-2 with 6:15 to go in the first half. Each team added two goals the rest of the way, Davis and Alex Kuper tickling the twine for Penn Charter, and Gannon and Chloe Ferraro scoring for NFA.

Although the Bears appeared to be holding their own at the end of the opening period, PC came out on fire in the second half. In a little over 10 minutes, the Quakers put together a 5-0 run consisting of two markers by Davis and single strikes by Cubbin, Keefuss, and Macaul Mellor (who was assisted by Alex Joseph).

With nine minutes left to play, Norwood received its first goal of the second half from Kaitlin Eney, who converted off of a free position. She promptly scored again of a drive from the left side, and following a penalty called against Penn Charter, Eney finished out a natural hat trick, setting the score at 14-7 with a little under seven minutes remaining.

The scoring pace slowed after that. The Bears’ Georgia Powell, who assisted on Eney’s third goal, hit a post with her own shot early in the final minute. With 14 seconds left, PC’s Mellor scored in transition to stick the final score on the board.

For the conclusion of the game Penn Charter put in all of its eighth-graders, who in a few short months will be making the transition to the upper school.