Last Tuesday the second-seeded PC Quakers hosted the third-ranked Blue Devils in a Pa. Independent Schools semifinal match.
For the third time this spring, a girls' lacrosse contest between Penn Charter and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was decided by a single goal. In their Inter-Ac League home/away series each team won once by a score of 9-8, SCH prevailing at PC in the opener, and Charter winning in overtime in the rematch in Chestnut Hill in late April.
Last Tuesday the second-seeded PC Quakers hosted the third-ranked Blue Devils in a Pa. Independent Schools semifinal match. Visiting SCH led by three goals four times in the first half and once in the second, but with 38 seconds remaining in the game Charter senior Bea Buckley scored to give her team a 13-12 victory.
Springside Chestnut Hill ended its season with an overall record of 11-9-1. Penn Charter climbed to 15-9, and headed into the PAIS finals to face top-seeded Agnes Irwin, a 13-11 winner over number four Germantown Academy in the other semifinal. In the quarterfinal round, Penn Charter defeated Academy of Notre Dame (14-4), SCH beat Germantown Friends (20-1), GA took down Hill School (18-8), and Agnes Irwin knocked off Mercersburg Academy (16-5).
In the 2022 PAIS tournament, Penn Charter and SCH met in the championship game, yet another one-goal affair that the Quakers clinched, 8-7. In both 2022 and 2023, Episcopal Academy was the Inter-Ac champion but declined to enter the PAIS tournament because of academic conflicts.
EA ran the table in the league this spring to finish 10-0, while Agnes Irwin was second at 7-3 and PC and SCH tied for third place at 5-5. Germantown Academy had a 3-7 mark, the Academy of Notre Dame was 0-10, and Inter-Ac member Baldwin School did not play a varsity schedule in the league.
On the opening draw in Tuesday's semifinal at Penn Charter, Blue Devils junior Alex Reilly got the ball, and she would score 34 seconds into the game off an assist from the top of the arc by junior Sarah Scollin. At the other end, senior goalie Shay Romero saved a shot by PC's Buckley, and when the Devils came back up the field Scollin put in a goal of her own.
After Romero made a stop against Quakers senior Alex Glomb, the visitors missed a shot from close range but stayed up on attack. Junior Cortney Neverosky scored after scooping up a ground ball, giving SCH a 3-0 lead with five-and-a-half minutes elapsed.
As the play ranged back and forth, Romero turned aside an attempt by PC junior Grace Walter, and at the far end Kayla Joyce, the Quakers' senior goalie, foiled a free position shot by SCH senior Emma Bradbury.
Back on offense, SCH had Reilly put the ball in the net, but there was no goal since a shooting-space violation had been called by the officials. Reilly got a free position out of it, but her next shot missed the cage.
Walter, who has been coming on strong as a scorer for Penn Charter, got the hosts on the board with 15:26 remaining in the first half.
Over the next few minutes, a second goal by Walter was sandwiched between SCH goals by Bradbury and Reilly, making it 5-2 midway through the first half.
PC's offense came to life with four straight goals, and the Quakers were up 6-5 with five minutes remaining. Freshman Molly Dougherty, senior Gracie Shoup, and Buckley all scored off of free positions, and junior Aditi Foster dodged through several defenders up the middle to score.
The momentum then switched back to Springside, which made its own four-goal run as the clock dropped from 4:24 to 1:37. Scollin, junior Madison Freeman, Bradbury, and Neverosky were the scorers. PC got one point back before halftime, as Foster made good off of a free position with two seconds left to make it 9-7 at the break.
It was yet another four-goal surge that would give Penn Charter its first lead of the second half. Before that, SCH goals by Scollin and Neverosky and one by PC's Dougherty had the Blue Devils leading 11-8 in the middle of the period.
At 12:42 Buckley scored for the hosts off of a Foster feed, then on an SCH free position at the other end Reilly hit a post with her shot. With the clock down to 10 minutes Foster earned another assist as she passed inside to Walter in front of the cage. Foster put in a bounce shot off of a free position to tie the game. When Walter hit the right pipe with a shot and the ball ricocheted into the goal, the Quakers led 12-11 with 5:05 left to play.
At 4:21 Freeman evened it up at 12-12, scoring from beyond the right post off a pass from Scollin farther out on the right wing. The Blue Devils controlled the next draw, but a PC double-team forced a turnover and the Quakers took the ball down on offense and held it.
They called a time-out with 1:41 remaining in regulation. Penn Charter patiently passed the ball around as the clock cut into the final minute. Eventually Foster, on the right side of the arc, passed the ball laterally across the face of the goal to find Buckley making a cut from the left. The Drexel-bound senior scored with 38 seconds to go, stamping the 13-12 final tally on the board.
SCH controlled the next draw but then turned the ball over out of bounds on an errant pass, and the Quakers had possession at the end.
UPDATE: In the PAIS championship game, Agnes Irwin defeated Penn Charter in overtime, 7-6.