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Conwell-Egan Catholic girls soccer in good hands for next season

Conwell-Egan Catholic freshmen Emma Devine (5), left and Julia McVey (8), right, are stepping up this season for the Lady Eagles, who captured their sixth straight District 12 Class A Championship with a 3-0 win over Philadelphia Academy Charter Nov. 1 at Northeast High School. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

PHILADELPHIA – With 10 seniors on the Conwell-Egan Catholic girls soccer team, the Lady Eagles are forced to look ahead to the future.

While it’s true, the Lady Eagles (9-8-3) captured their sixth consecutive District 12 Class A Championship with a 3-0 win over Philadelphia Academy Charter (PAC) Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium at Northeast High School, Egan must look ahead to a future that will not contain CEC senior goalkeeper Maddy Terry or first team All-Philadelphia Catholic League midfielder Carly Bonfig and eight additional seniors.

Based on his team’s performance of late, Eagles head coach Andrzej ‘Andy’ Adamiec has little to worry about. In the D12 championship, Egan got the winning strike from junior Annie Corrigan and also received additional goals from sophomore Alexandra Chalmers and freshman Julia McVey to help seal the win.

“Our freshmen and sophomores have definitely stepped up toward the end of the season,” said Terry, who recorded the team’s fifth shutout of the season.

“Alex Chalmers has been playing phenomenal since the beginning of the season. Melanie Dykes starts at outside left back and she’s just a sophomore. Gia Brennan has been playing really well in the middle for us and Amanda Dougherty has been filling in on defense.”

Brennan and Dougherty are ninth-graders. Additionally, CEC freshmen Emma Devine and Julia McVey are pitching in up top.

“It definitely helps when you have underclassmen that are strong and step up,” added Terry.

In the D12 championship, Corrigan bounced a ball into the back of the net that bounced off the right side and left side goal posts before going in less than five minutes into the contest.

In the 23rd minute, Chalmers curled a shot into the back of the net from the left side flank about 22 yards out. With 2:04 showing on the first-half game clock, McVey took control of a turnover and scored unassisted, putting Egan up 3-0 going into the intermission.

Junior Chloe Grabowski had a hand in the first two goals for the Eagles, who put at least a half-dozen shots on goal in the first half. Conversely, the Chargers failed to get a shot in on goal before the break.

“I try my best to stay awake when that happens,” said Terry. “I am in constant communication with my defense to make sure they’re on their toes as well.

“Forty minutes is a long time to go without a shot but we do our best to keep our heads in the game.”

“Communication is the key.”

Try as they might, the Eagles could not get another goal past PAC sophomore goalkeeper Erin Beck, who was playing her first game in goal for the Chargers, filling in for senior Lauren Beck, who was injured.

“I wasn’t too concerned because I knew that we had the game handled,” said Terry. “At that point, I was happy keeping that score and keeping the ball out of our box.”

Ironically, Egan won last year’s D12 crown by the exact same score, though against a different opponent in MaST Charter. From there, the Eagles advanced to states where they toppled District 11 champion Notre Dame East Stroudsburg 3-2 on a late goal by then-junior Ally Wojton.

In the PIAA Class A quarterfinals, Egan’s 2016 campaign came to a close after a 1-0 loss to District 4 champ Warrior Run, who scored the game’s only goal in the last five minutes.

“The goal this year is to go further than we did last year,” said Terry. “Our goal this year is to at least make it to semis, if not, we want to make it to Hershey.”

“The (state) quarterfinal was tough. Our defense couldn’t have played better. We just struggled on offense.

“We struggled a lot last year with putting the ball in the back of the net.

“Hopefully, this year, our defense plays the same and keeps the ball out and hopefully our offense is firing on all cylinders as well.”

Earlier this season, the Eagles posted an historic win when they blanked Saint Hubert’s in the PCL Tournament. For Egan, it was the program’s first ever win in a Catholic League quarterfinal.

The Eagles won the game on an unassisted goal in the first half by junior Theresa Richardson and a penalty kick strike by senior Mackensie Michaels in the second half.

Next year, junior Anna Esposito will take the place of Terry in between the pipes for Conwell-Egan. Maddy says the 11th-grader is up to the task ahead of her.

“We’ve been friends ever since my sophomore year. I wouldn’t anyone else to do the job,” said Terry.

Along with Richardson, freshman Olivia Gentile will be back to lead the offense. Gentile tallied three goals in the team’s opening scrimmage win over New Hope-Solebury and an overtime loss to Lower Moreland.

“I’m fully confident. Olivia Gentile, if she’s back, that’ll bring a ton of talent to the center,” said Terry.

“Moving forward, I have full faith in this team.”

For PAC, the Chargers’ season ends at 9-5-2. Beck was playing in place of her older sister, who was injured in the team’s 3-2 double overtime loss to Franklin Towne Charter in the Philadelphia Public League (PPL) semifinals.

Before falling to FTC, PAC posted PPL playoff wins over String Theory and Northeast.

Conwell-Egan Catholic 3, Philadelphia Academy Charter 0

(Nov. 1 at Northeast HS)

CONWELL-EGAN (9-8-3)               3 0 – 3

PAC (9-5-2)         0 0 – 0

GOALS: CE – Annie Corrigan, from Chloe Grabowski, 5th minute, Alexandra Chalmers, from Grabowski, 23rd minute, Julia McVey, 38th minute; PAC – none.

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