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Springside-Chestnut Hill wins PAISAA girls soccer title, 1-0 over EA

The wound was still fresh for the Springside-Chestnut Hill soccer team.

On Oct. 24, they hosted Episcopal Academy and watched EA win the Inter-Ac championship on their home field, on their Senior Day.

A shot at redemption was SCH’s on Wednesday night in the Pa. Independent Schools Athletic Association girls soccer championship and that’s exactly what it got.

Springside-Chestnut Hill made an early Madison Niebish goal hold up as the No. 2 seeds knocked off No. 1 Episcopal Academy 1-0 at Immaculata University for the school’s first girls soccer title of any kind.

SCH seniors Emily McNesby (2) and Grace Rorke (32) celebrate after winning the PAISAA title Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

“It’s so exciting. I think it came down to who wanted it more,” said senior Emily McNesby. “We wanted it so much. Our program has been through so much and SCH girls soccer has never brought a championship title to our school. So we had such a drive to win it.”

Springside-Chestnut Hill won the title after reaching last year’s final, a 1-0 defeat to Westtown School.

Episcopal Academy’s Alison Wilchusky clears the ball as SCH’s Madison Niebish chases. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Senior forward McNesby’s influence created the game’s lone goal and she fired a shot that was parried by EA goalkeeper Hannah Moriarity but into the path of Niebish, who netted the rebound in the third minute.

“We knew if we scored in the first five minutes that the game was ours. We knew that we could hold them on defense because our defense is so strong,” McNesby said.

Indeed, the SCH defense led by senior center backs Grace Rorke and Lucy Lamb ceded little as Episcopal chased the game. EA couldn’t muster a quality scoring chance in the second half (two shots on goal), while McNesby and JoJo McShane carried a threat on the counterattack.

Springside-Chestnut Hill’s Emily McNesby, right, chases Episcopal Academy’s Annie Doig during the PAISAA final. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

“They beat us on our field, won the Inter-Ac on our field, on our senior day. So this, states, is amazing,” McNesby said. “Inter-Ac is very important, but when you look at it like the state tournament consists of more teams than even the Inter-Ac is amazing.”

SCH also featured seniors Bridget Hennessy, Destiny Rogers and Marissa Brown as well as Mo’ne Davis.

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