Agnes Irwin denies Episcopal Academy’s unbeaten league bid

NEWTOWN SQUARE >> Injuries have hampered the Agnes Irwin girls soccer team from accomplishing some of its goals.

If nothing else, the Owls found a decent consolation prize Friday.

Goals by Kristin Burnetta and Emily Fryer in the final nine minutes of the first half and a composed defensive effort in the second led Agnes Irwin to a 2-1 win over Episcopal Academy, spoiling the Churchwomen’s bid for an unbeaten run through the Inter-Ac in the school’s rivalry day.

EA (13-3-2 10-1-1) had already clinched its first Inter-Ac title since 2012, but traversing the difficult league slate without a blemish in the loss column was an added layer of pride they were denied Friday.

Agnes Irwin (9-5-1, 7-4-0), as it did in the first meeting four weeks ago, enjoyed the better of play for the balance of the first half. Unlike that first affair — a 1-0 EA road win — the Owls cashed in on that pressure Friday.

Burnetta was in the right place at the right time as a cross from the right wing deflected and fell at her feet to bury into an open net and open the score 8:45 before halftime. Seven minutes later, fellow senior Fryer stepped up, getting behind the defense on Annie McConnon’s inch-perfect free-kick delivery from 35 yards out and volleying it home superbly from the edge of the six-yard area.

“It was just a beautiful ball by Annie,” Fryer said. “She always knows where to put it, and I just happened to get behind the defense. It was all the ball from Annie, though.”

EA clawed its way back into the game in the second half. Agnes Irwin goalkeeper Kendall Shein stopped Jessica Shanahan twice in quick succession, but the second rebound fell to Molly O’Brien, who tucked away the shot with 21 minutes to go.

Shanahan was twice felled in the box, but her shouts for a penalty were shrugged off. Shein finished with three saves.

Agnes Irwin had several chances to put the game away, but Hannah Moriarty made seven second-half saves for EA, including a wise charge off her line to snuff a chance by Lydia Bartosh five minutes from time. Morgan Messner made six-first half saves for EA.

In the end, Agnes Irwin left rival grounds having salvaged something from its season.

“It was great going in because we knew we had nothing to lose,” Fryer said. “It’s just always fun to win on this day.”

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