Episcopal Academy girls’ soccer squad displays winning attitude

Newtown Square >> Whatever It Takes!
That is the motto the Episcopal Academy girls’ soccer captains – Meghan Manley and Claudia Becker – played a big role in creating prior to the start of the season that the rest of team along with new coach Ben Wilson felt was the right attitude for a squad that battles from the opening whistle to the final whistle.
“The slogan was perfect for this team,” said coach Ben Wilson, who was hired as school was letting out for the summer. “This team surged forward every day and lived the mentality of the slogan. I had no idea what to expect when I was hired but right off the bat the spirit of the team led by our captains has been great.”
“The seniors have played a huge role in our success,” said junior Kelsey Slack. “They showed excellent leadership and maintained a positive attitude which helped us push through many games.”
Two days following a thrilling 3-2 win over host Germantown Academy that helped EA (13-3-2 10-1-1) claim its first Inter-Ac crown since 2012, only Agnes Irwin stood between them and an unblemished Inter-Ac record.
Although Agnes Irwin has missed key players due to injuries through different parts of the season, the EA players knew it would be a difficult task with it being EA/AIS Day.
Throughout the first half, the Owls applied constant pressure but each time a scoring opportunity arose it was sophomore keeper Morgan Messner coming up with the big save.
Finally in the final nine minutes of the first half, Agnes Irwin broke through with a pair of first half goals to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Just as they have done all season, EA did whatever it took to get back in the game and with 21:40 remaining Molly O’Brian cleaned up a Jess Shanahan rebound to slice the lead to 2-1.
Unfortunately that would be the closest EA would get as the Owls staunch defensive effort in the second half would help preserve the victory.
“This one loss does not define us,” Shanahan said following the game. “We are still Inter-Ac champions but this game was still big because of the pride thing and it being EA/AIS day. We fought hard but unfortunately came up short.”
Although tears were being shed, it was more about the importance of the day and not a defining moment of the season.
A key ingredient in Episcopal’s season has been the play of keepers Messner and fellow sophomore Hannah Moriarty who have preserved many victories after the field players have done their job of getting EA the lead.
“When I was hired and found out that Morgan and Hannah were my two goalkeepers I was super excited,” said Wilson. “I had watched both of them play with their respective club teams while coaching college, so to learn both of them attended EA was the best news I could have heard upon entering a new program.”
Shananhan added, “It’s huge having Morgan and Hannah. They are both work hard and I know it’s difficult for coach to choose whom to play. It’s a good problem to have with both being unbelievable.”
With EA losing six key seniors, the motto that helped them reach the apex of the Inter-Ac this season should continue to pay dividends in the future.

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