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GIRLS SOCCER: Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Tops Notre Dame to Keep Sole Possession of Top Spot in Inter-Ac Standings, Watch Out Here Comes Penn Charter

By Cole Nowak, 10/19/21, 12:30PM EDT


League tables take shape as we enter the final weeks of Inter-Ac play

By: Cole Nowak

PHILADELPHIA- The Inter-Ac is heating up as we enter the cornerstone of league play. Currently, the top four teams are separated by only two games at most. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (11-0-1 overall, 7-0 league) shows absolutely no signs of slowing down or losing their top spot in the league. The Academy of Notre Dame (10-1-2 overall, 4-1-1 league) sits in second and has stayed consistent throughout this season with their only blemish coming in a loss to SCH. William Penn Charter (6-3-2 overall, 4-1-2 league) has climbed into third place and might just be peaking at the right time, while The Episcopal Academy (9-2-1 overall, 4-2-1 league) rounds out the top four.

Only time will tell who will come out on top. Great teams rise to the occasion especially when the competition is heightened. These final weeks of the season will test that theory.

Let’s catch up with what has happened of late across the league…


Springside Chestnut Hill Academy 3, Academy of Notre Dame 0

Notre Dame traveled to SCHA to take on the Blue Devils in a highly anticipated match-up of the league’s two undefeated teams. As the first half came to a conclusion, the scoreboard read zeros. However, the Blue Devils had different ideas to shake things up coming out of halftime.

“At halftime, we were told to pass the ball one, two, touch and just combine. If we took too many dribbles, we would get the ball taken off. We knew the keeper was good in the air, so we had to strategize and place the ball in the corners,” said senior forward Virginia Perry.

“We normally have been a second half team; we have had a lot of 0-0 halftimes. Then, we have come out in the second half and dominated. I think that is a representation of what we did today,” added senior captain and midfielder Lauren Sullivan.

The Blue Devils did just that, making a statement pushing three goals to the back of the net in the second half in route to a 3-0 victory. Perry was able to beat the goalkeeper twice on the afternoon recording two goals. The goal of the game came on a gorgeous over the head through ball from Maya McDermott to Lisa McIntyre, who would beat a ND defender with a shifty deke and polish off the play by driving a low hard shot to the far side corner to beat the keeper. McDermott added another assist to her point total, while the defense allowed little to no opportunities. The shots junior goalkeeper Ellie Stratz did see, she turned away with ease to record the clean sheet.

Lisa McIntyre receives a beautifully placed ball from Maya McDermott to give SCHA its third goal vs. ND - Video by Cole Nowak

“They were strong as always; we usually have a strong back line and keeper. We decided to not make a keeper change because she has been playing really well,” said Sullivan after her team’s strong defensive play.

“Our back line has played together for a while, so they know how to play together and really strong overall in the back,” added Perry.

Notre Dame looks to use this as a learning experience and to regroup for their next opportunity against SCH.

“Hopefully we can get the ball more out wide and play to our feet more instead of more long balls down the field,” said ND senior Caeli Maher when touching on ways her team can improve next time out.

After this win against ND, SCH has now outscored the teams in the top four of the Inter-Ac standings 11-1.

SCHA's Lauren Sullivan and Virginia Perry complimented their defense and team chemistry in their victory vs. ND:

Notre Dame's Caeli Maher also gives credit to her defense and notes key strategies to work on for next match-up vs. SCH:


Academy of Notre Dame 2, The Episcopal Academy 1

This game started out with a bang. Just 59 seconds after kickoff, ND stole the ball right outside the 18-yard box and took one quick touch before firing the ball past EA’s talented goalkeeper Maya Namaoli. The rest of the first half was possessed by the Churchwomen. Notre Dame’s defense played stingy, but EA would finally breakthrough in the 23rd minute on shot ripped from the outside by Kendal Elison, who was set up by Erin Cunningham. This would conclude the scoring in the first half.

“It was good to get it, but after that we were kind of under a lot of pressure. But obviously it is great to get an early goal like that,” said ND assistant coach Bill Bradley.

“I think it really helped with our momentum for the game because it got us a quick start ahead,” added senior Mia Vitanzo.

The second half read a different story. The Irish came out poised and were able to control the ball significantly better, forcing multiple corners via counter attacks that reversed the pressure onto EA’s defense. In the 13th minute, ND was able to force an own goal by EA, which would put them back on top 2-1. ND did not waiver, and shut the door on any possibility of an EA comeback to secure the hard fought victory against a difficult league foe.

“At halftime, we changed the formation a bit. I just told the girls where to put the ball, instead of the middle we should work the outsides,” said Bradley.

ND vs. EA Game Highlights by Cole Nowak

“We defiantly stepping through the ball more and gave a lot more energy in the second half,” mentioned Vitanzo.

Both goalkeepers played strong between the posts. ND keeper Sophia Hall recorded eight saves, while Namoli recorded four.

This was a tough stretch of games for EA, prior to their loss against ND, the Churchwomen were handed a loss by SCH and a tie with Penn Charter in their previous contests. They look to keep their heads up and get back to their winning ways.

“Yeah, there definitely has been some tough opponents, it really has been a test for us. We were kind of content with the first couple of games winning 7-0, 6-0. This was definitely a test for our confidence, and we need to bounce back from it,” noted Elison.

Post Game Interview with Academy of Notre Dame coach Bill Bradley and Mia Vitanzo talk about their halftime adjustments vs. EA:

Episcopal Academy's Kendal Elison said that her team is looking to improve on creating quick starts going forward:


William Penn Charter

Out of all teams in the Inter-Ac, no team is hotter over their latest stretch of games than the Quakers. After a humbling loss back on September 24th to SCH 5-0, Penn Charter has yet to lose a league game. The team has a 3-0-2 record, with three shutout wins against Agnes Irwin, Germantown Academy and the Baldwin School and two OT ties against Notre Dame and Episcopal Academy.

“The beginning of our season was not like any other.  We had adjustments that had to be made right from the beginning.  From new coaches to injuries, we experienced it all early. After only playing three games last year, I believe it has taken longer for us to develop the chemistry that we have now. I think our girls believe in each other and are working hard to get results,” said PC head coach Ashley Maher.

This PC team has a “next man up” mentality. The Quakers have dealt with a slew of injuries but have not let that deter them from being competitive on a consistent basis.

“Our team has been very versatile, with different injuries and players missing. We have switched formations on the fly and plugged girls into positions that they may not be used to, and they have all stepped up to the challenge.  Our defense has definitely saved the day for us many times. Working towards the state tournament we would like to improve on our scoring opportunities, getting the ball in the net early would certainly make life easier,” said Maher.

Penn Charter currently sits with a 3-0-2 Inter-Ac record - Photo by Zamani Feelings

Offensively the Quakers are led by senior Maddie Shoup and Lauren Anderson. Seniors Kayla Bradbury and Kaila Rahn highlight the midfielders. The back line is anchored by sophomore Olivia Linus, while standout 8th grader Cassidy McCusker has done an unbelievable job stepping up, making herself a very intriguing prospect in the years to come.

“Without playoffs, we approach every Inter-Ac game as a must win game.  All games are a battle! Our girls have been training very hard and have “one game at a time” mindset. They are ready to compete and finish at the top of the Inter-Ac,” added Maher.

Oh, a battle it will be.

PC’s next three games… Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (today at 4p.m.), Notre Dame, and Episcopal Academy.


Tuesday Oct. 12th

Episcopal Academy 3, Agnes Irwin 1

Thursday Oct. 14th

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy 7, Agnes Irwin 0

Friday Oct. 15th

Episcopal Academy 1, Germantown Academy 0

Saturday, Oct. 16th

Agnes Irwin 2, Baldwin 1



Tuesday, Oct 19th (all games start at 4:00pm)

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy @ Penn Charter

Notre Dame @ Baldwin

Germantown Academy @ Agnes Irwin

Friday, Oct. 22nd

Baldwin @ Episcopal Academy – 6:00pm

Germantown Academy @ Springside Chestnut Hill Academy – 4:00pm

Agnes Irwin @ Notre Dame – 4:00pm