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GIRLS LAX: Shoup, Felter Cap Career By Leading Penn Charter to First PAISAA Title

By Rich Flanagan Photos: Kathy Leister, Tommy Muir & Casey McIntyre, 05/27/22, 12:45PM EDT


William Penn Charter wins the 2022 PAISAA Championship in 8-7 victory vs. Springside Chestnut Hill - PSD Photo by Kathy Leister

Photos/Videos: Rich Flanagan, Tommy Muir, Casey McIntyre & Kathy Leister

By: Rich Flanagan

RADNOR, PA – The weather personified the feeling Maddie Shoup and Penn Charter had dealt with for much of the last four seasons. The dreary sky lightly glimmered with the occasional piercing sun that was immediately followed by graying clouds was indicative of the journey to Thursday’s Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) Championship Game at Cabrini University.

Shoup was a freshman starter on a team that fell to Inter-Ac foe, Agnes Irwin in the PAISAA semifinals. She and the Quakers were never given an opportunity to play the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, they suffered a heartbreaking loss to those same Owls by one goal in the Inter-Ac League tournament final, despite hosting the contest as the top seed.

After missing out on winning another Inter-Ac title as Episcopal Academy secured the crown, the PAISAA title game was the final attempt at a coveted championship for an accomplished roster that was only missing one piece of hardware to cement itself into lacrosse lore. Shoup made sure of that.

2022 PAISAA Championship Highlights - Penn Charter vs. SPringside Chestnut Hill - PSD video by Rich Flanagan & Kathy Leister

The University of Colorado commit scored three goals in leading Penn Charter to an 8-7 victory over Springside Chestnut Hill Academy to claim the PAISAA Tournament championship. Shoup netted what ended up being the game-winning goal with 4:20 remaining in regulation to give the Quakers (20-4-1) their first state title in program history.

For Shoup, this title solidifies four years’ worth of perseverance when considering so much that had been outside of the team’s control.

“It means everything,” Shoup said. “We’ve constantly fallen short before and all the hard work we’ve put in finally paid off.”

Maddie Shoup talks about overcoming adversity, team chemistry and offensive energy after PAISAA championship victory – PSD Video by Rich Flanagan

Darcy Felter gives major props to teammate Maddie Shoup and addresses adjustments made against familiar rival SCH – PSD Video by Rich Flanagan

Shoup and midfielder Darcy Felter (University of North Carolina) have been one of the most dynamic tandems not only in the Inter-Ac but across Pa. and that was on display from the start. Shoup scored her first goal of the day to put the Quakers up, 2-0 at the 21:15 mark of the opening half then added her second only one minute and 13 seconds later. Felter, who admitted she “enjoys assisting more than scoring goals,” found success behind the net finding Harvard commit Charlotte Hodgson for a pair of goals, including the second which increased Penn Charter’s lead to 6-3 with 10:54 left in the first half.

Felter was masterful in the attack, but she was mesmerized by Shoup’s control of the ball and how she commanded the attention of the Blue Devils defense throughout the game.

“Maddie went off today and it was really fun to watch,” Felter said. “It’s awesome to see all the great things that she’s doing and all the things she’ll keep doing.”

With her hat trick, Shoup capped her senior season with 71 goals, and she and Felter (70 goals) closed out their career as one of the highest scoring duos in program history.

Head coach Colleen Magarity Kelly did not hold back when declaring that “[Shoup] and Darcy are probably the deadliest combo out there because you never know where they’re going to pass it or if one of them is going to score. They can just read off each other so well.”

With their ability to spearhead the Quakers attack and the leadership they showcased when faced with difficult situations, particularly the two losses to Episcopal Academy by a mere two goals this season, Kelly was able to take her foot off the gas pedal and allow Shoup and Felter to dictate things.

“This season, we tried to have free play and not go off set plays because they can all score,” Kelly said. “I said if they’re going to have to guard one, it’s no big deal for us and we can focus on making decisions out there and reading off what the defense is doing instead of running to a specific spot.”

Springside Chestnut Hill (17-5), playing its first PAISAA title in program history, trailed by four goals at the break but responded with a valiant rally, led by junior midfielder Emma Bradbury. After scoring the Blue Devils first two goals of the game, Bradbury found Cece Reilly (Louisville) to cut the deficit to 7-4 with 20:43 left to play then scored two more goals just two minutes apart from each other and Penn Charter’s lead was down to one with 8:49 remaining.

Blue Devils head coach Noelle Cebron-Powell stressed that her team “never lost trust in one another or belief in what they could do against this team” and a major part of that was the play of Bradbury, who has scored 137 goals in a little over two seasons.

SCHA (9) vs. AIS (8) PAISAA Semifinal Highlights by AIS Jr. Reporter Casey McIntyre

“She’s just getting started and just made the breakthrough last year, which was her first high school season,” Cebron-Powell said. “You saw her gain confidence with every game and every touch of the ball. She’s only going to continue to improve.”

The third and decisive matchup between the Quakers and Blue Devils succeeded two varying regular season contests. Springside Chestnut Hill took home a 12-9 win on April 5 with Bradbury tallying five goals and 10 ball controls while senior goalkeeper and Stanford commit Lucy Pearson - the 2021 All-American and two-time All Inter-Ac First Team selection who has accrued over 300 career saves - had six of them, matching her total on Thursday. Things were much different in the second matchup as the Quakers cruised to a 17-3 victory as Shoup had five goals and two assists and Felter chipped in two goals and four assists.

Head Coach Colleen Kelly talks about halftime adjustments made to seal a 16-6 PAISAA semifinal victory vs. Hill School – PSD Video by Tommy Muir

Seniors Darcy Felter & Maddie Shoup address semifinal victory vs. Hill School & upcoming championship vs. rival SCH - PSD Video by Tommy Muir

Shoup’s final goal of the game stopped the momentum the Blue Devils had generated and gave Penn Charter some breathing room. It was a crucial goal that turned into the one that ultimately assured an elusive title. 

“We needed to settle down and take a deep breath,” Shoup said. “Sometimes we struggle to realize that we’re up but play like we’re down. We had to reassure each other and play together.”

Penn Charter goalkeeper and Davidson commit Kayla Joyce, who recorded six saves on the day, snatched her biggest one as she thwarted a shot attempt by Reilly with 3:53 left but then Madison Freeman put one in the back of the net 10 seconds later to make it a one-goal game once again.

Shoup and Felter were the focal reasons the Quakers were able to run out the clock and never allowed the Blue Devils another scoring opportunity to potentially tie the game. Kelly was overcome with emotion as she saw her two senior leaders do what was necessary to win something they had worked four years to achieve.

“We’ve been in a lot of one-goal games this season and honestly, those have really helped us stall and run by the defense late in games when it really matters," said Kelly. "Today, we had to do it a player down, so it was even double against us, but all those situations allowed us to pull this out. They’ve been in this before, and they got it done.”