The Academy of Notre Dame topped Germantown Academy for the third time this fall but today there was much more on the line: the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) state tournament title. The Irish came out swinging, dominated play for all but a 7-minute stretch, and won 10-2 to retain the PAISAA crown.
“Our team went into this game like we’d never played GA before; the scores of the past games against them didn’t matter,” said senior captain, midfielder Tina D’Anjolell. “We knew that if we played as a team, no one could beat us. I think that Sarah Jane, Ava and I (captains) — and the rest of the seniors — had no intention of ending our ‘Nockey careers any other way.”
D’Anjolell’s wasn’t the only once exuding confidence; the entire Notre Dame squad played with great assurance and intensity — qualities that D’Anjolell said is part of the team’s culture. “This season we always said that how we practice is how we play in a game so every practice was intense but still fun. Being a senior captain, I knew this was my last game in a Notre Dame jersey and I had to play my heart out.”
D’Anjolell and fellow captain Sarah Jane Quigley anchored the midfield, blocking GA’s transition game and limiting GA’s top attacker Sammy Popper, as well as feeding the ball to the forward line with power and precision. Sweeper Maggie Pina played a key role in holding GA to two goals.
Notre Dame’s attack put on a show for the fans that packed stands and sideline at The Proving Grounds. Fellow senior captain and forward, Ava Leonhardt was pivotal in Notre Dame’s attack, often firing hard shots from the top of the circle toward GA goalkeeper Hannah Santos (14 saves). Sophomore Mia Leonhardt and junior Lauren Curran provided the Irish’s offensive punch; the powerful dynamic duo accounted for nine of the Irish’s goals and four of five assists.
“Our underclassmen have contributed so much to our team and I have no doubt in my mind that they will continue the legacy,” commented Ava Leonhardt. “Our slogan this year was ‘Find a Way’ and that is what our 2017 team did: we found a way to win back-to-back InterAc and PAISAA titles.”
Germantown Academy’s Sophie Town and Maddie Cooper notched the Patriots’ goals in the second half, during a 7+-minute stretch when GA controlled the tempo, but it wasn’t enough as the Irish notched 6 second-half goals.
“Today was a culmination of what we’ve been working on since August,” said Quigley. “Our whole team put in so much effort throughout the season and it truly paid off. There is no other way our team would have wanted to end our season.”
In her 15th year at the helm, Notre Dame coach Adele Williams captured her 4th PAISAA state title and 11th InterAc league title.
“The Irish were a little unsettled at the start of the game but soon found their stride and were a formidable force on both offense and defense,” said Williams. “The team took advantage of the playing surface and were able to use their speed and exceptional stick skills putting together some impressive passing patterns resulting in many scoring opportunities. Teamwork was outstanding today. The Irish wrap up their season winning both the Inter-Ac and PAISAA State Titles back to back years.”
Notre Dame 10, Germantown Academy 2
halftime: Notre Dame 4, Germantown Academy 0
at The Proving Grounds (Villanova FH Stadium)
Game Location: Villanova Field Hockey Stadium
1-0 ND Lauren Curran
2-0 ND Lauren Curran Assist: Mia Leonhardt
3-0 ND Mia Leonhardt Assist: Tina D’Anjolell
4-0 ND Lauren Curran
5-0 ND Mia Leonhardt
6-0 ND Mia Leonhardt Assist: Lauren Curran
7-0 ND Mia Leonhardt Assist: Lauren Curran
7-1 GA Sophie Towne
8-1 ND Sarah Jane Quigley
8-2 GA Maddie Cooper
9-2 ND Mia Leonhardt Assist: Lauren Curran
10-2 ND Mia Leonhardt Assist: Sarah Jane Quigley
ND GK: Katie Liebeskind – 2 saves
GA GK: Hannah Santos – 14 saves
Overall Record: 17-2-3
League Record: 9-0-1
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