A Banner Weekend for EA's Fall Athletic Teams

It was a banner weekend for EA's fall athletic teams as they took on their rivals at The Agnes Irwin School, on Friday, Nov. 10, and The Haverford School on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The girls dominated (4-0) in cross country, soccer, field hockey, and tennis, and keep the Banner for another year. The boys fell just short (2-3) of winning back the Sweater. They won cross country and football, and lost golf, water polo, and soccer.

Under chilly and drizzly conditions, girls' cross country kicked off the day on Friday, running to 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 10th place. The squad tallied the first win of the day with a score of 22-37. "The team really came together and found our stride over the last few weeks of the season," said Coach Lauren Finnical, Hon. "We stayed focused and put in good training between meets. We were able to carry the momentum from our 3rd place PAISAA finish into AIS Day. The team competed well and finished on a high note!" Freshman Kendra Williamson won the race.

Girls' soccer stormed the pitch, ready to battle for a win. AIS scored first and kept the lead much of the game. With the momentum revved up, and 10 minutes remaining in regulation play, Natalie Magnotta '24 fired in a much-needed goal to tie it up, 1-1. The contest moved to two five-minute periods of overtime play. Quinn Whitaker '25 struck a well-placed shot from 25 yards out to give the team a 2-1 lead in the first overtime. EA's defense held strong and the game ended with another EA win, 2-1. Girls' soccer ended Inter-Ac play for the season with a stellar 11-0-1 record. "Our team played AIS as our third game in a span of four days, securing victories in all three matches," explained Coach Andy Fraggos. "Despite having clinched the Inter-Ac weeks prior, there was no easing up on the effort. These players are true warriors, maintaining their intensity and determination throughout." The team topped off the season with 1-0 win, in the PAISAA finals, against the Westtown School on Wednesday, Nov. 15. 

As the rain continued, field hockey took the field fired up to play past the Owls. AIS was first on the board until Tory Lynn '25 took advantage of a corner to tie things up, 1-1. With four minutes left to play, Maura Irish '25 powered in a goal for the 2-1 lead. Senior Grace Murphy's defensive stop on a corner shot late in the 4th quarter prevented a goal to tie the game. "It was amazing finishing the season with a comeback victory. That game was a culmination of all the growth the team made overcoming adversity throughout the season," said Coach Paul Zelenak.

As field hockey wrapped up the game, EA fans stormed the field to celebrate the day and proudly held up the Banner for the ninth consecutive year.

Due to wet conditions, girls' tennis played under brisk, sunny skies on Monday, Nov. 13. The girls dominated the courts, 6-1, with wins in all three singles matches and three of the four doubles contests. "It was an amazing match atmosphere at AIS on Monday," said Coach Whitaker Powell, Hon. "The girls were disappointed they weren’t able to compete with their classmates on Friday, but the support they received Monday from classmates and teachers made it a special event and one that they will always remember." The team is undefeated (13-0) in the Inter-Ac and topped off the season winning the PAISAA Championship (3-2) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 against The Baldwin School. 

Boys' golf started things off in the quest for the Sweater in less than ideal conditions on Friday, on the back nine at Gulph Mills Golf Club. They ended the day one stroke short, 141-142.

On Saturday morning, boys' cross country ran away with a big win (18-43) with EA runners taking 11 of the top 14 places. Dawson French '24 won the race followed by Curtis Conner '26 in 2nd place. "The highlight for us was once again our strong depth," said Coach Jim Farrell '82. "We have had a few injuries this season, but we have been able to overcome them because of our depth. One guy after the next has stepped up and contributed in our big races to help us win the Inter-Ac and PAISAA championships." The team finishes the season 9-0 in dual meets. "These seven seniors have left quite a legacy going 34-0 in their Inter-Ac races over the last four years and being a part of three Inter-Ac championship teams, and three PAISAA championship teams," said Coach Farrell.

Surrounded by hundreds of cheering fans, boys' soccer started off strong and were the first on the board after a goal by Dylan Unruh '24. As the clock ticked to the end of the first half, the Fords scored twice leaving EA trailing. Second half play was fast and intense, but the EA boys fell short 3-1.

Meanwhile, boys' water polo played tough, scoring seven goals on the Fords. At the half, EA trailed 11-5. Senior goalie Khoa Tran blocked two penalty shots. After a hard-fought match, the team lost 24-7.

In the final game of the rivalry weekend, football set out on its mission. The Churchman were the first to score after senior quarterback Na’rome Rayborn threw a 35-yard pass to Dylan Jaszcz '24 and Spencer Schuh '26 nailed the extra point. "Senior Luke Montayne blocked a punt that Jahmir Brown '26  scooped up for a touchdown for a 14-0 lead," said Coach Todd Fairlie, Hon. "On the next possession Na'rome hit Joe Bogle '24 for a TD reception to put us ahead 21-9." Na'rome threw three touchdown passes on the day as the team notched a decisive 28-9 win. EA football ends the season 3-2 in the Inter-Ac. Other notable season achievements include Na'rome's 19 total touchdowns, senior Michael Cadden's single season reception record with 45 receptions on the year. I’Jaaz Abdul-Malik '24 led the team in tackles. He also shares the lead in sacks with AJ Koukou '24 and Raheem Orr '25.

This year's games and matches were held at AIS and Haverford. The rivalry weekend will return to EA in November 2024.