Episcopal Academy goes into the 2013 season as the defending Inter-Ac champions, and by the looks of the squad returning, they’ll stay the champs until someone wrests the title away from them.
Senior captain Namia Gallegos will lead a revamped defense, but the midfield is where the Churchmen have their biggest edge over rivals. All-Delco Meredith Manley will captain the midfield and be the driving force, both defensively and in generating attack. She’ll be supported by junior Maria Kilcullen in that effort.
Up front, the Churchmen have a pair of speedy and physical forwards in Leah Becker and Kristina Zahan. Becker could throw her hat in the ring for the Inter-Ac scoring title this season.
There might not be a better class anywhere in the county than the Agnes Irwin class of 2016. Freshmen last year, they gained valuable experience and finished the season on a hot streak that vaulted them to the semifinals of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament and third place in the Inter-Ac. It took just nine games for Kristin Burnetta to tally 11 goals last season; with her superior speed, physical presence and outstanding technical ability, it’ll be interesting to see what she does with a full season.
But it’s more than just Burnetta. She’s joined up top by Kate White, while classmates Hannah Keating and Emily Fryer do the dirty work in the midfield. The sophomores leading the defense include Claire Micheletti and Sarah Platt. They join the core that includes senior captains Autumn Wedderburn in goal and forward Elizabeth Spitz, as well as junior midfielder Lauren Spinelli. The Owls have a high ceiling this season.
Notre Dame is hoping that the growing pains of a 5-14-1 season last year will pay dividends. They have a trio of promising sophomores in Phoebe McClernon, Lexi Odgers and Julia Dambly. The leadership will come from their three senior co-captains, defender Kathryn Spaight and midfielders Emily Bogan and Katie Schneider. It’s the latter unit that is likely to be a strength for the Irish this season.