After going undefeated in the conference play this season, Sidwell Friends School (16-5, 7-0) will have the opportunity to prove themselves in ISL AA after winning the ISL A championship on Wednesday, beating Episcopal 8-7.
“I think the girls are excited [to move up to AA], but now they have the realization that they’re going to be playing nationally ranked teams,” said Sidwell Coach Randall Goldsborough. “It’s only going to make us better.”
While Episcopal scored first on a goal by freshman Cary Hairfield, Sidwell dominated the first half, outscoring the Maroon 5-2. After Hairfield’s goal, the Quakers turned to junior Olivia Brown, who scored two goals in a row to put Sidwell on top. Senior Delaney Kempner and sophomore Sally Rosen also contributed for Sidwell, and Brown scored once more to give her a hat trick in the first half alone.
“[Coach Goldsborough] said ‘do what you know and you’ll be alright,’” said Brown who had four goals on the afternoon. “That’s our motto.”
For the Quakers, the championship game required the team to adjust to Maret's field, which is regulation size but differs slightly from Sidwell's home field.*
“The biggest thing we had to adjust for was stickwork. Because the field was more narrow, the offensive players had to defend well,” said Goldsborough, “they definitely did.”
Sidwell relied on every player to take advantage of opportunities in which they could knock the ball loose from an Episcopal stick. This strategy resulted in Sidwell essentially monopolizing the ball, and taking plenty of shots on goal. Episcopal sophomore MC McClellan kept the game close with several impressive saves in goal.
The second half was an opposite story of the first, with Sidwell opening with a goal by junior Taylor Stewart to widen their lead to four. This half, however, was dominated by Episcopal, who turned to senior Captain Lindsey de Butts, who delivered with a hat trick and brought the score to 7-6. For Sidwell, sophomore Madeline Holland scored to widen the Quaker’s gap, and de Butts’ last goal of the night brought the Maroon within one. Sidwell would hold onto the ball as time ran out, giving the Quakers the narrow victory.
“You know the saying ‘you’re supposed to peak at the end of the season’” said Goldsborough, “today was the best they played all season. The defense was great and the transitioning was awesome. They played beautiful lacrosse.”
Send an e-mail to Jennifer Gilbert.
Photographs by Michael Starghill.
*It was originally reported that Maret's field was not a regulation-sized field. The field, however, is the correct size. DCSportsFan apologizes for the error.