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Ed Morrone OPC '04

Before we can finally call a wrap on the 2021-22 Penn Charter athletics season, let’s take one final look at the three spring teams that were still competing as the calendar shifted us all into holiday mode. Two squads played out their schedules in the PAISAA Tournament while another hit the water one final time. Now that plans to scatter for the summer are starting to unfold with graduation right around the corner, let’s check to see how things ended for the Quakers.

Girls Lacrosse

Penn Charter had to fight off four yellow cards in the PAISAA title game on May 26, with the fourth triggering a scenario that forced PC to compete down a player for the final 18:22 of the second half against league rival SCH Academy.

No matter — the Quakers still had Maddie Shoup.

Shoup scored three times, including PC’s lone second half tally in what amounted to the game-winner with 4:20 left, leading the Quakers to their first-ever PAISAA championship crown in a tight 8-7 victory over the Blue Devils at Cabrini College. In Penn Charter’s three-game PAISAA run, Shoup scored 16 goals, bringing her total on the season to 71, one more than senior teammate Darcy Felter. 

The fact that SCH face-guarded Shoup early on didn’t stop her, nor did the team playing 10-on-11 for nearly an entire half of a championship game. Quite frankly, nothing could get in the way of Shoup’s determination to end her career as a champion after four long years of scaling the mountain.

“She just took over the games,” head coach Colleen Kelly said of her star player’s run of excellence. “Every time she touched the ball, it was either an assist or it ended up in the back of the net.”

Shoup, who will play collegiately at Colorado, was the leader of a senior class that ran 12 deep. Whether it was Shoup, Felter (North Carolina), Charlotte Hodgson (Harvard) or five-year varsity player Grace Turner, the Quakers had no shortage of players who had been through it all. They were part of a freshman class that lost to Agnes Irwin in the PAISAA semifinals in 2019, lost their sophomore seasons entirely to the pandemic in 2020 and again fell to Agnes Irwin last year, this time in the championship game of an Inter-Ac tournament that stood in for PAISAA thanks to lingering COVID concerns.

And while Penn Charter (20-4-1) finished second behind Episcopal in the regular season, the PAISAA bracket represented an opportunity for those dozen seniors to end their stellar careers with their final game being a win. It was the perfect culmination of the team’s journey over the last four years.

“I wanted nothing more than for this group to end with a championship, because they were so deserving of it,” Kelly said. “At the beginning of their careers, we weren’t even close. It’s an accumulation of all the hard work they put in to get better under their leadership. They were two one-goal losses away [to EA] from winning an Inter-Ac championship, and they adjusted and learned from those losses to put us in a position to finish it. For it to finally come together with a championship is amazing.”

It sure wasn’t easy against SCH (17-5), but the Quakers had become battle tested in these types of close games throughout the season. They suffered through those two one-goal defeats to Episcopal, and even lost to SCH 12-9 back on April 5, so the team knew what it took to get over the proverbial hump. Shoup scored her first goal at the 21:15 mark of the first half to put PC up 2-0, and scored another a little more than a minute later to push the lead to three. Felter, who had three assists, found Hodgson for a pair of first-half tallies, the second of which put the Quakers up 6-3 with 10:54 remaining. 

“It’s a blessing as a coach to have those three out there, because nothing ever really scares me,” Kelly said. “If Maddie is face-guarded, we have so many more weapons. Darcy was awesome whenever she had opportunities, and Charlotte stepped up and took over when she needed to. We have such flexibility on our attack, and they’re all so unselfish. It’s not like they’re trying to score more than the other — it’s allowing for whoever’s day it is to let that person shine.”

Aided by PC competing with a player down for much of the second half, SCH rallied, cutting the deficit to 7-6 with 8:49 to play. Things were tense, especially with PC deploying a cat-and-mouse strategy to play keep-away and help drain the clock, but Shoup delivered what ended up being the final blow with a little more than four minutes remaining. 

“We would’ve loved to win the Inter-Ac too, but this was everything we could have hoped for,” Kelly said. “With this title, this senior group pretty much started what I was trying to create. In the beginning, it was more trying to get them to believe they could do it; now that it’s happened, there was never a belief that we wouldn’t get here. It’s exactly the culture I wanted to have with Penn Charter girls lacrosse, and they helped fulfill that.”

In addition to Shoup, Felter, Hodgson and Walter, the 2022 senior class also includes: Lauren Anderson, Kayla Bradby, Ella Curci, Tayanna Kelly, Lauren Martz, Brenna McCafferty, Lane Murray and Kaila Rahn. While they will be graduating imminently, there will be plenty of talent returning for the 2023 season, including talented juniors in goalie Kayla Joyce, Shoup’s younger sister, Gracie, who scored in the PAISAA final, and Bea Buckley, who scored twice.

“From here on out, we can’t go backwards,” Kelly said. “The aim is to do this every single year. We’ll take it one day at a time, but that’s our goal. We’re no longer at the bottom of the Inter-Ac anymore. This represents the top.”

 

Box score vs. SCH:

Maddie Shoup: 3 goals, 1 draw control, 1 ground ball
Charlotte Hodgson: 2 goals, 1 assist, 4 draw controls, 2 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers
Bea Buckley: 2 goals
Gracie Shoup: 1 goal, 3 draw controls
Darcy Felter: 3 assists, 1 draw control, 1 ground ball, 1 caused turnover
Grace Turner: 2 caused turnovers
Lauren Anderson: 1 caused turnover
Kayla Joyce: 5 saves

 

Baseball

Through five innings, Penn Charter baseball was sitting pretty. On their home field, the Quakers held a 3-0 lead over Inter-Ac rival Haverford School in a May 26 PAISAA semifinal matchup. Not only that, but sophomore starting pitcher Christian Clauss was dealing on the mound, surrendering just one hit through the first five frames. 

A win against the Fords would have sent PC to the championship game against Malvern Prep, with the team’s ace, Scott Doran, rested and ready to go on the hill. But baseball is a cruel, unforgiving game to those who play it, and Haverford had just enough left in the tank to break Penn Charter’s hearts and end the team’s season.

With Clauss still in control, the Fords finally broke through in the sixth, getting a two-out, two-run single off the bat of Jake LaRocca. Freshman Caleb Barnett relieved Clauss in the sixth after the lead was cut to 3-2, and Haverford’s Colby McNeely delivered the knockout punch in the visiting seventh, a two-run double that gave the Fords a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.

“We were in control for almost six innings, then we had the rug pulled out from under us,” Penn Charter head coach Justin Hanley said. “It was a frustrating finish, but this game had it all in terms of going back and forth with these high pressure moments. It was just one of those days, and that’s baseball for you.”

Hanley called Clauss’s effort “phenomenal, and I told him when I made the change that it was the best I’ve ever een him throw.” As for Barnett, he had entered in relief against Haverford twice already this season and, despite his freshman standing, was the player Hanley wanted on the mound with the season on the line. 

“He wanted that moment, and he was the right guy in that spot having delivered for us all year,” Hanley said of Barnett. “Their best hitter drove in the deciding two-run double, and that’s a lesson learned for Caleb. I couldn’t be prouder of the way he battled all year as a freshman.”

The Quakers (12-13-1) had an opportunity to walk it off in the home seventh, putting runners on first and second with one out. Freshman catcher Kyle McKernan had doubled with one out, and senior Vince Fattore was subsequently hit by a pitch. Liam Rowan hit into a fielder’s choice with Fattore forced out at second, and while Rowan beat the throw to first, McKernan’s courtesy runner took too wide a turn around third base and was caught in a rundown between third and home plate, eventually getting tagged as the final out of PC’s season.

On top of this missed opportunity, Rowan had another golden opportunity in the second inning that nearly blew the game open. With the bases loaded and PC already holding a 3-0 lead, Rowan ripped a missile into the right field gap that was run down by Haverford (17-10) center fielder Will Ferris in the form of a tremendous diving catch near the wall that thwarted the big inning.

“With Liam’s speed, that’s at least a triple if it falls and a 6-0 game,” Hanley said. “Just an incredible running catch, and that was the turning point. Man, it’s 6-0 if that drops … but again, that’s baseball. We were confident heading into the sixth inning, but the baseball gods thought otherwise. As a coach and a fan, these types of games are kind of cool to see all of the back and forth action.”

Despite the crushing and abrupt end, the little three-game mini-run the Quakers went on reinvigorated a program that went just 3-7 in the Inter-Ac this season after losing ace pitcher Andrew Healy to a season-ending injury. PC got mercy ruled off its own field in a 13-1 loss to Episcopal that ended the regular season a week earlier, so to see the team rally to win games over Hill and Perkiomen (the lineup crushed five home runs in the team’s final win of the season) before narrowly falling to Haverford was a testament to Hanley’s coaching, his 10 senior leaders, and talented underclassmen like Clauss, Barnett and McKernan, all of whom will return for the 2023 season.

“That EA game was a debacle, so we had to lean on our senior leadership to tell our guys that we weren’t looking forward to the summer just yet,” Hanley said. “Our goal was to face Malvern again in the finals, and that was the carrot we kept dangled in front of us. It was a nice run with a good win at home against Hill, as well as the explosion at Perkiomen. It was a testament to our senior leadership, because these kids did not quit. We’ve also seen the future, so it’s an optimistic vision moving forward.”

PC won eight league games in 2021, so a quick turnaround in 2023 does not fall outside the realm of possibility. For the senior class of Fattore, Healy, Henry Davis, Andrew Duffy, Ed Guarnaccia, Jackson Handler, Jack Larrabee, Aidan Mehta, Alex Nadol and Charlie Weiss, the 4-3 loss to Haverford represented the end of the line in their Penn Charter careers (Fattore and Healy will both play college ball at Duke). The rest will remember this three-game run as an appetizer to enter the offseason focused and determined before next season comes around.

“The last three games of our season, that was Penn Charter baseball,” Hanley said. “We tested the senior leadership and put it on them, and it was awesome for them to take that to heart and go on a nice run. We got it back to playing to the ability we all knew that we could. To make that run took every ounce of energy and effort, and they brought it. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from these 10 seniors.

“The last three games showed us that we can compete with anybody. Everybody chipped in. I’m happy with some of the young guys who will be guiding our team next season. It’s really exciting for me to end the year the way we did heading into next season.”

 

Rowing

PC was back on the water over Memorial Day weekend in the team’s final regatta of the season, this time with four qualified boats competing in the SRAA Nationals, a championship for all North American rowing crews. Instead of the familiar setting of Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River, this time the Quakers trekked over the bridge to race on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

Duncan Riley placed 5th in the Boys Varsity 1x with a time of 6:22.81; in the Varsity 2x, James Glomb and Scott Sweeney finished 4th with a final posting of 5:31.34. Elsewhere, in the JV 4x, the boat of Mackenzie Haines, Jack Bowen, James Foley and Elias Moulton produced a 6th-place finish with a time of 5:20.93. Finally, the lone girls boat of Ella Bretschneider, Lindsay Gadsden, Merrill Gadsden and Ellie Choate finished 5th, clocking in with a time of 6:10.36 in the Girls JV 4x. 

“These were the four boats that were top finishers this season that led them to row at Nationals,” assistant coach Michael Moulton said. “It was a big accomplishment.”

As for the season as a whole, the Quakers often battled rainy skies and windy river conditions, sometimes being unable to get on the water at all. When the team was able to compete, it shined, even if the sun was often stubborn in doing so itself. 

“Mother Nature this spring made for some interesting stories and logistical nightmares, but despite the flooding, thunderstorms, high winds and heat waves, the crew team experienced a most successful season,” Moulton said. “We found success at the Manny Flick Regattas, where we had many top finishes and great races. In the pinnacle event of the season — the Stotesbury Cup Regatta (the largest scholastic regatta in the world, with 6,000 competitors)  — 22 rowers made it through time trials and qualified for and progressed to the semi-finals and finals. This is the largest group of PC boats to do so in the history of the program.”

Ed Morrone OPC '04

This week has been a continuation of the PAISAA postseason tournament for three Penn Charter spring teams. As of May 25, two were still alive, with one landing in the semifinals and another having a championship game on deck. Let’s take a closer look at how we got there:

Girls Lacrosse

Before the spectators could even finish filing into the Perrott Field bleachers for Penn Charter’s May 24 PAISAA semifinal game against the Hill School, the Quakers had raced out to a 4-0 lead in less than five minutes. Three of those goals came off the sticks of seniors Maddie Shoup (twice) and Darcy Felter, and it seemed like PC might run its opposition right off the field. Then, just like that, after some questionable whistles that yielded second-chance opportunities, Hill mounted a rally, scoring four consecutive goals and entering halftime with the score knotted at 4. 

A suddenly close game with the season on the line? No problem, just call on Shoup and Felter to put out the fire. 

Led by Shoup’s seven goals and Felter’s four, the Quakers blitzed Hill in the second half, out-scoring their opponent 12-2 en route to a 16-6 win. PC advanced to the May 26 PAISAA title game against SCH Academy, which will be played at 4 p.m. on the campus of Cabrini College. 

This 16-goal onslaught was on the heels of last week’s 16-7 first-round win over GA, in which Shoup took that one over as well with a six-goal output. Shoup scored the first three goals out of the break against Hill in just over three minutes of game time, and Felter added another less than a minute later to push the lead to 8-4. Hill cut it to a two-goal lead one more time with 15:03 to go but never scored again, thanks to a stingy Quaker defense as well as strong play in goal from Kayla Joyce. When Shoup and Felter are scoring at this rate and the back line is doing its job, Penn Charter is hard to stop.

“If I had to pick someone to go to battle with, I’m picking Maddie Shoup,” said Felter, who also added two assists, six draw controls and two ground balls. “She’s the one who will fight for that ground ball and put her shots away. She’s so shifty, and it’s hard to defend her when she slips the seams. Get her the ball, and good things are going to happen.”

There are many things that make the PC offense lethal, but one of the main reasons is how much the girls support one another. There is no competition over who scores the most goals. 

“At the end of the day, if the game is tied with two seconds left, Darcy is who I want with the ball,” said Shoup, who added an assist, four draw controls, a ground ball, and three caused turnovers. “She has such a high lacrosse IQ. Everything comes so naturally to her, and when she’s on the field and sees an opportunity, she always puts it away.”

Penn Charter won 19 games this season compared to just four losses, yet still finished second in the Inter-Ac standings this year behind Episcopal (EA defeated the Quakers in both regular season meetings and is not playing in this tournament). So, for seniors such as Shoup and Felter, the PAISAA Tournament represents another opportunity to end their careers as champions. Not many high school athletes get the opportunity to say the last game they ever played ended in a title win, but that’s what Shoup, Felter and the 10 other seniors have directly in front of them.

“During our freshman year, we’d lose 14-0 to successful teams like Agnes Irwin and Episcopal, and now we’re playing one-goal games and beating teams like that, so it just shows how far we’ve come,” Felter said. “This group of seniors is really special.”

None of these seniors have won a PAISAA title, which makes all of them supremely motivated. When Shoup sliced and diced her way to three immediate second-half goals, it was evident she was playing with a little extra pep in her step. She was fiercely determined to win the game for her team, and the 13 goals she’s scored already in this tournament are proof of that fact.

Not only that, but Shoup, Felter and company lost only four games this season, with one of those being a 12-9 defeat at SCH Academy on April 5. PC finished a game in front of the Blue Devils in the standings, but that defeat still looms large in the players’ minds. Before they shook hands with Hill after the game, the Quakers were informed by the coaching staff that they would get another shot at SCH, who edged Agnes Irwin 9-8 in the other semifinal. Every single one of them audibly cheered at the outcome.

“We’re definitely very excited,” Shoup said. “I remember how I felt when we lost to them. We all do. None of us have forgotten that, so getting the chance to play them again is huge for us. With all that we’ve been through, the chance to finally win PAISAA is something that we all want so badly.”

The Quakers will get their chance today at 4 p.m. at Cabrini College. Follow the action live on YouTube
 

The rest of the Penn Charter box score from Tuesday is listed below:
 

Charlotte Hodgson: 2 goals, 4 draw controls, ground ball
Bea Buckley: goal, assist, ground ball, caused turnover
Gracie Shoup: goal, draw control
Alex Glomb: goal, 3 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers
Grace Walter: assist, ground ball
Lane Murray: assist, ground ball, 2 caused turnovers
Ella Curci: 3 ground balls, 3 caused turnovers
Kayla Joyce: 2 saves

 

Baseball

Typically, home runs are not an enormous part of the high school baseball landscape. 

Apparently, nobody told Penn Charter about that.

Following last week’s opening-round PAISAA win over the Hill School, the No. 6 Quakers traveled to No. 3 Perkiomen on May 24 and turned the field into their own personal launch pad. In the third inning alone, PC smashed four round-trippers off the bats of Shawn Flynn (2-for-3, HR, RBI), Vince Fattore (HR, 2 RBI), Aidan Mehta (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI) and Tim Ford (1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI). The team raced out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back, and starting pitcher Scott Doran got in on the fun himself by clubbing a home run in the top of the fourth to increase the lead to 12-1, which ended up being the final score of the contest. Following his two innings of strong pitching against Hill, Doran was again exceptional on the mound against Perkiomen, allowing just one run and one hit while striking out eight in five innings of work. 

The win pushed Penn Charter into the semifinals, where they will host Inter-Ac rival No. 7 Haverford at Palaia Field at 4 p.m. on May 26. Should the Quakers advance, the championship game will be played against the winner of Malvern-SCH Academy at 3 p.m. on May 28 at Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth in Plymouth Meeting. 

 

Softball

The softball team was originally scheduled to kick off its PAISAA run last week, but inclement weather twice pushed PC’s first-round game at Perkiomen to May 23. In the end, the wait was more than worth it, as the No. 9 Quakers’ bats exploded with multiple home runs to knock off host eighth-seeded Perkiomen with an emphatic 19-1 victory. Macie Bergmann and Maddie Brooks each socked three-run home runs in the second inning as PC raced out to a 9-0 lead. Bergmann added another three-run home run later in the game, and she also contributed a double. Lauren Gedraitis shut the opposition down from the pitching circle, allowing just one run as the game was called after three innings.

“Lauren pitched great, and the girls’ bats were on fire,” head coach Melissa O’Connor said. “It was our best hitting as a team throughout the entire season.”

Unfortunately, due to the bad weather and compressed schedule, the Quakers did not have much time to bask in the glow of victory as they were right back at it the next day at top-seeded SCH Academy. PC was able to scatter eight hits across five innings, but none of those runners crossed the plate in a game the Blue Devils ultimately won 10-0. While the loss ended Penn Charter’s season, there was still much to be proud of, as well as lots to look forward to next season.

“It was a tough year with a new coaching staff and limited help,” O’Connor said. “The captains stepped up tremendously in practices and games, pushing everyone to play their best. The highlight of the season was seeing every girl make improvements, offensively and defensively. The team camaraderie grew stronger as the season went on, and they fought hard together towards the end of the season and PAISAA tournament. This is a young team, and I look forward to seeing what the girls bring next year.”

 

Rowing

Just as a reminder, PC will be back on the water May 26-28 in the team’s final regatta of the season, this time with four qualified boats competing in the SRAA Nationals, a championship for all North American rowing crews, on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.
 

Ed Morrone OPC '04

While the season has ended for two of Penn Charter’s spring teams — tennis and boys lacrosse — it was PAISAA time for a handful of others, and the Quaker rowing squad was busy competing in multiple events this past weekend. Summer may indeed be on the horizon, but there’s still some athletic action to resolve on campus before the PC community scatters for the warmer months. Here’s a closer look at where the remaining teams stand:
 

Girls Track

On the heels of its team title at the Inter-Ac championships the previous weekend, head coach Candice Lee’s girls track squad made it two titles in two weeks by capturing the PAISAA crown on May 21 with a total of 136.5 points. As has been the case all season, there were a plethora of individual and relay performances to highlight:


100M: Michaela Poland, 4th (12.53); Olivia Roland, 5th (12.84)
100 Hurdles: Veronica Lentz, 4th (16.06); Amanda Ehrenhalt, 5th (16.32)
300 Hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt, 1st (44.62); Olivia Roland, 3rd (48.23)
400M: Michaela Poland, 1st (58.87); Dani Shipon, 5th (1:01.19)
800M: Alli DeLisi, 3rd (2:16.60); Dani Shipon, 4th (2:21.12); Julia Dolce, 6th (2:21.58)
1600M: Alli DeLisi, 1st (4:59.69); Julia Dolce, 3rd (5:22.09)
3200M: Olivia Montini, 1st (11:36.20)
Discus: Mariah Mays, 2nd (94-11)
High Jump: Olivia Roland, 4th (5-00.00)
Long Jump: Cassidy Scott, 5th (16-02.25)
Shot Put: Mariah Mays, 3rd (31-06.50)
Triple Jump: Cassidy Scott, 2nd (33-07.75)
4x100 Relay: Alex Jaffe/Sam Jaffe/Kelsey Maley/Olivia Roland, 2nd (51.00)
4x400 Relay: Alex Jaffe/Sam Jaffe/Alli DeLisi/Michaela Poland, 2nd (4:11.53)
4x800 Relay: Dabney Baum/Aisling Brady/Elena Coupas/Zady Hasse, 1st (10:19.19)

“Once again, the girls competed wherever they were needed to maximize the points to successfully win states,” Lee said. 

 

Girls Lacrosse

Less than two minutes had elapsed in Penn Charter’s opening-round PAISAA matchup against archrival Germantown Academy on Friday when dark storm clouds yielded loud thunderclaps over Perrott Field. Soon, the skies opened and sent both teams scrambling inside Dooney Field House to wait out a roughly 90-minute rain delay. 

The score was knotted at 1 at the time, and PC senior Maddie Shoup was concerned the unwanted downtime might disrupt the Quakers’ rhythm.

That myth was quickly dispelled, in large part thanks to Shoup herself. The Quakers scored nine consecutive goals coming out of the rain delay, five of them from Shoup, who scored six times total in PC’s 16-7 win. The victory propelled Penn Charter to the next round, where the team will host the Hill School at 3:30 on May 24.

“I was scared we might come out flat, but the rain delay really got us up,” said Shoup, who also added two ground balls and caused a turnover. “We were in the gym having a dance-off and playing games, and I just thought our energy was through the roof.”

What makes the Quakers so dangerous and what allowed them to earn the top seed in this tournament is that they have so many players capable of a game like the one Shoup produced on Friday. It was her time to shine, but it stands to reason that against Hill, it could be a handful of others to step up, or it could just be Shoup herself once again. It’s a pick-your-poison scenario for any opposing team that gets in PC’s way.

“We are not a team that is a one-person kind of show,” Shoup said. “If one person is locked up or having a rough day, we have so much talent on offense that we don’t have to worry. We could have three or four girls play a bad game and still have a chance because we have so much talent all over the field.”

To Shoup’s point, Charlotte Hodgson (3 goals, assist, 7 draw controls, ground ball), Darcy Felter (2 goals, 5 assists, 5 draw controls, 3 ground balls) and Bea Buckley (2 goals) all found the back of the net multiple times for the Quakers. Shoup’s younger sister, Gracie, also scored a goal, as did Grace Walter and Alex Glomb. 

Penn Charter has won 18 games against just four losses this season, but many of the bigger games recently were tight, including a few that PC had to sweat out in overtime. So, it was nice to win one running away, especially considering it came against GA, whose season ended following the game.

“We’ve had a rough few games lately where we’ve struggled, whether it was winning by one or going to overtime, so it was nice to finally be able to play a full game,” Shoup said. “We got our offense working, and it really came together. Once our offense started to play, they couldn’t get through our zone on defense.”

The PAISAA Tournament represents a new opportunity for the Quakers, who finished second in the Inter-Ac this season thanks to two one-goal losses against eventual champion Episcopal. Unfortunately, EA isn’t participating in this tournament, so there will be no revenge opportunities there. That said, it still represents a golden opportunity for the team’s 12 seniors to end their Penn Charter careers with a championship.

“Finishing second, it was rough for us,” Shoup said. “We lost on our home turf to EA and were really upset about it. We’d love to be able to play them again, but PAISAA is another opportunity for us to prove that we deserve it after everything that’s happened. We still want to sharpen some things on offense, but right now it’s looking good. We all want it so badly.”

 

Baseball

After losing back-to-back league contests to finish the regular season, the Penn Charter baseball team was looking to rebound in a big way against The Hill School on May 20 in an opening-round PAISAA Tournament match-up. It was an up-and-down season for the Quakers, but the postseason represents a fresh start, and PC entered as the No. 6 seed hosting 11th-seeded Hill.

Following two separate rain delays, the boys came together to win the game 5-0 while only giving up two hits on the day, thanks to strong pitching performances from the trio of Scott Doran, Tazio Perkins and closer Caleb Barnett.

The pitching was not the only superb part of the game on Friday, as Penn Charter got on base at a regular rate, tagging Hill pitchers for seven hits while drawing six walks. Freshman catcher Kyle McKernan went 2-for-3 on the day with two singles as the lead-off hitter, while sophomore first baseman James Langham also went 2-for-3 at the dish, including a key two-run single in the first inning to get the Quaker bats going. Meanwhile, the senior trio of Vince Fattore, Aidan Mehta and Ed Guarnaccia combined to walk three times, knocked in two runs and scored key runs as the game went along. Shortstop Tim Ford went 1-for-3 with an RBI double while making beautiful plays in the field for the Quakers. All in all, it was a complete effort for the Quakers, who advanced to the next round to play at No. 3 Perkiomen School on Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

“We have to get guys on base,” head coach Justin Hanley said. “We have to grind out at-bats and we did that today. It shows our discipline at the plate has improved big time at this point, and we played smart heads-up baseball as a team. We have been selfish in the past, but today was a total team win.”

Hanley also spoke of the opportunity to get his seniors a few more at-bats on their home field. 

“It was great to have the seniors have their last at-bats at home, especially guys like Henry Davis and Andrew Healy, who are pitchers, to go out there and swing the bat,” he said. “It was really cool to see those guys get a chance to play, and you can feel the energy in the dugout on how exciting it was for those guys to have an opportunity to have an impact in the game.”

 

Softball

After postponements on Thursday and Saturday of last week, No. 9 Penn Charter softball will play its first-round PAISAA contest at No. 8 Perkiomen School on May 23 at 3:30 p.m. That game will be recapped in Thursday’s SportsZone report; should the Quakers advance, they will play at top-seeded SCH Academy on May 24. 

 

Boys Track

Boys track also competed at the PAISAA championships over the weekend, with Penn Charter placing 9th overall with a team total of 20 points. Wes Trautwein finished in second place in the 3200, clocking a time of 10:17.91. Elsewhere, Eddie Kennedy placed third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.52. Finally, Jack Frank (2:03.68) and TJ Zwall (4:40.94) each placed 5th in the 800 and 1600, respectively. 

 

Rowing

On May 20-21, Penn Charter rowing hit the Schuylkill River for two days of racing in the Stotesbury Regatta, the largest high school regatta in the world. Below is a list of the races that the Quakers participated in, as well as where they finished:

 

Friday, May 20:

Girls Junior Double Heat: Charlotte Baker/Grace Agosto, 9th (5:55.45)
Girls Freshman Quads Heat: Alison Sweeney/Brea Turner/Zoe Page/Grace Magee, 6th (5:57.92)
Boys Junior Quad Heat: Elias Moulton/James Foley/Jack Bowen/Mackenzie Haines, 6th (5:06.21)
Girls Junior Quad Heat: Elizabeth Choate/Merrill Gadsden/Lindsay Gadsden/Ella Bretschneider, 8th (5:41.79)
Girls Senior Double Heat: Claire Lewis/Isabella Salvi, 12th (6:30.65)
Boys Senior Double Heat: James Glomb/Scott Sweeney, 9th (5:42.74)
Boys Senior Quad Heat: Jakob Lanfranco/Harrison Signorello/Matthew Clarke/William Kopf, 12th (5:10.74)
Boys Senior Single Heat: Duncan Riley, 19th (6:02.76)

 

Saturday, May 21:

Girls Senior Double Semi-Final 1: Claire Lewis/Isabella Salvi, 6th (6:02.12)
Boys Senior Double Semi-Final 1: James Glomb/Scott Sweeney, 6th (5:07.01)
Boys Senior Quad Semi-Final 1: Jakob Lanfranco/Harrison Signorello/Matthew Clarke/William Kopf, 6th (5:07.73)
Girls Freshman Quads Final: Alison Sweeney/Brea Turner/Zoe Page/Grace Magee, 6th (7:04.60)
Boys Junior Quad Final: Elias Moulton/James Foley/Jack Bowen/Mackenzie Haines, 6th (5:29.12)
 

The Quakers weren’t done there, as the team returned to Boathouse Row on Sunday to participate in the rescheduled PSRA City Championships. Penn Charter competed in nine races on the day:

Boys Freshman/Novice 2x: Griffin LaMent/Jack Davey, 10th (6:21.74)
Girls Novice 4x Final: Alison Sweeney/Zoe Page/Brea Turner/Grace Magee, 2nd (6:10.72)
Boys JV 1x Final: Duncan Riley, 5th (6:12.62)
Girls JV 2x Final: Charlotte Baker/Grace Agosto, 6th (6:32.40)
Girls JV 4x Final: Elizabeth Choate/Merrill Gadsden/Lindsay Gadsden/Ella Bretschneider, 6th (5:52.95)
Boys JV 4x Final: Elias Moulton/James Foley/Jack Bowen/Mackenzie Haines, 4th (5:11.44)
Girls Varsity 2x Final: Claire Lewis/Isabella Salvi, 8th (6:39.70)
Boys Varsity 2x Final: James Glomb/Scott Sweeney, 4th (5:37.51)
Boys Varsity 4x Final: Jakob Lanfranco/Harrison Signorello/Matthew Clarke/William Kopf, 9th (5:50.78)


PC will be back on the water May 26-28, this time with four qualified boats competing in the SRAA Nationals, a championship for all North American rowing crews, on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

Ed Morrone OPC '04

Four Penn Charter spring teams wrapped up their regular season schedules this week, while another began its postseason play. Here’s a closer look at how those teams made out, as well as what comes next:

Boys Lacrosse

Last week, Colin Michener’s Senior Day overtime goal lifted Penn Charter past Germantown Academy and into the Inter-Ac’s four-team playoff tournament. Michener’s heroics allowed PC’s season to continue, while GA’s ended that day. On Tuesday night at Cabrini University, the No. 4 Quakers met top-seeded Malvern, hoping to solve the mighty Friars after a frustrating and hard-fought 11-9 Malvern win. 

Unfortunately for the Quakers, Malvern jumped out to a 6-1 lead after one quarter and headed into halftime up 9-2; the Friars never looked back, eventually ending PC’s season in a 16-8 rout. Michener scored 3 more goals and set the all-time single season points total record in the process, and he will continue his lacrosse career at Villanova next year. His younger brother, sophomore Gavin, scored twice against Malvern, as did Owen Black, who also added an assist. Russell Fitzgerald also found the back of the net in the loss, while Oliver Leedale-Brown picked up an assist. Noah Dacanay made 14 saves in the losing effort for the Quakers. 

 

Girls Lacrosse

Darcy Felter was named Pansini Law Group
Scholar-Athlete of the Week by PhillyLacrosse.com

Senior Day couldn’t have gone any better for Penn Charter girls lacrosse, as senior Charlotte Hodgson’s goal in double overtime on Wednesday lifted the Quakers to a thrilling 12-11 victory over Agnes Irwin. While Episcopal captured the Inter-Ac championship this season, the win over the Owls allowed PC to move into sole possession of second place on the final day of the regular season. Penn Charter won 9 of its 12 league games this season while posting a 17-4-1 overall record, and the team heads into Friday’s first-round PAISAA Tournament home matchup against Germantown Academy (4 p.m.) as the top seed. 

Hodgson (2 draw controls, 4 ground balls, 1 caused turnover) and fellow senior Darcy Felter (assist, 3 draw controls, ground ball) each scored 4 times in the win, while senior Maddie Shoup (2 goals, 2 ground balls) also scored multiple times for the Quakers. Bea Buckley and Gracie Shoup had identical scoring lines of a goal, 2 assists, a draw control and caused turnover. Other box score contributors were: Lane Murray (2 assists, caused turnover), Grace Turner (ground ball, 2 caused turnovers) and Lauren Anderson (draw control), while Nora Maione and Ella Curci each chipped in with a ground ball. Kayla Joyce saved 10 shots in between the posts for PC.

“Yesterday was the perfect Senior Day for our team,” head coach Colleen Kelly said. “Last year we ended on a heartbreaking one-goal loss at home against AIS, so it was great to come full circle and end our regular season on such a high note. Now, we are on to the second part of our season with PAISAA starting on Friday. It is a very exciting time, as we are only given Friday's game, and nothing is guaranteed. I love this time of year. It’s exciting and a privilege to have the pressure to perform, and hopefully this team can come together and play to their fullest potential. That is what is so fun to watch and coach."

 

Softball

Before softball begins its PAISAA postseason schedule at the Perkiomen School on Friday, the Quakers were back in action on campus this week for the final two games of the regular season. On Wednesday, PC dropped a 6-4 decision to Baldwin in its regular season finale. The Quakers jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, but Baldwin rallied with a 4-spot in the visiting fourth to tie the score before eventually pushing two more runs across to secure the win. Kamryn Koslosky went 3-for-4 with a triple, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored in the defeat, while Madison Brooks chipped in with a 2-for-3 day at the plate with two runs scored. 

The Quakers had much better luck the day before, securing a 10-0 win over league rival Agnes Irwin. After losing another tough game at Baldwin last Friday, the girls were determined to respond on the team's Senior Day. PC answered in a dominant fashion. Freshman pitcher Lauren Gedraitis had a phenomenal day on the mound, pitching all five innings while surrendering just four hits and striking out three in the shutout performance. She also scored a run after being walked in the 3rd inning. Macie Bergmann and Ari Willis both accounted for two hits each, and both had RBI doubles. As a team, Penn Charter had eight hits and walked four times. All three seniors had very good days at the plate as leadoff hitter Madison Brooks walked twice and scored a run; Kamryn Koslosky was 1-for-3 with a two-run double; and catcher Lucianna Boggi was 1-for-2 with a double, walk and hit by pitch. Additionally, eighth grader Madison Wray singled early in the game and scored a run. 

“Everyone was in a better mood today,” head coach Melissa O’Connor said. “The team wanted it for the seniors, so we had higher energy coming into this game. Lauren had a decent game on Friday, and she really wanted it today and she pitched great.”

The No. 9 Quakers will travel to play the Perkiomen School in Friday’s PAISAA opening round, and that one will be recapped in Monday’s SportsZone post.

Baseball

Following last Friday’s dramatic walk-off Senior Day grand slam against GA by Aidan Mehta, the Quakers were back in action to close out their regular season with home games against Episcopal and Haverford. 

Not much went Penn Charter’s way during Wednesday’s game against EA, as the Churchmen hung 6-spots on the scoreboard in both the second and fourth innings and cruised to a 13-1 victory. A day earlier, the Quakers were able to scratch out some more runs, but ultimately fell to the visiting Fords by a score of 8-5. Despite the losses on consecutive days, PC still ended Wednesday with some fresh hope moving forward, as the team is set to host Hill School on Friday at 4 p.m. in a first-round PAISAA contest.

“We always try to take a lesson from any game, and we tell guys all the time that they have to learn something from a loss,” head coach Justin Hanley said following the loss to EA on Wednesday. “As a team, at some point, we have to come together and play with some heart and pride. We’ve been in their heads about making a run in this tournament, and in order to be able to do that, it’s going to have to be a total team effort. We didn’t get it this week, but in order for us to make that run, everyone is going to have to contribute. 

“In order to win a tournament like this, we’re going to have to win four games in seven days and do the things that separate the good teams from the great ones. All of those things are going to have to align, and we’re going to have to clean up a lot of stuff. It’ll be all hands on deck with  our pitching, and I’m optimistic about that going into the tournament. It all comes down to execution.”

Hanley said he expects to start Scott Doran on the mound, who has stepped into the role of the team’s No. 1 starting pitcher. 

“Scott stepped up and wore that ace crown, and he’s ready to go,” Hanley said. “With him on the mound, we have a good shot. The slate is clean now, and everyone’s record is 0-0 again on Friday.”

 

Tennis

Penn Charter tennis was finally able to make up its final match of the season against Malvern Prep, which was rained out last Friday. The Quakers saved their best for last, delivering a flawless 7-0 victory over the visiting Friars. As has been the case all season, senior Liam Birnie and freshman Nate Arnold delivered as the team’s top two singles players, each scoring decisive wins. Playing in his first singles match for PC, senior Jerome Gantz had a final match to remember, cruising to an impressive 6-3, 6-0 win as the No. 3 singles player. 

 

Rowing

Penn Charter’s crew season is far from over, as the next two weekends will be busy ones for the Quakers. First, on Friday and Saturday of this weekend on Boathouse Row, PC will race eight boats in the Stotesbury Regatta, the largest high school regatta in the world. 

On Sunday, also on the Schuylkill River, the Quakers will race 10 boats in the rescheduled PSRA City Championships. 

Finally, next weekend PC will cross the bridge into Camden, N.J., where four qualified boats will compete in SRAA Nationals, a championship for all of North American rowing crews, on the Cooper River.

 

Ed Morrone OPC '04

With the spring season winding down right before our eyes, several Quaker teams had thrilling conclusions to their weeks. Two scored epic walk-off wins against Germantown Academy, while another captured its first Inter-Ac championship in more than a decade. Here is a look back on the end of last week as the 2022 campaign enters its home stretch:

Girls Track

After a preliminary qualifying round on Thursday, the Penn Charter girls track team descended upon Saturday’s league championship at Germantown Academy looking to get a significant-sized monkey off its back. After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, the Inter-Ac track teams were able to compete as normal again, and the result was the best possible outcome for the Quakers: with a team total of 166.5 points, PC captured its first league title in girls track since 2010. 

“Words cannot express the joy and excitement I have for them,” head coach Candice Lee said. “They pushed themselves in every practice and continued to improve with every meet. I have six seniors on the team who had to rearrange their pre-prom activities to ensure they contributed to the success of the team. They were all committed to doing whatever was needed to ensure we would bring home the trophy, and all of them contributed points to the championship run.”

Below is a closer look at the specific events in which the Quakers had their strongest performances of the day:
 

Coach Candice Lee and senior Amanda Ehrenhalt.

Girls 100:
Michaela Poland 3rd (12.81)
Olivia Roland 5th (13.06)
Sam Jaffe 6th (13.10)

Girls 100 Hurdles:
Amanda Ehrenhalt 3rd (15.99)
Veronica Lentz 5th (16.47)

Girls 200:
Michaela Poland 3rd (26.39)
Sam Jaffe 5th (26.76)
Alli DeLisi 6th (26.83)

Girls 300 Hurdles:
Amanda Ehrenhalt 1st (44.77)
Veronica Lentz 4th (47.27)
Olivia Roland 6th (49.79)

Girls 400:
Alli DeLisi 1st (56.56)
Michaela Poland 3rd (58.49)
Dani Shipon 6th (1:00.63)
Julia Dolce 7th (1:01.67)

Girls 800:
Alli DeLisi 1st (2:17.34)
Dani Shipon 2nd (2:20.41)
Olivia Montini 6th (2:26.42)

Girls 1600:
Olivia Montini 1st (5:12.02)
Julia Dolce 2nd (5:15.28)

Girls 3200:
Grace Neuwirth 6th (12:38.06)

Girls Discus:
Mariah Mays 1st (90-05)

Girls High Jump:
Olivia Roland 2nd (5-01.00)
Amanda Ehrenhalt 3rd (4-10.00)

Girls Long Jump:
Cassidy Scott 2nd (16-05.50)

Girls Shot Put:
Mariah Mays 1st (31-01.75)

Girls Triple Jump:
Cassidy Scott 1st (33-06.00)

Girls 4x400 Relay:
Aisling Brady/Alex Jaffe/Sam Jaffe/Alli DeLisi 1st (4:03.21)

Girls 4x800 Relay:
Aisling Brady/Zady Hasse/Elena Coupas/Alex Jaffe 1st (10:07.00)
 

“Alli DeLisi ran four events with at most a half hour rest in between,” Lee said. “She was tired and fatigued, but excelled in all of her events. Michaela Poland also competed in four events in which she earned key points that contributed to our success. Cassidy Scott had personal bests in both of her jumps. Olivia Montini and Julia Dolce each ran an amazing 1600, having personal bests and placing first and second in an event that is not considered their best event. 

“Mariah Mays had an amazing throw on her last shot put attempt that moved her into first, as she never had the lead during the competition. Her determination to win was put forth in her final attempt. All of the girls stepped up and competed on Saturday. They used the lessons learned from the many weeks of training and preparation. I always said to the team to trust the process and the hard work that they put in everyday.”
 

Baseball

After a four-game winning streak was snapped by Malvern Prep early last week, PC needed a big-time win against its rival Germantown Academy as the regular season neared its finish. Head coach Justin Hanley’s baseball team did so and then some in a thrilling 10-8 walk-off win that was capped off by senior right fielder Aidan Mehta’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning. Mehta was outstanding as he has been all season, going 2-for-2 on the day with two walks, a single, three stolen bases and the dramatic home run to end the game. 

“I was locked in from the beginning and this was a must win game for us at this point,” Mehta said. “So I did what I had to do to help the team win.”

The Quakers got behind the eightball early in this one. After giving up a grand slam with no outs in the first, starting pitcher Christain Clauss rebounded well. In four innings of work, Clauss gave up four hits and five earned runs, settling in after most of that damage was inflicted early on. Center fielder Vince Fattore got PC on the board with an RBI triple in the first inning, and he finished 1-for-2 at the plate with two walks and a stolen base. Shortstop Tim Ford smacked two singles, with each hit scoring a run, and he also picked up a stolen base. Caleb Barnett relieved Clauss and pitched a hitless fifth and sixth while striking out two; in the seventh, Barnett allowed two runs but was able to hold off the Patriots from having an even more explosive offensive inning, keeping the score close and setting the stage for Mehta’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh.

“The focus was on us,” Hanley said, “Even though these games get naturally chippy, especially with that team, our focus was on us and we saw the benefits by the end of the game. If you give up a big number like we did, do it in the first inning, control what you can control, good teams figure out a way to win. We were overly aggressive offensively in grinding some at-bats and looking for the fastball, which Aidan clearly did a good job at.”

PC will look to keep the momentum going this week, as the team closes out the regular season on Tuesday and Wednesday with a pair of 4 p.m. league contests against Haverford and Episcopal. Then, on Friday, the No. 6 Quakers will kick off the PAISAA Tournament when they host No. 11 Hill School at 4 pm. 

 

Boys Lacrosse

The Michener family, with senior Colin (left) and sophomore Gavin.

In a final regular season game against arch rival Germantown Academy, chaos and bedlam were always lurking around the corner. And just like the baseball team, the Quakers were on the right side of one of the more thrilling program wins in recent memory. With the score knotted at 8 at the end of regulation, overtime was needed to decide this one, with the winner earning the final spot in this week’s four-team Inter-Ac boys lacrosse tournament.

With the season on the line, senior Colin Michener, who has been playing lights out lacrosse all season for PC, intercepted an attempted clear and fired the ball into the back of an open net for a 9-8 victory.

“Their goalie tried to pass it to a player behind him,” PC head coach Pat McDonough said of the winning play. “Colin picked the pass off and had a choice of throwing it to his brother (Gavin) cutting with a defensemen behind him or shooting for the goal. He chose correctly. Great play by a senior leader. I’m so proud of all the guys for sticking together and finding a way to win and make it to the playoffs.”

For Michener, it was his second goal of the game (to go along with 4 assists) and likely the biggest of his PC career, one in which he has scored more than 100. He had injured his knee during football season and nearly missed this lacrosse season, but battled back for his team through rehabilitation and tenacity. 

“Very excited for him,” McDonough said. “We have had a lot of All-Americans at PC over the years and he is near the top of that list of players that have come before him and made everyone around them better.”

The Villanova recruit had plenty of help from sophomore younger brother Gavin, who netted 3 goals for the Quakers. Nick Walter added two goals for Penn Charter, while Petey Malitas and Oliver Leedale-Brown each scored once. Chet Kempinski and Matt Callahan added assists, while Russell Fitzgerald (12-for-12) and George Glomb (7-for-8) were superb in the faceoff circle. Noah Dacanay continued his strong play in goal by making 13 saves. 

“We always talk about leaving the program better than you found it,” McDonough said. “Last year was probably only the second time in my 21 years that we did not make the postseason, so to get back there is a testament to the work ethic of this senior group and the effort of the entire team to stick together and continue to fight to improve throughout the season.”

The Quakers (12-12 overall, 2-8 league) will get a third shot at mighty Malvern Prep (16-3, 9-1) in the Inter-Ac Tournament on Tuesday night (7 p.m at Cabrini University). The winner will play the winner of Episcopal and Haverford in Friday’s championship game. 


Boys Track

The boys track team was also in action over the weekend at the Inter-Ac championships and had several key performances to note. Among them was Eddie Kennedy, who finished second in the 300 hurdles with a season-best time of 41.53, and was also part of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, which finished in fifth and fourth place, respectively. Christian Black was also a member of the 4x100 team, while also placing third in the triple jump with a personal best mark 41-0.5. The 4x800 relay team of Nate Luzi, Nate Johnson, Liam McLafferty and Jack Frank took the top spot with a season-best time of 8:29.13. Jack Frank placed fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:05.24, and he also participated in the 4x400 race along with Kennedy, Luzi and McLafferty. Finally, Wes Trautwein and TJ Zwall rounded out the scoring in 3200 by placing fifth and sixth. 

 

Girls Lacrosse

It was goals galore for the girls lacrosse squad as it traveled to Baldwin on Friday. Darcy Felter (assist, 8 draw controls) and Maddie Shoup (3 assists, 5 draw controls, 3 ground balls) led the scoring parade with 4 goals each for the Quakers in a 23-6 win, while Charlotte Hodgson (3 assists, 5 draw controls, ground ball, caused turnover) and Grace Walter (two assists) both scored 3 goals. Other multi-goal scorers included Bea Buckley (2 assists, ground ball), Gracie Shoup (6 assists, 5 draw controls, 2 ground balls) and Alex Glomb, all of whom found the back of the net twice. Brenna McCafferty (assist, ground ball), Elissa Hsu and Tayanna Kelly rounded out the scoring for PC, while Nora Maione contributed a ground ball and caused a turnover. Kayla Joyce and Toni Plunkett each made a save in goal for the Quakers, who improved to 16-4-1 overall and 8-3 in league play after the emphatic victory.

Penn Charter will wrap up its regular season schedule with a 3:30 home contest Wednesday against Agnes Irwin. Then, the Quakers will shift their focus to the upcoming PAISAA Tournament, where they earned the No. 1 seed and will host No. 8 GA on Friday at 3:30. 

 

Softball

Softball traveled to Baldwin on Friday and got a home run from Ari Willis; the girls fought hard until the end, but ultimately dropped a tough 7-6 league contest. Luckily for the Quakers, there’s still time to finish the season strong: PC will host Agnes Irwin Tuesday at 4 p.m. before closing out the regular season on Wednesday at 3:30 against Baldwin.

 

Tennis

The final remaining tennis match of the season at Malvern Prep was rained out on Friday and will be made up later this week on a to be determined day. 

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