BE girls’ lax team heads into lower state finals with a 16-0 record
The Bishop England girls’ lacrosse team was searching for yet another state championship as the state playoffs culminate this weekend. The Bishops also were searching for perfection.
The Bishops entered Tuesday night’s Class AAAA Lower State championship against Hilton Head with a 16-0 record. The Bishops beat Hilton Head 17-2 in the regular season. They also owned victories against the teams that were battling for the Upper State crown: Christ Church and Chapin. The Bishops beat Chapin in last year’s state championship. The Bishops beat Chapin 7-6 in this year’s regular-season finale.
“We’ve done better than I thought we would,” BE Coach Jeff Weiner said. “We’ve played a pretty tough schedule.”
The Bishops played five teams that were undefeated heading into their matches. And, five times the Bishops walked off the field as winners.
The Bishops have played some of the top teams in the region and state, but have outscored foes 284-54 as first year starting goalie Katie Counasse has shown great promise. One of the big wins this year came against Fort Mill, which was No. 1 in Class AAAAA.
Counasse is a freshman. Her brother is the starting goalie for the BE boys’ lacrosse team.
“She’s still learning,” Weiner said. “But she’s made a lot of progress. She’s done well, and the defense has played well and that helps.”
Ginger Tompkins is the Bishops’ top defender.
The Bishops were seeking a third straight state title as play began this week. Tuesday’s game against Hilton Head (set to take place after this issue of the paper went to print) marked the fourth time in five years that the Bishops reached the Lower State championship.
“What we try to do is to schedule the top teams, the best teams around,” Weiner said. “That way, at the end of the season, you will be ready for just about anything.”
The Bishops have been an offensive juggernaut with five players scoring at least 25 goals. The player at the top of the list, Emma Pizzo, also leads the state with 69 goals and 49 assists. Ava Ward also is in the top 10 in scoring with 51 goals and 20 assists.
G. Carlson has had an impressive spring with 32 goals and 34 assists. Morgan Roberts and Ellie Long both have more than 25 goals.
The girls’ team opened the playoffs with easy victories over Myrtle Beach and Oceanside Collegiate.
The Bishops boys failed in their bid to repeat as Class AAAA champs. They posted a 13-3 record and opened the playoffs with a 17-5 victory over Myrtle Beach. However, Oceanside Collegiate knocked off the Bishops in the second round, posting a 7-3 victory.
The state soccer playoffs will begin April 30.
Bishop England and Hanahan began competition in the baseball playoffs this week.