Bishops girls’ lacrosse looking to repeat as state champs
It only seems that Emma Pizzo has been playing lacrosse forever as a member of the Bishop England girls’ team.
The super-talented all-American has been playing for BE for four years, and 2018 is her final season. That’s reason to celebrate – next year – if your favorite team is a foe of the Bishops. But between now and May’s graduation, expect to hear plenty from Pizzo, who is the reigning two-time state player of the year.
“She’ll hold every record in the state, roughly halfway through the season,” Bishop England coach Jeff Weiner said. “She’s the best offensive player in the state and is probably the best defensive player in the state as well. If we need a goal, no one can stop her one-on-one. It’s even tough to stop her with a double team.”
Pizzo, who plays midfield and attacker, was a big reason why the Bishops went 14-2 last spring and captured a Class AAAA state championship, their second in a row.
Pizzo and her teammates didn’t miss a beat in the season-opener, a 20-2 victory over A.C. Flora. Pizzo tallied five goals, but she wasn’t the only force on offense. Junior Grace Ann Carlson also scored five goals, while Ellie Long and Ava Ward both chipped in with three goals. Another pair of Bishops both contributed two goals.
If you suspect it will be a case of more of the same by the Bishops, you would be 100 percent right if the Bishops solve the question at goalie. Weiner lost the top two goalies from last year’s team, including Mollie Niermann, who recorded 10 saves in last year’s state championship win against Chapin.
Weiner is in his ninth year at Bishop England, and the first three years were challenging as Weiner built the program from his vast knowledge of lacrosse he gathered as a coach and parent living in the Northeast. The team is 73-13 since the 2014 season. The Bishops have reached the state title game four straight years with championships in ’16 and ’17.
Pizzo was the star of the show in ’16 as she led the state with 98 goals and 58 assists. It was more of the same last spring for Pizzo, who has a 4.7 GPA and will matriculate to Mercer. She finished the season with a state best 113 points, including 80 goals and 33 assists.
But she is hardly a one-person team for the Bishops, who are scheduled to play James Island on Wednesday and Ashley High School of Wilmington, N.C. on Saturday.
Last summer, Pizzo and teammates Ward, Long, Carlson and Morgan Roberts all proved they have national skill sets. They played on a South Carolina team that competed in the U.S. National Tournament Championships and posted a 3-1 record.
Weiner expects Chapin to be the Bishops’ toughest competition this spring. The Bishops won the state title with a victory over Chapin. The Bishops will host Chapin in the regular-season finale on April 7, and don’t be surprised to see the teams in a rematch, in the state championship game.