Undefeated and state champs: BE girls' lax takes down Chapin

The Bishop England girls’ lacrosse team capped a perfect season with a 10-5 victory over Chapin on Saturday to win the Class AAAA state championship. The Bishops finished with an 18-0 record to claim its third consecutive state title.

While some coaches might have talked about a dynasty with results like that, BE Coach Jeff Weiner talked about defense and the play of freshman goalie Katie Counasse, who held the Eagles scoreless in the second half.

“She really stepped it up in the second half,” said Weiner, who completed his ninth year as coach at the school. “She had an own goal in the first half and was pretty upset about that. Our goalie coach talked to her and she settled down. She had 10 saves and gave up five goals. All I ask for is 50 percent. If you save half of the shots, you’re doing well. She was two-thirds, which was outstanding.”

The match, contested at Irmo High School, marked the final high school game of Emma Pizzo’s brilliant career. She scored a goal in Saturday’s championship game and was credited with six assists. She finished her career as the state’s all-time leading scorer with 500 points.

“There’s no one within 100-150 points of her,” Weiner said of Pizzo, who will play for Mercer. “She’s not only the best offensive player in the state, but she’s the best defensive player in the state, by far. If I were a college coach, that’s where I would play here.”

Pizzo will be a big loss for Weiner & Co. But don’t fret just yet if you are a BE fan. Two freshmen played well in Saturday’s title game: Victoria Rowe and Coco Pampu, and Weiner also has a talented junior varsity team that lost only one match, a tough decision to Class AAAA Wando.

Four juniors on the team are talented enough to play at the national level. They include Ava Ward, who scored three goals against Chapin, Ginger Tompkins, Grace Carlson and Morgan Roberts.

Bishop England topped Chapin 15-6 last spring to win the state title. But on Saturday, it was much tougher against the Eagles, who lost to the Bishops for the seventh straight time.

The Bishops led by only a point in the first half, but erupted for three goals in less than a minute. The Bishops led 8-5 at halftime and held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the way.

“We were able to get good defense from our goalie and the rest of the defense played well. The shots they took were under pressure. It’s tough to score when the defense applied pressure the entire game,” said Weiner.

The Bishops played a tough schedule in 2018, and that paid dividends in the postseason. The Bishops beat five teams that were undefeated going into their match against the Bishops, including Fort Mill, which played in the Class AAAAA state championship.

The Bishops outscored foes 314-63 in what was not only a perfect season but a dominating one as well.

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