Junior midfielder finds perfect fit on Sewickley Academy girls lacrosse team

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Sunday, May 7, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Libby Eannarino has made quite the impact in her first year at Sewickley Academy.

Eannarino, a three-sport athlete, netted her 100th career goal in girls lacrosse April 13 against Peters Township.

“I’m so proud to be scoring my 100th goal while wearing a Sewickley jersey and representing the academy,” Eannarino said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, coaches and the athletic support staff.”

A 5-foot-9 midfielder, Eannarino enrolled at Sewickley in the fall of 2022, transferring from Upper St. Clair.

Eannarino competed in soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter at Sewickley. This is her first season playing lacrosse for the Panthers.

“Libby has a very high lacrosse IQ,” coach Ali Grenert said. “She is extremely hard working and is always looking to improve.”

Grenert, who also eclipsed the century mark in goals scored in her lacrosse career at SA, is assisted by Holly Seifert and Kim Retzclaff. Grenert is in her first year as Panthers coach.

“Libby is a team player and leads by example,” Grenert said. “When she puts her mind to something, there is no stopping her.”

Elena Mohan, a senior attacker/midfielder, chalked up an assist on Eannarino’s milestone goal on a set play by the Panthers.

“Honestly, it didn’t even register that I had just scored my 100th career goal,” Eannarino said. “I knew coming into the game that I needed six goals to reach 100, but in the moment, my first thought was, ‘OK, let’s go now. We have to keep the energy going. We’re only down by one before we tie it up.’

“We were down 9-3 at halftime, but by the middle of the second half, we were making a comeback and I was so caught up in closing the gap that I didn’t even realize I had scored my 100th goal. When my teammates all ran up to me and started jumping and hugging me, I’d have to say that my immediate reaction was just being incredibly thankful to be surrounded by such supportive and uplifting teammates and coaches.”

Eannarino finished with seven goals against Peters Township and as of May 1 had attained 128 career goals. She netted 25 goals as a freshman and 48 as a sophomore to go with 55 so far this season.

Sewickley Academy has won six section titles in girls lacrosse in school history and has been MSLA champion four times.

The Panthers started out 5-2 this year, 3-0 in section play. Through 10 games, the SA girls were 6-4 with three regular-season games remaining.

Mohan and senior attacker/midfielder Mary Grace Gordan are team captains this season.

Senior leadership also is provided by goalkeeper Kaitlyn Hayden — “our fearless goalie,” Grenert said — along with midfielder Sally Moravitz and Alex Cordle, Isabella Capito and Rinnie Jardini on defense.

The junior class is represented by Eannarino, Ashley Close (ATT/MF), Claudia Kronk (D), Kendall Sykes (MF), Gwyneth Belt (GK/ATT) and Cait Donohue (ATT).

Top sophomores include Jade Rychel (ATT/MF), Brooke Busatto (D) and Lauren Retzlaff (D).

Eannarino transferred from USC at the start of the 2022-23 school year.

“One of the biggest appeals of Sewickley Academy is that it provides opportunities academically, socially and athletically that other schools don’t,” she said. “During the past year, I couldn’t have asked for a better high school experience than the one I’ve had at Sewickley. The friends I’ve made, the teachers I’ve had, the coaches I’ve played under and the parents I’ve met have all been so welcoming and supportive since Day 1.”

Eannarino was the leading scorer with a 17.5 ppg average as a starting guard on the girls basketball team this past season.

“More importantly, I had an amazing experience,” she said.

Eannarino knocked in eight goals to finish as the second-leading scorer behind sophomore Katherine Varghese on the girls soccer team.

Eannarino participated in field hockey in her first two years of high school.

“So there was a little bit of rust to knock off getting back into soccer,” she said. “I hadn’t played since seventh grade, but it was such a great experience.”

Eannarino isn’t rushing her plans for college at this time.

“Right now, I’m focusing on school and my classes,” she said. “In the future, I hope to attend a college that matches my academic needs as well as my athletic. I’m fortunate to go to a school whose courses and teachers challenge me and push me to strive for success.

“Sewickley Academy has allowed me to take more challenging courses, furthered my love for the arts and introduced me to a competitive athletic environment.”

As of May 1, Sewickley was one of five teams in Section 1-3A that had qualified for the WPIAL playoffs.

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