Sewickley Academy’s Libby Eannarino surpasses 200-goal milestone

Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 11:01 AM

Sewickley Academy senior midfielder Libby Eannarino needed three scores at home against Quaker Valley on May 7 to reach 200 career goals in girls lacrosse.

She ended up with seven to lead the Panthers to an exciting 15-11 win against their rivals.

Eannarino’s younger sister Emma, a freshman midfielder/attacker and three-sport athlete, added three goals for Sewickley, as did senior midfielder Ashley Close. Kendall Sykes tacked on two scores.

“I’m just so excited to have been able to score 200 goals while representing Sewickley Academy,” Eannarino said. “During my two years here, I’ve had such a wonderful experience, and I’m just so lucky to be part of a program as special as SA’s.

“Between coach Ali, coach Holly (Seifert), coach (Kim) Retzlaff, my teammates, our athletic trainers and even our parents and fans, the girls lacrosse team at Sewickley is truly such a supportive and uplifting environment.”

Eannarino, who stands 5-foot-9, also scored six times against Seneca Valley, had five goals against Shady Side Academy and scored seven times against Shaler. She added six scores against Mt. Lebanon, giving her 72 goals in 12 games this year.

Eannarino’s sister Emma added four goals against the Lebo girls.

“It’s an awesome milestone to reach 200 career goals, but as a senior on the team I just hope it can inspire the underclassmen — the future of our program — to keep working and pushing themselves to be the best players they can be,” Eannarino said. “Despite our small numbers, we have so much talent on our team, and I hope that we can continue to build upon the legacy and high-level lacrosse at SA.”

Grenert, the Panthers field boss, offered nothing but high praise for the older Eannarino sibling who for the past two years has led the team in goals, assists, draw controls and caused turnovers.

“Libby has been a pleasure to coach,” Grenert said. “I wish I could say I taught Libby everything she knows about lacrosse. The truth is, Libby taught Libby everything she knows about lacrosse. As a midfielder, Libby functions as the bridge between our defense and our attack. On the attacking end of the field, the ball usually starts with Libby, mostly because she wins the draw over 50% of the time.

“And as a co-captain, Libby functions as a bridge between the upperclassmen and the underclassmen on the team, as well as between the team and the coaching staff. Like many Sewickley Academy female athletes that came before her, Libby has made a lasting impression on the larger SA community.”

Eannarino is the second-leading career goal-scorer in school history after Shelley Harris, a 1996 graduate.

“Libby is humble and a team player,” Grenert said. “Every time she comes off the field, she asks what she can improve on, or what she could be doing differently. Did I mention she led the team in assists? She understands and capitalizes on her teammates’ strengths.

“Over the past two seasons, Libby and Ashley have developed their play alongside one another (as co-captains), playing off one another. They’ve developed a chemistry both on and off the field, and a similar chemistry is starting to take shape between Libby’s younger sister and Grace Jardini, whose two older sisters played lacrosse at the academy.”

Eannarino, who has been honored as a National Merit Scholar, connected on her 100th career goal last season against Peters Township.

She is a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. The Sewickley senior finished with a 22.1 ppg scoring average on the girls basketball team — the sixth-highest average in the WPIAL.

She poured in 43 points against Shenango in February in her final high school basketball game.

“Some of my favorite (basketball) memories would probably have to be winning our last game of the season against Shenango at home with my teammates and finishing my career with 43 points in that game,” Eannarino said, “and winning the Carlynton tip-off tournament. And honestly, just getting to play alongside my sister and close friends.

“We had such a tight-knit group of girls, and I really loved spending time with every one of my teammates. Whether we were celebrating our wins, laughing during practice, or chowing down during pregame dinners, my teammates really made my basketball experience at Sewickley so special.”

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

Sewickley Academy’s girls lacrosse team ended the 2023-24 regular season with a 7-5 record. The Panthers lost a 19-14 decision to North Allegheny in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

In her two seasons on the lacrosse team at Sewickley, Eannarino racked up more than 100 goals in 22 games (nine in 2022-23,12 in 2023-24).

“In addition to her success in the classroom and on the playing field, Libby is a talented artist and a caring friend,” Grenert said. “Watching Libby play lacrosse always brings a smile to my face, especially when she weaves her way through the opposing team’s defense and buries the ball in the back of the net.

“She will be greatly missed.”


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