Four Seniors Commit to College Athletics Next Year

Surrounded by teachers, coaches, classmates and family, four Agnes Irwin seniors were honored on Friday, April 16 for their commitment to play their chosen sports at Division I and Division III colleges and universities next year.

Friday’s honorees were:

  • Kelly Cooper — Middlebury College — Field Hockey
  • Grace Flaherty — Bates College — Squash
  • Jordan Healy — Dartmouth College — Lacrosse
  • Ruthie Njagi — Swarthmore College — Tennis

“I am so excited for these four student-athletes and the commitment they have made to continue their sport as a college athlete,” said Athletic Director Courtney Lubbe. “These girls are exceptional representatives of Agnes Irwin. They are scholars, athletes, leaders, teammates, and valued members of our school community. I am so proud of all that they have accomplished and how they have grown as individuals. We can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in their next journey as college student-athletes.”

Kelly Cooper will play field hockey at Middlebury College next year. A four-year, three-sport athlete in field hockey, basketball and softball, Kelly is also a team captain in basketball, and a two-time team captain in field hockey and softball. She received the prestigious Carter Mannion Award as a sophomore, given to the student-athlete who combines exceptional athletic talent and leadership. She is a three-time Agnes Irwin Field Hockey MVP, a two-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School National Academic Squad honoree, and has been named All Inter-Ac, All Delco and All Main Line numerous times in her high school playing career. Kelly is head of the Athletic Association and co-president of the Athletes Helping Athletes club. “Kelly is one of the most explosive defenders I have coached,” said Varsity Field Hockey Coach Morgan Paese. “She times tackles perfectly, moves the ball out of tight and dangerous space, and accelerates with the ball on her stick. She is a playmaker across the field, making huge stops in the defensive circle and scoring goals as our striker on corners. She contributed from one end line to the other in every game.”

Grace Flaherty will play squash at Bates College next year. She is a four-year member of the Agnes Irwin Squash team and a 2020-2021 team captain. During her time at Agnes Irwin, the team ranked second in the country amongst all-girls’ squash teams in 2019 and 2020 and fourth in the country in 2017. She was a member of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 Inter-Ac Championship teams, has been named the team’s Most Improved Player, and is a US Squash Scholar-Athlete honoree. Grace is a class representative for the Athletic Association and earned Honors for her academic work as a sophomore and junior. Director of Squash Fabio Cechin noted that, “On court Grace is skilled, has a strong competitive spirit and great sportsmanship. This contributed to her success at Agnes Irwin. She has been a critical part of a great era for the Irwin’s squash program and has inspired the next wave of players here. She always gives 100% on court and makes everyone watching her so proud.”

Jordan Healy has committed to the application process at Dartmouth College to play lacrosse. She is a three-year Varsity Lacrosse player and a two-year Varsity Field Hockey player, playing goalkeeper for both sports. She is a Varsity Lacrosse captain, and has served on the Agnes Irwin Arts Council for two years. A stellar student, Jordan has twice been named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School National Academic Squad and is a four-year participant on the Robotics team. She is planning next year to attend The Hotchkiss School for a post-graduate year. “Jordan is a selfless leader,” said Varsity Lacrosse Coach Lauren Wray. “Her willingness to always put the team’s needs before her own makes her a tremendous role model for our younger student-athletes. Jordan has a quiet determination. Setbacks don’t deter her, they make her stronger and work harder. She is a student-athlete of tremendous character and she has put in countless hours of extra practice to become the best goalie she can be.”

Ruthie Njagi will play tennis at Swarthmore College this fall. Ruthie is a five-time Varsity Tennis player and has held the designation as Varsity Singles #1 for the past four seasons. She has been named All Inter-Ac and All Main Line, and has won the Agnes Irwin Coaches Award and Most Improved Player Award. As a student, Ruthie was selected to attend the 2020 National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity Leadership Conference, is a member of Black Student Union and PALS tutoring club, and is a four-year class representative of the Athletic Association. She has earned Honors and High Honors and has participated in the University of Pennsylvania Social Innovators program. Varsity Tennis Coach Suzanne Olson remarked that, “It’s been truly gratifying to watch Ruthie over the past few years grow as an athlete and mature into a well rounded young adult. Tennis is a sport that takes years to perfect. Ruthie has put in the hard work, determination, and mental toughness to compete in the upper levels of this multi skilled sport. She is a trusted teammate, total team player and a captain in her senior year. She led our team by setting a positive example, and was always willing to help and support fellow teammates with their skills and growth.”

These four student-athletes are among nine Agnes Irwin seniors who have verbally committed to the admissions process and continuing their sports in college as of April 16, representing 13% of the senior class.

The students are:

  • Brynn Ammerman — The Ohio State University — Lacrosse
  • Kelly Cooper — Middlebury College — Field Hockey
  • Paige Crowther — University of Oregon — Lacrosse
  • Aren Dardarian — Drexel University — Field Hockey
  • Grace Flaherty — Bates College — Squash
  • Alyssa Hardin — Marshall University — Soccer 
  • ordan Healy — Dartmouth College — Lacrosse
  • Avery McMullin — Queens University of Charlotte — Lacrosse
  • Ruthie Njagi — Swarthmore College — Tennis

 

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