As its first two games of its 2021 season has illustrated, stopping the Sacred Heart Greenwich lacrosse team from lighting the scoreboard is going to be a tough task for the opposition.
One game after scoring 15 goals in their season-opening win against Hopkins School, the Tigers tallied 16 times in their matchup versus St. Luke’s School Saturday, with 12 goals coming during the first half.
Overall, nine players scored goals for Sacred Heart, which improved its record to 2-0 on the young season with a decisive 16-4 triumph over visiting St. Luke’s. Sophomore Kelly Haggerty recorded a hat trick, while junior Dylan Drury, senior Fiona Lewis, freshman Caroline Fouts, senior Hannah Dempsey and junior Franny O’Brien all tallied twice for the Tigers.
“We were really pushing the tempo, we were taking control of the draws and seeing each other up field,” Sacred Heart coach Alyson Costigan said. “We had some strong finishes all-around. I’m super proud of the team, we played a lot of lines, with lot of people going in and out, so we’re doing a really good job of building chemistry.”
Indeed, everyone on Sacred Heart’s roster received significant playing time Saturday.
“The first two games we’ve meshed really well and going forward, we’re going to keep working together and see how everyone plays,” said Dempsey, a senior midfielder/tri-captain.
St. Luke’s received one goal apiece from Sarah Lau, Ryan Weil, Lily Magliacano and Annalise Correia. The Tigers took a 12-1 lead into halftime. Drury opened the scoring, tallying off a dodge 2:04 into the first half. After Dempsey gained the ensuing draw control, Lewis shot low and scored, giving the home team a 2-0 lead at the 22:19 mark. Lewis converted a free position attempt and Dempsey scored in transition off a pass from junior Franny O’Brien, making it 4-0 with 21:31 left in the first half.
Trailing 6-0 later in the half, the Storm scored their first goal when Lau tallied off the draw with 19:06 to go in the opening half. The Tigers responded with six straight goals to close out the half, with Dempsey starting the six-goal run.
“It starts from the first whistle,” Dempsey said. “Going out there with a ton of intensity, knowing that any game could go either way. We’ve been practicing with the same intensity, so that really helps us.”
Senior midfielder/tri-captain Grace Lillis liked the teamwork and production each unit on the field displayed.
“Our offense was awesome at moving the ball really quickly and looking for one another and playing together,” Lillis said. “A lot of our underclassmen were able to get a couple of goals in today, which was really awesome and on defense everyone was all over the ball at all times. That helped us keep possession today.”
Sophomore Mackenzie Coleman registered one goal and two assists, freshman Payton Sfreddo had one goal and one assist and sophomore Karina Sethi added one goal and one assist in the winning effort.
“I thought what was really impressive was our forced turnovers up and down the field,” Tigers junior midfielder Lauren Giuriceo said. “Our aggression was there and we came to win. It feels so good to be back in action. My last time playing was freshman year, so we’ve grown since then and we have so many really talented returners.”
Senior goalie/tri-captain Rachel Keefe made two first-half saves for the Tigers. Teammate Laura O’Connor, a sophomore, stopped four shots in goal in the second half for the victors.
“Our defense did really great,” Keefe said. “What made us super successful was we were taking chances and we were doubling the ball, going for interceptions and being aggressive. Defensively, we are playing for each other and working for each other and on offense, they are doing a great job of going to the goal and taking chances.”