Greenwich High

Greenwich High girls lacrosse team downs Danbury on Senior Day

Photo by Dave Collier: Greenwich High School’s girls lacrosse team seniors gather with the coaches on the team’s Senior Day.

Senior Day was special for the Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team’s seniors even before their game against visiting Danbury was played.

Prior to facing the Hatters, the Cardinals held a pregame ceremony honoring its seniors, setting the stage for a memorable day for the 13 athletes who have displayed a lot of dedication and commitment to the program.

Each senior walked on to the Cardinal Stadium field with their parents during the Senior Day ceremony, while they were greeted by a large group of youngsters from the GYL – a longstanding Cardinals tradition.

“It was such a special day,” said Delaney Roth, one of the Cardinals’ four captains, who will play lacrosse at the College of William and Mary. “The underclassmen did a great job of putting on an awesome Senior Day. We have a big senior class, 13 girls, so it’s more special than ever, just coming out here. Everybody got great time, we were playing for each other. It was a super special day. Ever since your freshman year in this program you anticipate Senior Day.”

Photo by Dave Collier: The Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team’s seniors gather with a lot of GYL players.

Added senior midfielder Grace Collier, also a captain, who is headed to Williams College. “The underclassmen really did a great job today of making it special for us and honoring us. I could tell on the field they were looking for us to score some goals, to make some assists and set up opportunities for us and really making us feel special. I really appreciate them doing that. They did a great job today.”

Indeed, once Tuesday’s game began, the Cardinals showed how inspired a squad they were, rolling to an 18-1 win over Danbury. The victory upped Greenwich’s record to 8-3, heading into Thursday’s road matchup against perennial FCIAC and state powerhouse Darien.

Collier, a midfielder, recorded a hat trick and totaled four draw controls, Delaney Roth tallied twice, junior attack Noey Johnson notched two goals, two assists and four draw controls and freshman midfielder Emma Abbazia had two goals and two draw controls for the Cardinals.

“We have a number of seniors on our team and obviously, it’s been a challenging year for everyone and our seniors have faced some difficult times in the second semester,” Greenwich coach Tara Clough said. “So it was great to have everyone out here healthy, playing the game they love and supporting one another and setting each other up for success. It was nice to have so many supporters, family, fans and friends. The energy was awesome.”

Sophomore midfielder Sophia Neitzell added one goal, dished out five assists and had two draw controls for GHS, which also received a pair of goals from sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Kelly and one goal apiece from junior Kaylie Kitselman, sophomore Cece Tauber, senior attack Marielle Povinelli and midfielder Liv Caminiti.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich junior Noey Johnson passes the ball during the Cardinals lacrosse game vs. Danbury.

Delaney Roth opened the scoring, tallying 1:52 into the first half. Neitzell converted a free position shot at the 21:42 mark and Johnson scored 1:10 later, giving Greenwich a quick 3-0 lead. Collier scored in transition, Johnson tallied off a pass from Kitselman and Collier set Povinelli up for a goal, making it 6-0 5:48 into the first half.

“Today was an awesome game and it showed everyone has the potential to do great things on the field,” Johnson said. “Everyone was so excited for this day and it was an awesome game.”

Abbazia scored shortly after Greenwich won a draw, putting the home team on top, 7-0, and prompting a Hatters’ timeout. Kelly scored on a free position attempt, Collier scored off a feed from Tauber and Kitselman tallied off a spin move, making it 10-0 with 6:12 still remaining in the opening half. Since Greenwich won the majority of the faceoffs, it had a significant possession advantage and Danbury was forced to play defense most of the game.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich defeated Danbury, 18-1, in girls lacrosse action on May 18, 2021, in Greenwich.

Caminiti capped the Cards’ impressive first half with a goal at the 2:01 mark. The Cardinals took an 11-0 lead into halftime, then continued to surge in the second half, as Abbazia and Tauber each tallied early into the half.

Junior Gianna Hackert scored Danbury’s goal in the second half. Greenwich’s 13 seniors include: Collier, Roth, Ellie Ybarra, Povinelli, Kate Van Duyne, Caitlyn Weil, Kylie Faherty, Kathryn O’Donnell, Emiri Fukuchi, Natalia Annibal, Chloe Dalton, Emma Norton and Hailey Hires.

Norton and Hires are also captains.

“It was so fun being on the team since freshman year, this was a very big moment that I’ve been waiting for,” said Norton, who will attend Dickinson College. “It was very bittersweet and it’s really sad and when we do speeches later, we’ll be crying.”

Photo by David Fierro: The Greenwich lacrosse program displayed photos of the team’s 13 seniors.

Senior goalie Daryl Furno recorded two saves in the winning effort. Up next for Greenwich is a game against Darien on Thursday, followed by a matchup against another FCIAC rival, Wilton, on Saturday.

“We have Darien on Thursday, we’re pumped to play them at Darien, it’s a great opportunity to play a top team in the FCIAC,” Clough said. “I know my team will get better coming off that field after playing a team like Darien. Wilton is also a very tough competitor in the FCIAC and they have some very skilled players.”

Said Noey Johnson: “They are definitely tough games, but we totally have a shot. We’ve been working hard and playing our game and going into the tournament we have a clean slate. We’ll be ready to show what we’re capable of.”

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich’s coaches address the team during their game vs. Danbury.

Following their final two regular season games, the Cardinals will begin competition in the FCIAC Tournament and then the Class LL tourney.

“I think our team is quite capable of anything,” Norton said. “Our last two games are against two hard teams, but I think we can totally put up a fight.”

Said Delaney Roth: “When you get to the playoffs, everyone is 0-0, everyone is playing with a clean slate and you’re fighting to keep your season going and we want to be playing on June 12 in that state championship.”

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