Sacred Heart Greenwich

Sacred Heart lacrosse team ends season by defeating visiting Rye Country Day

Photo by David Fierro: The Sacred Heart Greenwich lacrosse team’s seniors played their final regular season game for their school on Saturday, May 22, 2021, at Sacred Heart in Greenwich. The Tigers will compete in a national tournament in June.

Sacred Heart Greenwich’s lacrosse team ended its season Saturday the same way it began it last month – with a very decisive victory.

Scoring 11 first-half goals, thanks to precise passing and excellent teamwork, Sacred Heart was determined to cap its season in style, which of course, it did.

Eleven players registered goals for the Tigers, who coasted to an impressive 15-0 win over visiting FAA foe Rye Country Day School in their regular season finale. The Tigers will still hold about two practices per week in preparation for the Girls High School Lacrosse National Championship, which takes place June 28-July 2 in Farmington.

The game was the final matchup at Sacred Heart for its group of seven seniors, including captains Hannah Dempsey, Rachel Keefe and Grace Lillis.

“It was an amazing season,” said Keefe, the Tigers’ starting goalie for several seasons. Even though we had some COVID restrictions, it was so awesome to play and we came together so well and fought so hard in all of our games. It was a great way to end my Sacred Heart career.”

Keefe, who will play lacrosse at the University of Chicago next season, is looking forward to the Girls High School Lacrosse National Championship.

“We have such great competition lined up,” Keefe said. “We are going to be training and have some practices throughout the summer, so we have so much to look forward to. It will be a great way to truly cap off our season.”

Photo by David Fierro: The Sacred Heart Greenwich lacrosse team rolled past Rye Country Day School, 15-0, on May 22, 2021.

In Saturday’s convincing win over RCDS, Sacred Heart received three goals from senior attack Mia Cesare, two goals from Dylan Drury, two goals and one assist from junior Franny O’Brien and one goal and three assists from senior Fiona Lewis.

Also pacing the Tigers offensively were: Lillis, a midfielder, (one goal, two assists), freshman Kaitlin Robinson (one goal, one assist), freshman Payton Sfreddo (one goal, one assist), Dempsey (one goal), freshman Caroline Fouts (freshman, one goal), Grace Heffernan (sophomore, one goal), Abby Barnett (junior, one goal), Wowie Walker (one goal), sophomore Karina Sethi (two assists) and Skylar Stewart (one assist).

Cesare scored all three of her goals in the first half, while Drury tallied twice in the opening half to pace the victors, who led 11-0 after 25 minutes of action. Dempsey, who will play lacrosse at Bucknell next season, reflected on her role as one of the team’s captains.

“It was awesome having that leadership role and having such amazing underclassmen and amazing coaches and role models,” Dempsey said. “We emphasized having fun in a year of unknown. I will definitely be coming back next year whenever I can to watch games.”

She also is looking forward to seeing how the team fares at next month’s national tournament.

“It’s going to be awesome to play all the public schools and play other schools in the area that we usually wouldn’t play,” Dempsey said. “It’s going to be super fun.”

Photo by David Fierro: Sacred Heart Greenwich’s lacrosse team gathers after their 15-0 victory over Rye Country Day School.

Sfreddo opened the second-half scoring against Rye Country Day, tallying early in the half. Drury put a low shot past the Wildcats’ goalie at the 14:58 mark, making it 13-0. Robinson added a second-half goal for the Tigers. In goal Keefe made three saves, while sophomore Laura O’Connor had four in the winning effort.

“This game was a culmination of all the work we put in,” said Lillis, who will continue her lacrosse career at the University of Pennsylvania next year. “We were able to get everyone in and I thought everyone played great. Everyone came out playing strong from the beginning and we were working really well on our fastbreaks and finding the open girl for the extra pass.”

Indeed, Lillis enjoyed the responsibilities she had as one of the squad’s captains.

“Being a captain this year, I felt really lucky this year to compete with such a great group of girls,” Lillis said. “It was such an honor to lead them and I feel like it was a difficult year, because of COVID. But a really big thing we emphasized was being positive no matter what and playing 100 percent all the time, because we didn’t know how many games we were going to play.”

Photo by David Fierro: Sacred Heart topped Rye Country Day School in FAA lacrosse action on May 22, 2021.

Freshman Maggie Bacigalupo gathered two ground balls, junior Lauren Drummey got a pair of ground balls and senior Ella Drummey helped pace the defense for Sacred Heart. Dempsey had three draw controls and four ground balls in the winning effort.

With the win, Sacred Heart ended the season with three straight victories and a record of 9-4. Assistant coach Emily Meier led the team Saturday, as head coach Alyston Costigan attended a family wedding.

“It was a great season, we were lucky enough to even be able to play and get our there, so the opportunity to have competition and get some competitive games in was huge for us,” Meier said. “Our seniors led our team into the season. Our senior captains were awesome teammates, awesome leaders and really propelled us into our successful season.”

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