The seniors of Greenwich Academy’s 2021 Varsity A lacrosse team graduated last month, but Wednesday, they were happily back in action with their alma mater.
Greenwich Academy is one of 39 teams competing in the Girls High School Lacrosse National Championship – an invitational tournament held at Farmington Sports Arena, featuring some of the premier squads in the nation.
“I think it’s a great way for us, which as a program ends earlier than the public schools, to get back out here and play,” said GA 2021 graduate Alessia Packard, who is headed to Cornell, where she will play lacrosse. “It’s a lot different from summer club lacrosse, because we already have that chemistry from playing together the whole spring. This is a great way to build the program and build the chemistry.”
GA played two games Wednesday, cruising to a 13-1 win over Lake Oswego from Oregon in its opener, then dropping a 10-4 decision to Penn Charter School. Greenwich Academy plays twice more Thursday, with its first game coming against New Canaan at 8 a.m.
Each team is guaranteed to play four games, with the bracket winners advancing to single-elimination competition. One team will be awarded the National High School Champion on the final day of action.
“I think that this tournament is awesome and I’m really happy that Greenwich Academy is included,” said GA 2021 graduate/midfielder Margaret Maruszewski, who led the Gators in scoring this past spring. “Our program has grown so much over the last 10 years or so and I’m happy to be competing against all the best teams in the country here.”
Maruszewski, a dynamic playmaker, earned 2021 All-America accolades by USA Lacrosse. She helped spark GA’s decisive victory against Lake Oswego in its first game on a hot Wednesday morning.
“The first game was great,” Maruszewski said. “We worked together really well. It’s hard coming off not playing together for a while. Our season ended early May and a lot of these teams played together into June, so it’s really hard to come together. We had a few practices, but not everyone could be there. I thought our team started strong really and worked together really well the first game. Everything came together and I was really happy with the outcome.”
In the team’s second game against Penn Charter, Maruszewski, Ava Butz, a rising senior, Dylan Casazza and Maddie Holden, a rising senior, each notched goals.
“The first game we came out really strong, went 100 percent the whole time and played like it was 0-0 and really connected,” Packard said. “In the second game, we got beat to the 50/50 balls, which hurt us. But I think overall we had a strong team effort and we are ready to come out and play New Canaan.”
Said Maruszewski: “It was running time, so we didn’t have a lot of time to come back. It was really fun to play against another top team in the country and play against someone who we matched up close with earlier in the season.”
Besides playing New Canaan at 8 a.m. Thursday, Greenwich Academy will face Dexter Southfield from Massachusetts at 10 a.m.
“We had an overtime game with New Canaan earlier this year (a GA loss) so it will be a great game,” GA co-head coach Katie Johnson said. “We tried a few defenses today and the fact that we were able to reveal what those were will help us tomorrow.”