Fall sports

Greenwich Academy field hockey team shuts out visiting Hopkins School

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich Academy’s Dylan Casazza, left, looks to move the ball up the field in a field hockey game against Hopkins School at Greenwich Academy on Sept. 29, 2021. Greenwich Academy won, 4-0.

Following a successful appearance at the ultra-competitive Max Field Hockey Invitational Tournament in Pennsylvania last week, the Greenwich Academy field hockey team returned to FAA action on Wednesday and it did so in highly impressive fashion.

Greenwich Academy added another win against an FAA foe to its ledger, as it improved to 3-0 in league play with a decisive 4-0 triumph against visiting Hopkins School.

Juniors Laetitia Cartellieri, Sarina Kusakdinum and Sienna Tejpaul each scored a goal, along with sophomore Gigi Caldero. GA would have posted more goals had it not been for the outstanding play of Hopkins goalie Hannah Ceisler.

“They put pressure on us the whole game, they didn’t stop working, their goalie made some outstanding saves,” GA coach Jamie Brower said. “We got some really good shots off and their goalie came out of nowhere and made some amazing saves.”

The Greenwich Academy field hockey team gathers around coach Jamie Brower after the second quarter of its game against Hopkins School. GA was victorious, 4-0.

The victors took a 2-0 lead into the second quarter on first-quarter goals from Cartellieri and Kusakdinum. In the second quarter host GA padded its lead by converting on a penalty corner. Senior midfielder Cameron Brower, who turned in another strong performance, sent the insert pass to Cartellieri, who then slid the ball to Tejpaul. After receiving the pass, Tejpaul sent a hard drive into the cage, making it 3-0 with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter.

Sophomore Dylan Casazza, who helped pace GA’s stellar midfield play, emphasized the importance of the team gaining an early lead.

“Those first two goals helped us get off on the right foot and our passing was super controlled all over the field,” Casazza said. “The backs played really well and the forwards moved the ball around, so it was a good team win.”

While at the Max Field Hockey Invitational this past weekend, Greenwich Academy played national powerhouses such as Caper Henry Collegiate from Virginia and Kentucky’s Assumption High School. One of the games the Gators won at the tournament was a 2-1 decision against Cape Henry Collegiate.

“It was really great, last week was tough, we had four games in a row,” Casazza said. “But I think it made us stronger, we bonded a lot and we also got to face a team from Kentucky and a team from Virginia Beach that we wouldn’t normally get to face, so it was a great opportunity.”

Greenwich Academy’s Devan Grills, right, looks to gain control of the ball, while Hopkins’ Chiu Yen Vergara also pursues the ball during a field hockey game at Greenwich Academy on Sept. 29, 2021.

Caroline Busler, a sophomore midfielder, was also among some of GA’s players that enabled the team to maintain possession and put pressure on Hopkins.

“From the second quarter on, especially, we moved the ball around well,” Busler said. “We got a lot of touches and we moved the ball a lot in and out, from side to side and that’s something we’ve been trying to work on. Right now, we’re working on our passing and moving the ball around.”

Sophomore Gigi Caldero sealed the scoring for GA, tallying from the right side with 8:19 left in the third quarter. Ceisler made more than a dozen saves in goal for Hopkins.

“It was great to face a good opponent,” said Greenwich Academy junior Ellie Johnson, who helped solidify the squad’s strong defensive effort. “Their goalie played amazing and had a ton of saves and I am so thankful to play on a team with supportive teammates who lift each other up.”

Up next for GA is a road matchup against rival Hotchkiss School on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

“We have a lot of good things coming up for us,” Casazza said. “This win today was a great example of how well we can pass the ball around and play as a team.”

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