As Wednesday’s field hockey game between Greenwich Academy and Taft School progressed, the scoring opportunities increased and the goals mounted for GA.
That’s usually what happens when each line precisely connects its passes.
Displaying its impressive passing game throughout, Greenwich Academy scored five second-half goals on its way to topping Taft, 6-2, in a home matchup. With their second straight win, the Gators upped their record to 7-3, heading into Tuesday’s road game against FAA foe Rye Country Day School.
“That was fun field hockey to watch,” Greenwich Academy coach Jamie Brower said. “I’m really proud of the girls and the fitness, speed and passing game they played today. It was really well done.”
Junior Laetitia Cartellieri and sophomore Caroline Busler were difficult for Taft to defend. The duo scored two goals apiece for GA, which tallied three times during the third quarter. Sienna Tejpaul, a junior and Brooke Bertrand, also a junior, added one goal apiece for the victors. The home team drew numerous penalty corners and shots on goal, as they showcased their solid ball movement and aggressive play.
“We still could do a better job of executing on corners on both sides of the ball, but between the 25s, I thought it was good,” Brower said. “Between the circles we played great. We did a nice job of being aggressive and getting rebounds.”
Pink was the color of choice in this for Greenwich Academy, which wore pink shirts and pink socks for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game.
“We like to play for the cause of breast cancer, because there’s a lot of people in our community that have been affected by it,” said Greenwich Academy senior tri-captain Elizabeth Dale, who helped pace the team’s strong defensive effort. “It’s really important for us to support the cause and this month is breast cancer awareness month, so it’s important to wear pink.”
Said Brower: “It’s a really special day and the kids get excited to wear the pink jerseys for something that hits a lot of us closer to home than a lot of other things, so it’s good for the girls to play hard for that.”
Following a scoreless first quarter, Greenwich Academy took a 1-0 lead on Taft with 11:52 remaining in the second quarter. Cartellieri rattled the cage with a hard drive, putting GA on top. Taft tallied off a penalty corner with 13:34 to go in the third quarter to even the score at 1-1, but the Gators quickly regained the advantage. At the 12:03 mark of the third quarter, Cartellieri used a reverse shot to lift the ball high into the cage, giving GA the lead for good at 2-1.
Busler tallied off a scramble in front of the goal with 7:05 left in the third quarter, then Tejpaul scored in transition with 2:26 still remaining in the third quarter, giving GA a 4-1 edge.
JP Pittignano, a senior tri-captain/defender, was impressed with several aspects the GA team displayed.
“Our passing is super important, using the transfers and using the sides,” Pittignano said while describing how the squad generated their scoring chances. “When we work together and all hustle, that makes a huge difference. And just being hungry in the circle is key to getting the ball in the back of the net.”
Taft is also in the midst of a solid season, but GA had the momentum for most of the matchup.
“Our passing and keeping possession allowed us get the momentum and continue to score,” Pittignano said.
Busler added her second tally 36 seconds into the fourth quarter and Bertrand had a goal at the 12:09 mark – a goal set up by Cartellieri.
“I really liked the hustle the team had and we were definitely much more hungry in the circle than we usually are,” GA senior midfielder/tri-captain Cameron Brower said. “Our speed definitely comes in handy. We capitalized on our corners more than usual.”
Taft scored its second goal with 10:47 left in the fourth quarter. Junior goalie Ellie Volpe made several saves in goal for Greenwich Academy.
“We moved the ball really well and each person was working hard to get open for each other,” Cameron Brower said.
Added Dale: “Every link did its job. I think we’ve really come together, we’re really close on and off the field, which shows our chemistry. We have good passing and we all work together, which makes a big difference.”
On Monday, GA posted a 6-0 victory against St. Luke’s in an FAA game. Freshman Lavinia Cartellieri recorded a hat trick to power the Gators. Laetitia Cartellieri had a goal, as did sophomore Gigi Caldero and Bertrand in the winning effort.