There was certainly plenty of athletic talent inside Sacred Heart Greenwich’s gymnasium Wednesday night, as a group of college-bound athletes happily gathered for the school’s special Commitment Night ceremony.
The ceremony exhibited the number of sports programs Sacred Heart has, athletes from numerous sports were recognized for their commitment to continuing their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Sacred Heart’s talented athletic group, consisting of seniors, included, in alphabetical order: Isabella Adams, Erin Griffin, Lauren Guiriceo, Kate Hong, Justine Hounsell, Chelsea Hyland, Elizabeth Kaseta, Caroline Nemec, Franny O’Brien and Annie O’Connor.
In alphabetical order, here’s a look at the Tigers’ college-bound athletes, many of whom will compete at the Division I level.
Isabella Adams: Adams will further her water polo career at Iona College.
“I’m super excited, the program has grown a lot,” Adams said her soon-to-be Iona team. “The girls are super nice and the coach is great, he’s been coaching at Iona for 20-something years. So I’m really excited to get new coaches and a new experience.”
Her athletic resume at Sacred Heart includes : 12th grade: varsity diving captain and varsity water polo captain. 11th grade: varsity diving, varsity water polo – Most Improved Award (water polo). 10th grade: diving, varsity water polo
9th grade: diving, water polo.
“My sister was one of the founders of the program, who started it and I’m happy to be the first committed athlete to come out of the program,” Adams said of Sacred Heart’s water polo program. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the program grows in the coming years.”
Erin Griffin: Griffin, who could not attend Wednesday night’s ceremony, will play field hockey at the College of William & Mary. One of the captains of the Tigers’ field hockey team this past fall, Griffin helped key the squad to the FAA Tournament and regular season titles and a berth in the NEPSAC Class A Tournament’s championship game.
Her athletic resume at SHG included: Grade 12: varsity A field hockey captain, member of Varsity A field hockey FAA tournament championship team, member of varsity A field hockey WNEPSFHA Class A champions and Varsity A field
hockey FAA regular season champions and the runner-up in the NEPSAC Class A Championships. She received the team’s Honor Heart Hustle Award for field hockey.
Grade 11: varsity A field hockey, varsity A lacrosse, varsity Lacrosse FAA Regular Season
Champions. 10th Grade: varsity A field hockey, varsity A lacrosse. 9th Grade: JV field hockey, JV lacrosse, Most Improved Award (Field Hockey).
“Erin’s enthusiasm, passion and dedication for field hockey has inspired her teammates to strive to be their best and work hard,” Sacred Heart coaches Alex Gheorghe and Sarah Hill said. “Erin and Carolines leadership as our captains, led our team to tremendous success this season. Those very same attributes will be an asset to her college team.”
Lauren Guiriceo: Lauren is heading to Middlebury College, where she will join the school’s lacrosse team.
“I found a school that will push me in the classroom and on the field, so I’m really excited for this next chapter,” said Guiriceo, who will serve as one of Sacred Heart’s lacrosse captains during her final season with the team this spring.
“It’s been really great playing under such great players my three years here,” Guiriceo said. “Stepping into a new role as a leader on the team will be a new challenge and I’m really excited to hopefully, embody similar characteristics that previous captains had and set the same standards for the younger girls to follow.”
Guiriceo’s athletic accomplishments at Sacred Heart include: 12th grade: varsity soccer (captain), varsity lacrosse (captain), Most Valuable Player Award. (Soccer), FAA 1st Team All-League (Soccer). 11th grade: varsity soccer, varsity A lacrosse, varsity lacrosse FAA regular season champions. Most Valuable Player Award (Soccer), Honor Heart Hustle Award (Lacrosse), All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention (Lacrosse).
10th grade: varsity soccer, varsity A lacrosse, Most Improved Award (Soccer), FAA All-League 2nd team (Soccer and Lacrosse). 9th grade: varsity soccer, varsity lacrosse, varsity soccer FAA regular season champions.
Justine Hounsell: The next chapter for Hounsell is Cornell University, where she will compete for the school’s Division I track and field team.
“I’m really excited to compete at such a high level and to run at Cornell’s facilities,” said Hounsell, who sees herself competing in the 400 and 200-meter events at Cornell and possibly some relay races.
She has been a standout performer at Sacred Heart for several seasons.
“Freshman year is when I started running at Sacred Heart and I realized how much I loved running and became more competitive in it,” Hounsell said. “It is really special at Sacred Heart, because everyone is cheering you on and supporting you.”
Here’s Housell’s athletic achievements at Sacred Heart: 12th grade: varsity soccer.
11th grade: varsity soccer, varsity track and field, All-League Track and Field for 200-meters , 400-meters and 4 x100-meter relay, Most Valuable Player Award (Track & Field)
10th grade: JV Soccer, varsity track and field. 9th grade: JV soccer, varsity track and field, All-League Track & Field, Track & Field FAA Champions, Most Improved Award (Track & Field).
“I am happy I went there (Cornell), I got to meet the team and they are all really nice and their facilities are all really beautiful,” Hounsell said.
Kate Hong: Up next for Kate Hong’s golf career is a spot on the College of the Holy Cross women’s team.
“I’ve been playing golf for about seven years competitively and I’ve been working on it for a while and it’s been really exciting,” Hong said. “It’s been a goal for me since I was little to play in college. To finally have it official is great.”
Hong, who has played on Sacred Heart’s varsity golf team since her freshman year, has honed her skills over the years at her home course – Greenwich Country Club.
“I have a coach there – Beverly Davis – she’s amazing I could not do it without her. She has been my swing coach since I was little, which is amazing. It’s great to have her for all these years.”
Indeed, Hong has cherished her Sacred Heart days.
“I love Sacred Heart, I’ve bene here since sixth grade I have had an amazing time,” Hong said. “I could not do it without them. The academics as well as athletics gave me a chance to play competitively in the FAA and the NEPSAC.”
Hong’s athletic resume: 12th grade: varsity basketball (manager), varsity golf (captain).
11th grade: varsity basketball, varsity golf, FAA All-League Honorable Mention (golf)
10th grade: varsity basketball, golf. 9th grade: JV soccer, JV basketball, varsity golf, Most Improved Player (basketball).
Chelsea Hyland: Chelsea is ready to begin her athletic career at Washington and Lee, where she will soon join the school’s woman’s soccer team.
“I’m very excited,” Hyland said. “I met a lot of people at the school and they’re all amazing and I’m really excited about playing at a higher level.”
Hyland feels well-prepared to compete at the next level, following the valuable seasons she’s spent at Sacred Heart.
“The coaching here is amazing, these are some of the best coaches I’ve had in my 15 years of soccer and I wouldn’t be here without them,” she said. “They have taught me everything that I know.”
Here’s a look at Hyland’s athletic resume at Sacred Heart: 12th grade: varsity soccer (captain), track and field (captain), Honor Heart Hustle Award for Soccer. 11th grade varsity soccer, track and field, Most Improved Award for Soccer 10th Grade: varsity soccer, track and field. 9th grade: varsity soccer, varsity track and field, all-League for track and field.
Elizabeth Kaseta: Kaseta is looking forward to joining the crew team at Bucknell University. She competed on the rowing team at Sacred Heart her freshman year and for the past several seasons has been a part of RowAmerica in Rye, N.Y.
“We train six days a week for two-and-a-half hours, sometimes three and I’ve grown to love the sport through intense training,” Kaseta said. “Crew is such a team-oriented sport and it shows how determined how you have to be if you want to have success.”
Kaseta credits rowing for keeping her focused.
“I find that the sport grounds me,” she said. “If I’m having a tough day, rowing will always be there and the girls on the team make it so much fun and it makes me so happy my No. 1 choice I’m so happy to be going to Bucknell, so I’m so excited.”
Kaseta rowed the fall and spring seasons as a freshman at Sacred Heart.
Caroline Nemec: Nemec made Sacred Heart’s varsity field hockey team as an eighth-grader and helped take the program to the next level. She was a dynamic playmaker and scorer for the Tigers, who captured the NEPSAC Class A championship in 2019, made it to the tournament’s title game this past season and won the FAA Tournament this past fall.
“It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to play in college, it’s been a long time coming,” Nemec said. “To finally just finish up and head out will be really good. I’ve had a lot of memories over five years on the team and There are a lot of people I’m going to miss. It was nice to finish it out with such a great season.”
“A lot of things will be missed,” Nemec continued. “The girls on the team were so great to be around and everyone there was so much fun. Definitely being able to end on a high note with such a great season really brought a great end to the whole year.”
Nemec’s athletic resume at Sacred Heart includes: 12th grade: varsity A field hockey (captain), FAA All-League 1st team, New England Prep School All-Stars, All-NEPSAC, All-American, Most Improved Player Award. 11th grade: varsity A field hockey, NFHCA Award. 10th grade: varsity A field Hockey, FAA All-League 1st Team, Most Valuable Player Award, Western New England All-Star, NEPSAC All-Star, All-Region, All-American 2nd Team All-NEPSAC. 9th grade: varsity field hockey, FAA All-League, Western New England All-Star, New England All-Star.
“She literally brought the program to the next level,” Sacred Heart field hockey coach Alex Gheorghe said of Nemec. “In five years, each year she progressed and we believe that this year she did everything for the team, which helped us win the FAA title. Caroline is truly dedicated and an amazing player and we’ll miss her a lot for many, many generations.”
Francoise “Franny” O’Brien: After starring on Sacred Heart’s lacrosse field, O’Brien will take her skills to Notre Dame. She learned plenty while playing lacrosse for the Tigers.
“Since freshman year, I’ve had a lot of role models to look up to here at Sacred Heart,” O’Brien said. “It’s been a legacy of success with the Sacred Heart lacrosse program and that really contributed to my confidence, making the varsity team as a freshman and having all these great players to inspire me.”
“Not only did we have great success on the field, we had success with character,” O’Brien continued. “We love each other and we really look after each other and there are always people and friends to find on and off the field. I’m hoping to come out with a blast and finish with a blast this spring. I can’t wait to do it with my best friends.”
O’Brien’s athletic accomplishments for the Tigers include: 12th grade varsity soccer, varsity basketball (captain). 11th grade: varsity soccer, varsity basketball, varsity A lacrosse, All-League lacrosse, varsity lacrosse FAA regular season champions, All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention (Lacrosse), Most Improved Award (Basketball). 10th grade: JV soccer, varsity basketball, varsity A lacrosse, Most Valuable Player Award (Soccer)
9th grade: JV soccer, varsity basketball, varsity lacrosse. Varsity lacrosse FAA regular season champions, varsity lacrosse FAA Tournament champions.
Annie O’Connor: Also a lacrosse standout, O’Connor will take her talents to Brown University.
“I’m happy to get the opportunity to play at Brown,” O’Connor said. “I’m so grateful to my coaches and teammates for everything they have done to get me to this point. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing support system that’s gotten me here.”
O’Connor will of course, leave the Tigers’ program with fond memories.
“Some of our highlights have been winning the FAA Tournament,” O’Connor said. “The relationships I’ve formed with my teammates and the different coaches and mentors I’ve come in contact with have also been great highlights.”
As for playing at Brown: “I’m very excited to play at Brown, the coach is amazing, the team is amazing and I’m very lucky to get the opportunity to play the sport at the next level.”
O’Connor’s athletic resume at Sacred Heart: 12th grade: varsity squash (captain). 11th grade: squash, varsity A lacrosse. 10th grade: varsity A squash, varsity A lacrosse
9th grade: varsity squash, varsity lacrosse, FAA Honorable Mention (squash).
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