Lighting the scoreboard early and often, it was apparent in the first half that Sacred Heart Greenwich’s lacrosse team was going to keep its unbeaten streak intact today against Loomis Chaffee School.
Efficiently executing its settled offense, thriving in transition and playing lock down defense, the Tigers seized an eight-goal first half lead and didn’t let down in the second half on their way to another convincing win.
Junior Karina Sethi scored a career-high seven goals to spark Sacred Heart past NEPSAC foe Loomis Chaffee, 17-3. The Tigers, who sport a record of 7-0-1, took a commanding 10-2 lead into halftime.
Senior midfielder Franny O’Brien recorded a hat trick, while sophomore Maggie Bacigalupo also had three goals and added one assist in the winning effort.
“We came out strong today, we wanted to get off to a good start,” Sethi said. “We are playing three NEPSAC teams, so I think the energy was really high for today and we played really confident.”
With just two regular season games remaining, Sacred Heart still hasn’t lost. They played Greenwich Academy to a 7-7 tie recently at GA and have beaten their other opponents. The Tigers conclude the season with a road game against Taft School and a home matchup against Hotchkiss School – two formidable foes.
“We’re looking forward to our last two games of the season, which are against Taft and Hotchkiss,” the Notre Dame-bound O’Brien said. “I’m looking forward to these challenging games and I’m looking forward to seeing how with this team we rise to the occasion.”
Junior Kelly Haggerty posted two goals and one assist, Wowie Walker and Ava Lillis added one goal apiece and Dylan Drury and Charley Bacigalupo had one assist for the victors.
“I thought everything we worked on in practice really came to light,” Haggerty said. “Our transitions were amazing, we were moving the ball quickly, while creating opportunities. We were an unselfish team today and it really showed.”
Trailing 3-0, Loomis Chaffee closed to within 3-1 when sophomore Liv Perriello scored with 18:45 remaining in the first half. Then it was all Tigers for the remainder of the opening half.
Lillis tallied in transition at the 17:30 mark, Sethi scored off a dodge with 16:43 remaining, then converted a free position shot, putting the Tigers on top, 6-1.
Haggerty scored off a catch-and-shoot from close in with 12:49 to go in the first half, making it 7-1 and O’Brien found the back of the net with a shot 1:16 later, upping the Tigers’ advantage to 8-1.
“The girls played well, it was a great team effort,” Tigers co-head coach Sharon Robinson said. “Everyone got in, everyone contributed. I was particularly pleased with our midfield between the 30s. We were able to cause some turnovers. The defense again stepped up and played well. They played very well as a unit and are coming up with some really big plays for us.”
That defensive unit Robinson mentioned was paced by senior Annie O’Connor, junior goalie Laura O’Connor (three saves) and senior Lauren Giuriceo.
In the second half, O’Brien started the scoring with a goal off an 8-meter shot, then Seth scored two straight goals and the Tigers cruised from there.
“It was an awesome game, we played a full game, which is awesome to see,” said O’Brien who along with Giuriceo, captains the team. “We worked hard on defense, transition and on offense. We caused a lot of turnovers in our ride, which was really strong today and our defense looked great in our zone and man. Also, our attack executed on our plays, which is awesome to see.”
The Tigers’ previous game saw them pull out a tough 9-8 victory at Penn Charter School in Pennsylvania.
“Coming off of another win Friday against Penn Charter, that definitely carried over into this game,” Sethi said. “I thought we did a really good job of getting the draw, getting it down to X and making opportunities on attack.”
Sacred Heart’s home game against Taft on May 18 is its Senior Day game.
“As the season has gone on, we have gained so much momentum and we are ending the season with two real competitive games,” Haggerty said. “Today, we showed that every single player on our team is a threat and we’re excited to show that in our final games.”