Controlling possession throughout, Greenwich Academy’s field hockey team generated 20 shots on goal and earned 10 penalty corners, all of which resulted in the outcome it was hoping for when Choate Rosemary Hall came to town on Wednesday.
Sienna Tejpaul enabled it to be a happy day for GA, scoring four goals to power the home team to a decisive 5-0 victory over Choate Rosemary Hall in an early-season NEPSAC matchup.
With their second straight shutout win, the Gators upped their record to 2-0. After being edged by The Hill School from Pennsylvania, 2-0, in its season-opener, GA defeated Greenwich Country Day School, 2-0, before facing Choate Rosemary Hall Wednesday afternoon.
Devan Grills tallied one goal and one assist, while Caroline Busler recorded four assists for the Gators, who held a 3-0 halftime lead on the way to the triumph.
“We’re trying to focus on starting off strong and playing our game from the beginning with a sense of urgency,” Greenwich Academy coach Jamie Brower said. “I think they did that well today. The first half we got in their circle very quickly. The second half we started off with a very quick goal, which is nice to see.”
Tejpaul, a senior tri-captain, helped GA start the game strong, posting the game’s first goal with 9:58 remaining in the opening quarter off an assist from Busler.
“The first one was a squirmish in front of the goal,” Tejpaul said. “That was kind of a big part of our game today. We played the rebounds well and we had a big circle around the goal and everyone was getting touches on the ball.”
Tejpaul’s second tally came at the 11:43 mark of the second quarter, giving GA a 2-0 advantage. Lavinia Cartellieri nicely set up Tejpaul for the goal.
“It was a nice pass from Lavinia, she crossed it and I one touched it in,” Tejpaul said. “A lot of our goals were assisted, which is great to see, it means everyone is working together.”
With 8:51 remaining in the second stanza, Tejpaul struck again, this time scoring off a cross ball from Busler.
“It was nice to see the team play some pretty hockey,” Brower said. “Each of the goals was a little bit different. She executed on corners, she dove and put in Busler’s cross ball – she really had a great game and that forward line is a lot of fun to watch.”
Tejpaul’s fourth goal again came off a Busler assist, this one occurring 17 seconds into the final quarter, putting GA on top, 4-0. Grills capped Greenwich Academy’s scoring, converting a shot from close in off a feed from Busler. Gigi Caldero added one assist in the winning effort. Senior Ellie Volpe earned the shutout win in goal for the Gators, making two saves. The victors received impressive defensive play throughout.
Senior defender/tri-captain Ellie Johnson has been pleased with how the team has played through the first three games of the season.
“I’m so excited about how the team is playing,” Johnson said. We’re working so well together. We’re passing the ball, we have a great team bond, so that really helps. I think there’s a really positive, great, teamwork atmosphere.”
Wednesdays’ game against Choate illustrated how effective GA can be when they play in unison.
“We connected throughout the three levels of the field,” Johnson said “From the backs, to the middies to the forwards. Everyone had their head up communicating and talking to each other and it was very fast-paced.”
Laetitia Cartellieri, a senior midfielder/tri-captain, shared the same sentiment.
“We’ve played really well as a team,” Cartellieri said. “We’ve created a great atmosphere and bond between all of the players. Our connection has been great. A huge part of the game is passing and distributing and finding open spaces and I think we’ve been doing that really well. Everyone played their part, everyone stepped up. It was fun to watch.”
Greenwich Academy will travel to Pennsylvania Friday to compete in the MAX Field Hockey National High School Invitational. They will face West Essex Regional from New Jersey on Friday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, they are scheduled to play Crestwood, Pa., at 11 a.m.
“We’re really excited about that tournament,” Johnson said. “We’re going to play teams that we’ve never heard of before and not familiar with.”