Pink was the color of choice for Greenwich Academy’s field hockey team on Saturday against Kent School, as members of coach Jamie Brower’s squad donned pink shirts and socks in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
While Greenwich Academy raised awareness for breast cancer by wearing pink, it also reminded those in attendance that they’re one of the premier NEPSAC field hockey programs.
Behind a two-goal effort by Caroline Busler and an impressive defensive performance, Greenwich Academy recorded a decisive 4-0 victory over Kent School at Tammaro Field in a NEPSAC matchup.
The Gators extended their winning streak to four games with the triumph and posted their third straight shutout win. Besides blanking Kent on Saturday, they held Taft School and St. Luke’s to zero goals in victories and limited Hotchkiss School to one goal in a win over the Bearcats.
GA raised its record to 7-2 overall with the home win – a victory that saw it execute efficiently in the circle and all areas of the field.
“It was a great game, we played nicely together,” Greenwich Academy senior tri-captain/midfielder Laetitia Cartellieri said. “We finished well and I thought it was an overall, good game.”
The game marked the second of back-to-back games for the Gators, who turned back talented Taft, 1-0, in Watertown on Friday.
“I’m really proud of the team, we had a great win yesterday as well and it was nice to be able to see that we can pull it off two days in a row,” Cartellieri noted.
Brower praised the team’s play Saturday and was highly impressed with their performance level in their road win against Taft on Friday.
“We had our work cut out for us,” Brower said of her team’s matchup against Kent. “We couldn’t get a ball in the cage for a while, their goalie played amazing. She made some great saves on some great shots we had. They had some defenders that were impossible to get around, so it really put us in a position where we had to take a look at what we had to adjust. I think the girls adjusted well and it was a solid game for us.”
“Taft is very strong and it was an exciting win,” Brower continued. “They are strong all over the field.”
After a scoreless first period against Kent Saturday, Greenwich Academy tallied the only goal it wound up needing with 10:05 remaining in the second quarter.
Busler found the back of the cage with a shot off from close in off a pass from junior forward/midfielder Lavinia Cartellieri, giving GA a 1-0 lead.
With 2:01 to go in the second quarter, the Gators padded their lead, courtesy of Busler. Her second goal off an assist from Laetitia Cartellieri, putting the home team on top, 2-0.
“Both plays were scrappy balls inside the circle,” Busler said of her goals. “They came off great shots from Sienna and Letty and you have to make sure you get a good touch on it, get it on cage and fight until the ball is in the back of the net.”
A junior Busler has produced a number of key goals and plays for GA so far this fall.
“Her speed, coupled with her constantly improving skills, just makes her such a threat,” Brower said of Busler. “She continues to be very fun to watch.”
GA’s third goal, which occurred with 9:42 remaining in the third quarter, was the result of a penalty corner. Laetitia Cartellieri knocked the ball past Kent’s goalie on the corner. Junior midfielder Gigi Caldero had the assist on the Gators’ third tally of the game.
For the game, Greenwich Academy drew six penalty corners and registered eight shots on goal.
“We strung together some passes today that we haven’t done enough of,” Brower said. “Seeing the passing game continue no matter who was playing where – that’s what I was most proud of what I saw today.”
Junior forward Lindsey Gaynor capped the Gators’ scoring off a scramble in front of the goal with 11:17 left in the fourth quarter, giving GA a comfortable 4-0 advantage.
“We’ve had a really nice streak of wins the last few games and I think we’ve kept our foot on the gas,” said Tejpaul, a senior forward/tri-captain who helped pace GA’s aggressive play. “It’s good to see everyone stay composed and play well together.”
Senior Ellie Volpe earned another shutout win. Volpe also recorded shutouts in recent victories against Taft and St. Luke’s. Greenwich Academy has only allowed on goal over its past four games.
Said senior tri-captain Ellie Johnson, who helped spark GA’s defense: “I’m so proud of our team. Our defense has come so far, especially with some younger kids, it’s so great to be playing this well and the whole team has been clicking and working together.”
Busler added: “We definitely kept the intensity up. That’s what we’ve been trying to work on, staying high energy, high pace all the way through the end even when we’re up like that. I think we’re making a lot of improvements.”
Up next for Greenwich Academy is a home game against FAA foe Rye Country Day School on Thursday, followed by a road matchup against Tabor Academy on Saturday.
“Every game is an opportunity for us to get better as a team,” Johnson said.
“We have a bunch of games next week and our schedule stays packed the remaining weeks of the season, so I’m excited,” Tejpaul noted.