Greenwich Academy

Greenwich Academy steadily improving while facing ultra-competitive NEPSAC ice hockey opponents throughout the season

Greenwich Academy’s Kate Hall controls the puck in the offensive zone for the team during its game against Lawrenceville School on January 25, 2023 at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford.

The formidable foes keep coming at the Greenwich Academy ice hockey team each game, but GA never backs down or gives in.

Yesterday was an example of the determination Greenwich Academy consistently displays on the ice. Facing a four-goal deficit against a powerhouse Lawrenceville team after two periods, the Gators set out to win the third period and they did, scoring the lone third period goal.

It has been a season of improvement and development for Greenwich Academy, which has nine underclassmen on its roster and a good amount of upperclassmen providing all-important leadership and production. 

Junior forward Peyton Williams registered a goal for Greenwich Academy in its 4-1 loss to visiting Lawrenceville School in a game held at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford.

Lawrenceville, an experienced team with a lot of depth, scored three goals in the first period, then added a second period tally to take a 4-0 lead into the third period.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich Academy sophomore Caroline Watts gets ready to receive a pass in the offensive zone against Lawrenceville School, which posted a 4-1 win over GA. The game was held at Chelsea Piers Connecticut.

“We were a little flat footed at first,” GA coach Erin Brawley said. “They came out and they scored right away and I think that got us in our heels, which wasn’t our best start to a game this season. But to our girls’ credit, they battled. I told them, we got better each period.”

Trailing 4-0, the Gators lit the scoreboard at the 8:23 mark of the third period. Controlling the puck off a pass from senior Ella Zea, sophomore Ella Loehnis snapped a shot on goal from the left wing and Williams knocked in the rebound for the Gators’ goal.

“I challenged the team in the locker room going into the third, I said, ‘win this period,’ and we came out flying,” Brawley said. “We came out the way we normally play and we were able to put the puck in the back of the net.”

GA Senior captain/goalie Liana Seeley made more than 30 saves against Lawrenceville, which put her to the test each period. 

“The first period we were adjusting to the speed of the team and I’m proud with the way we came out in the third period,” Seeley said. “We love coming into these games, we love playing against competitive teams, it tests us. It’s a faster game and it gets our players to a new level much faster.”

Seeley has been a steady, consistent force in goal throughout the season.

Greenwich Academy defender Chloe Cleaves handles the puck during a game against Lawrenceville.

“Liana, our captain, stands tall every game,” Brawley said. “She saves anywhere between 30 and 45 shots a game. We can’t ask anymore than we do if her. She keeps us in everything and we keep fighting for her.”

Greenwich Academy had a chance to close the gap on Lawrenceville more in the third period, going on a 5-on-3 power play, following a pair of penalties by the visitors from New Jersey. 

Yet the score remained 4-1, as the Lawrenceville goalie made several key saves during the latter portion of the period. 

Defenders Kate Hall, an eighth-grader and Chloe Cleaves, a freshman, each registered shots for the Gators during the third period, as did Williams. 

Senior alternate captain Cameron Butz, Hall, senior Rebecca Arpano and Cleaves were among some of the defenders that withstood the pressure Lawrenceville applied in the zone, while senior alternate captain Ellie Volpe and Williams helped pace GA offensively.

Greenwich Academy alternate captain Ellie Volpe (No. 19) gets ready on a faceoff against Lawrenceville from N.J.

“The beginning they were all over us, they’re a fast team and they’re skilled,” Butz said of Lawrenceville. “We had to pick the tempo up and I think we brought the effort up and we worked as a team.”

“What gets us through the game is our goalie, who is phenomenal,” Butz continued. “We show up to every game and we work so hard. It doesn’t matter what the skill level is of the other team is, we grind it out. It’s what we’re about.”

“What gets us through the game is our goalie, who is phenomenal,” Butz continued. “We show up to every game and we work so hard. It doesn’t matter what the skill level is of the other team is, we grind it out. It’s what we’re about.”

Lawrenceville’s first goal came with 16:41 remaining in the first period. Junior Stella Costabile scored off an assist by senior Meghan Montanaro, giving the Big Red a 1-0 lead. With 5:59 left in the opening period, freshman Emma Walling tallied for Lawrenceville, making it 2-0. Costabile’s second goal at the 1:46 mark of the first period put the visitors on top, 3-0.

Greenwich Academy goalie/captain Liana Seeley gets in position to make a save, while her teammates work to clear the puck out of the defensive zone during an ice hockey game against Lawrenceville School on January 25, 2023.

“I thought it was a pretty fun, we played a gritty game,” Volpe said. “They’re a really skilled team, but we hung in there and we had a better result than last year. They have a very good team, but we definitely played awesome.”

GA’s record stands at 4-6-2 with 10 games still remaining on its schedule – a lot of season left indeed.

“Our record doesn’t show our play,” Brawley said. “We are in every game, we play teams to one-goal games and we play tough teams. Lawrenceville is a very good team. For us to hand and as well as we did in the second and third was impressive.”

The Gators are in action again tomorrow with a road game vs. Loomis Chaffee School.

Greenwich Academy junior forward Peyton Williams, right, in action vs. Lawrenceville School.

“The season has been really good,” Seeley said. “There’s a lot of young players and a lot of returners and I think we’re molding now as a team getting more chemistry among our lines. We have young defensemen and they’re carrying our defense and offense as well, so it’s been really great so far.” 

Said Volpe: “This is the perfect group. Our underclassmen have been awesome, they work really hard. Our team is super close, so we really couldn’t ask for more. We have had a lot of one-goal games and we hope to end the season with a couple more wins.”

Greenwich Academy goalie/captain Liana Seeley protects the net, while her GA teammates battle for the puck along the boards during a game against NEPSAC opponent Lawrenceville School.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s