Ahead of visiting Westminster School by one goal at halftime, Greenwich Academy’s lacrosse team methodically built its lead in the second half and as the game’s final minutes approached GA was cruising toward another efficient win to start the season.
Limiting visiting Westminster to just one second-half goal, while effectively running its offense, Greenwich Academy improved its record to 3-0 with a solid 9-4 victory in an early-season NEPSAC matchup on Monday.
“It was a good effort, we were excited to get some different combinations in there,” Greenwich Academy co-head coach Halley Quillinan Griggs said. “It’s our hope to run two consistent midfield lines and we were able to do that for most of the game.”
Senior attack Mimi Novak registered two goals and two assists, junior attack Dylan Casazza recorded two goals and one assist and junior midfielder Amelia Lewis tallied twice for the Gators (3-0).
“The second half was super fun, there were huge defensive stops for everyone,” GA senior goalie/tri-captain Rebecca Arpano said. “They only scored one goal, so that was awesome. We had a lot of new faces in, which was great and it was awesome all-around.”
Arpano started the game in goal and played the first half for the Gators, making five saves. Freshman Lily Lyons was GA’s goalie in the second half and she stopped two Westminster shots.
Senior midfielder/tri-captain Ellie Burdick, Casazza, Novak and senior defender Sienna Tejpaul scored one goal apiece in the first half, which ended with Greenwich Academy leading, 4-3, against a tough Westminster squad.
Burdick had one goal and one assist for the Gators, who won their first two games of the season at the Spring Fling tournament in Alexandria, Virginia, recently.
“I’m super proud of everyone, the defense played great,” GA senior defender/tri-captain Ellie Johnson said. “I think we’ve had a really strong start. The team chemistry is unmatched.”
Sophomore attack Katie Barr’s goal gave Greenwich Academy a 5-3 edge on Westminster with 22:24 remaining in the second half. Barr’s tally came off a free position shot.
Lewis scored off a pass from behind the net, making it 6-3 at the 16:24 mark of the second half. Westminster closed to within 6-4 by tallying with 14:30 left in the second stanza.
Lewis stretched GA’s advantage to 7-4, converting a shot with 12:34 left to play, then Casazza scored off a dodge, putting the home team on top, 8-4 at the 11:38 mark of the second half.
“We played really well, we settled the ball when we needed to, but when we saw the fastbreak we took it, which was good,” Lewis said.
Novak spun away from a Westminster defender on her way to converting a shot from close range with 8:23 left to play. At the 1:39 mark, freshman midfielder Maggie Whidden scored her first career varsity goal, sealing the triumph for the Gators.
“They were tough, they were really tough in the first half, but we pulled through in the second,” Lewis said. “The season is going great so far, we played really well in Virginia and won both games. This game was great, our freshman Maggie got her first goal and that was nice to see.”
Johnson had four draw controls, while Burdick posted two draw controls for the victors. Junior defender Brooke Bertrand caused three Westminster turnovers, while Burdick also caused three turnovers and Lewis and senior defender Katie Haffenreffer forced two apiece.
“We practiced a few defensive sets, we were really proud of our ride today,” GA co-head coach Katie Johnson said. “We wanted to put pressure on the ball, which is one of the hallmarks of what we try to do.”
Greenwich Academy has several challenging road games coming up on its schedule. GA visits Ridgefield tomorrow (April 12), then travels to The Hill School in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
They will visit Wilton on April 21, then play longtime rival Sacred Heart Greenwich at Sacred Heart on April 26. The Gators will also compete in the Gains for Brains Tournament at Cold Spring Harbor High School on Long Island and will play West Babylon on April 29.
Their next home game is May 2 against School of the Holy Child.
“The team chemistry is unmatched,” Ellie Johnson said. “Everyone is having a great time and the end result is we’re playing as best as we’ve every played. We have different threats on either side of the field.”
Categories: Greenwich Academy, Spring sports
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