Greenwich High

Greenwich High girls lacrosse team celebrates Senior Day by defeating Daniel Hand; Cece Tauber with 5 goals for Cards

Photo by David Fierro: From left to right: Greenwich’s senior captains Cece Tauber, Sophia Neitzell, Keira Young and MK Savio gather following the Cardinals’ 13-8 victory over Daniel Hand at Cardinal Stadium on May 10, 2023.

The 2023 season has been impressive for Greenwich High School’s girls lacrosse team, which has outplayed most of its opponents, especially on its home field at Cardinal Stadium.

The Cardinals have won all but one of their home games this season and they continued that successful trend Wednesday on a special day.

Wednesday marked Senior Day for Greenwich and they celebrated it in winning fashion, registering a well-earned 13-8 victory over visiting non-conference foe Daniel Hand.

With the Senior Day triumph, Greenwich improved its record to 9-3, heading into Monday’s 4 p.m. road matchup against undefeated Darien. Currently, Greenwich is ranked No. 5 in the state in the Class L.

Photo by Maggie Ybarra: Greenwich senior Cece Tauber helped power the offense against Daniel Hand.

Against Daniel Hand, which sports a record of 9-5, senior quad-captain/attack Cece Tauber recorded five goals and three assists to ignite Greenwich’s offense. As the game progressed, Greenwich’s play improved, enabling it to maintain its lead on the way to its ninth victory of the season.

“Obviously, it was a slow start, the first half we had a lot more turnovers than typical,” Tauber said. “But toward the end of the second half, we showed what we’ve been capitalizing off of.”

Junior midfielder Emma Abbazia totaled four goals and three draw controls, while freshman midfielder Giselle DiPietro tallied twice in the winning effort.

Photo by Maggie Ybarra: Cate Adorney of Greenwich moves the ball down the field during a game versus Daniel Hand.

The non-conference matchup gave the Cards the opportunity to pay tribute to their 10 seniors on Senior Day.

“They have been an amazing group,” Greenwich coach Tara Clough said of her seniors. “They are passionate about the game, they love Greenwich High School and they have brought so much to this program and have worked so hard for three years. I am beyond proud of them and excited to head into the tournaments with their energy.”

Sophomore attack Aubrey Roth and junior attack MK Frey scored one goal apiece for the Cardinals, who are 5-1 at Cardinal Stadium this spring.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Ybarra: Emma Abbazia of Greenwich, left, goes after the ball against Daniel Hand.

“It was a great way to celebrate Senior Day,” said senior defender MK Savio, one of the Cards’ captains. “I know we all wanted to win today and celebrate our seniors. This senior group has been playing together for about six years now. We wanted to have a big win and celebrate with each other.”

Savio and senior Kaitlin Kelly helped pace Greenwich’s defense, along with seniors Sophie Roth, Keira Young, Lacey Warwick and Rylan Sepot.

“MK Savio and KT Kelly were key players in our transition game,” Clough noted. “They came up with possessions and were successful in starting our offense.”

Photo by Maggie Ybarra: Greenwich’s Sophia DiPietro in action against Daniel Hand at Cardinal Stadium on May 10, 2023.

Senior goalie Daryl Furno made five saves for Greenwich against Hand, which trailed 8-5 after Abbazia scored off a free position shot just over two minutes into the second half.

Tauber’s goal off a free position shot put GHS ahead, 9-5, at the 20:22 mark. After Hand tallied with 12:56 left to close to within 9-6, Frey converted a shot, giving Greenwich a four-goal advantage with 10:35 left to play.

“We worked very hard on cleaning up our turnovers and we were looking to execute on different zones offensively,” Clough said of the team’s second-half performance.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Ybarra: Greenwich’s Giselle DiPietro looks to pass the ball vs. Daniel Hand.

Abbazia had three draw controls and gathered two groundballs, Roth had two groundballs and caused two turnovers, Aubrey Roth caused two turnovers and Kelly posted three draw controls.

Kelly also had three draw controls and two groundballs for the home team.

“It feels great to win on our Senior Day, because we’ve been playing on this field for so many years so to win it feel great,” said Young, one of the Cardinals’ captains. “I thought we played really well and even though this team isn’t in Class L for states, we showed what we can do outside of our division.”

Said senior midfielder Sophia Neitzell, who has been sidelined most of the season with a back injury: “I’m so happy for everyone, everyone did amazing. I’m really happy a lot of girls got in. We did really well and looked to attack and I’m really excited for our upcoming games.”

A two-year captain, Neitzell will play lacrosse at the United States Naval Academy.

Photo by Maggie Ybarra: MK Frey of Greenwich moves the ball down the field against Daniel Hand.

“I’ve learned more about how to communicate and how that works and I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be a captain of the team,” Neitzell noted.

Greenwich’s 10 seniors include: Frey, Furno, Kelly, Neitzell, Sophie Roth, Kelsey Roth, Savio, Sepot, Warwick and Young.

“I was definitely been doing some crying today during warm-ups,” Cece Tauber said. “This is such a tight-knit group, especially the senior class. Overall, the team culture is like a second family to me. The freshmen are like younger siblings, an extension of my own family. It’s definitely upsetting to have to leave. But I’m very happy for our seniors and the season we’ve had.”

Photo by Maggie Ybarra: Cece Tauber makes a move toward the goal for Greenwich against Daniel Hand.

The FCIAC Tournament is scheduled to begin on May 18 at the higher-seeded teams. If Greenwich gets past its quarterfinal-round matchup, they will play in the FCIAC semifinals at Cardinal Stadium, as the semifinals and finals are scheduled to be held at Greenwich High.

“We are going to be preparing for the next week-and-a-half and hopefully, we’ll make it all the way,” Savio said.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich was victorious on Senior Day against Daniel Hand.

“We’re going to do really well and we’re looking forward to it,” Young said of the upcoming postseason.

One of the aspects that’s sparked the Cardinals is their overall depth.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich’s Emma Abbazia attempts to come up with a loose ball during a matchup vs. Daniel Hand.

“Our freshmen are more than capable of filling some holes and our seniors and upperclassmen are setting the example for them on how the tempo, intensity and pace should be,” Cece Tauber noted.

Photo by David Fierro: Kaitlin Kelly of Greenwich brings the ball down the field during Senior Day for the Cardinals.
Photo by David Fierro: Cece Tauber of Greenwich in pursuit during a lacrosse matchup vs. Daniel Hand.

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