GREENWICH — Twenty goals scored, none allowed.
Those are the impressive statistics the Greenwich Academy field hockey team has registered through its first four games of the season.
And Monday, the Gators continued their eye-opening pattern, producing the same result they recorded their previous three games — a 5-0 victory.
Tallying twice during the first two minutes of play, Greenwich Academy raised its record to 4-0, posting a 5-0 win over visiting St. Luke’s School in an FAA matchup.
GA has also defeated King School, Choate Rosemary Hall and Berkshire School by scores of 5-0 so far this season.
“Our girls had some goals going in with regards to our passing and corner execution and I think we did really well with that,” Greenwich Academy coach Jamie Brower said. “It’s nice to see the cohesion coming together a little more.”
Senior Manveer Sandhu recorded two goals and one assist for GA, which effectively executed its penalty corners.
“We really wanted to work on our passing and our communication got better throughout the game,” said Sandhu, who along with seniors Karina Schulze, Sofi Viola and Caroline Hughes helped propel the Gators’ aggressive play at the forward and midfield positions. “One thing we wanted to work on was our back-passing and back-passes. Once we started playing calmer on offense we did better.”
Due to the warm, summer-like weather, the first half featured two 15-minute periods and the second half was one 30-minute session, instead of two 30-minute halves of action.
The Storm kept the game close in the first half behind the solid play of junior goalie Emma Cropper. She made eight saves in the first half and seven in the second.
“Greenwich Academy is always a tough team,” St. Luke’s coach Brinley Ehlers said. “Our defense was working overtime and they played really well. I’m really proud of our team, it was a good defensive game from our team.”
Karina Schulze scored the game’s first goal 1:01 into the first period, knocking in a rebound off a shot from Hughes. Sandhu, who was also applying pressure in the circle, was also credited with an assist on the play.
At the 12:38 mark, Karina Schulze set Sandhu up for her first tally, giving the home team a 2-0 advantage. Greenwich Academy possessed the ball on the Storm’s end the majority of the first half, by stepping up to the ball and using short passes.
“The team is off to a really good start this season, we played a lot of good competition and everyone is working really well together,” said GA senior Katie Callaghan, who along with Hailey Stern helped power the team’s stellar midfield play. “We have been working a lot on our passes and we are starting to jell together really well.”
BIG SECOND HALF
GA’s third goal was the result of a penalty corner. Receiving a pass from sophomore Maya Walker, Sandhu drove a shot inside the right post, making it 3-0 with 27:13 to go in the second half. The Schulze sisters accounted for the next goal, with sophomore Grace Schulze tallying on a rebound off a shot from Karina with 18:35 remaining.
With 16:50 still left in the second half, Viola notched a goal, with Karina Schulze and Hughes each credited with assists on the play.
“Going into the season, we really wanted to work on our communication skills, since it was a new season and we have a new team,” Stern said. “Communicating led to us having better control of the game in the second half. We’re just going to get stronger and stronger as the season goes on.
Greenwich Academy outshot St. Luke’s 20-0 and had a 13-0 advantage of penalty corners. Sophia Feldman and Mia Mitchell helped lead St. Luke’s defensive effort.
“St. Luke’s had a lot of good players, who put a lot of pressure on the ball,” Brower said. “It was good to see a lot of different people on our team get involved, with a number of different players playing different roles at the top of the circle. We have some flexibility on our corners.”
GREENWICH ACADEMY 5,
ST. LUKE’S 0
ST. LUKE’S 0 0 0 — 0
GREENWICH ACADEMY 2 0 3 — 5
Records: Greenwich Academy 4-0; St. Luke’s 1-3-2
Goals: GA — Manveer Sandhu 2, Karina Schulze, Grace Schulze, Sofi Viola; Assists: GA — Karina Schulze 4, Caroline Hughes 2, Sandhu; Goalies: SL — Emma Cropper (15 saves); GA — Isabella Santucci (0 saves), Maggie Reville (0 saves).