GREENWICH — With how dominant it’s been since losing to Sacred Heart two weeks ago, the Greenwich Academy lacrosse team may not want its season to end.
Greenwich Academy, which has only two games remaining in its season, is currently playing its best lacrosse — a fact that Hotchkiss School will certainly agree with.
Winning its second straight game by double digits, GA improved its record to 13-1, registering a convincing 18-6 victory over visiting Hotchkiss School — a formidable foe that had four close losses entering Saturday’s matchup.
Junior attack Eliza Bowman turned in another sensational effort, scoring five goals, while sophomore midfielders Paige Lipman and Margaret Maruszewski continued to spark the Gators, as they each recorded hat tricks.
Juniors Taylor Lane and Katie Goldsmith kept their scoring surge going, tallying three and goals and two assists apiece, respectively and junior Grace Schulze added one goal and one assist for GA, which has scored 10 goals or more in all but one of their games this spring.
Overall, it was a perfect Senior Day for GA.
“Hotchkiss is always a tough team to beat every year,” said Lane, a midfielder/co-captain. “They’ve brought the heat, whether it’s a home or away game, so we were really happy with our win on our home field this year. Especially celebrating Senior Day with our captain, our sole senior, Leila Schneider, who played great on our defense today.”
As she has done all season, Schneider provided sound defensive play along with junior Binney Huffman, sophomore Alessia Packard and sophomore Lila Murray on the back line.
“They are a very quick team, so we had to make sure we were ready on the slides and work as a unit,” said Schneider, a four-year varsity player. “We had to be very communicative, because they move the ball fast. So we had to be sure we were there for each other and keep our communication up.”
Junior midfielder Ellie Traggio and senior attack Gianna Bruno each tallied twice for the Bearcats (7-5), who trailed 13-3 at halftime.
“It was really nice to see our team put it together today,” GA coach Melissa Anderson said. “The way we played helped make a game more lopsided than it would have been, because Hotchkiss is a very good team.”
Added GA assistant coach Katie Johnson: “The score didn’t reflect the overall feel of the game. Our team played really smart,
they faked on a lot of shots, they moved the ball well, they read the defense and were able to work around it. We only had six turnovers, which is the lowest total of our season.”
Maruszewski began the scoring, tallying off a spin move 43 seconds into the game. Bowman snapped a shot past Hotchkiss goalie Jillian Kane at the 22:38 mark, making it 2-0.
Senior midfielder Elizabeth DeSouza’s goal off a pass from behind cut the Gators’ edge to 2-1 4:53 into the opening half. The home team built its lead with Lane scoring off a feed from Schulze and Schulze converting a shot after catching a Goldsmith pass.
After Schulze caused a turnover, Lipman tallied after receiving an on-target pass from junior midfielder Tessa Brooks, making it 5-1 with 17:12 left in the first half. Maruszewski made a free position attempt and after Abigail Hillebrecht scored a man-up goal, GA went on a 7-1 run, to seize a commanding 13-3 lead.
Bowman scored three times during the surge, while Lipman added a pair of tallies.
“That was really important to start strong,” Lane said. “Even in the second half, we tried to start like the game is 0-0, so that we can maintain our intensity during both halves. I think we are still hitting our peak in the season, even though it’s tough with that loss. We just keep going up and I’m so happy with how we’ve played.”
The Gators also excelled on the draw, which gave them valuable possession time.
“That’s also something we wanted to work on after the Sacred Heart game,” Anderson said. “A point of emphasis has been how to control that draw sooner and more reliably. We have a few injuries, so we had to move kids around and get creative on the draw.”
Junior Cate Spaulding made five saves in goal in the winning effort.
SENIOR DAY SPECIAL TO SCHNEIDER
Schneider, the lone senior on the squad, was honored by her teammates.
“It was a lot of fun, they are so good to me and very supportive celebrating me.
It’s bittersweet because I love this team, but it’s been a great ending and I wouldn’t want the season to go any other way.”
Said Anderson: “Leila has been amazing. She’s versatile, she’s fast and she’s a great defender and she does a lot of the unsung work.”
GREENWICH ACADEMY 18, HOTCHKISS 6
HOTCHKISS 3 3 – 6
GREENWICH ACADEMY 13 5 – 18
Scoring: GA – Eliza Bowman 5 g; Tessa Brooks 1 a; Katie Goldsmith 2 g, 2 a; Taylor Lane 3 g, 2 a; Paige Lipman 3 g; Rachel Rogers 1 g; Grace Schulze 1 g, 2 a; Margaret Maruszewski 3 g; H – Gianna Bruno 2 g; Elizabeth DeSouza 1 g; Abigail Hillebrecht 1 g; Ellie Traggio 2 g; Jillian Mazzocca 1 a; Alexandra Bowman 1 a; Goalies: GA – Cate Spaulding (5 saves); H – Jillian Kane (7 saves)