Though Greenwich has a new field hockey coach, a familiar face will be seen walking the sideline.
Megan Wax, an assistant coach with the program since 2012, was recently hired to head the varsity squad, after Ally Orrico stepped down from her post following 12 successful seasons.
“I’m ecstatic about it,” Wax said of her new role. “I had a heavy heart seeing Ally go, she is a great friend and was a great mentor, so it was sad to see her go. But I know all of us have worked hard to build up a program that we love. We are super excited about carrying on some of the traditions and creating some new ones.”
Wax takes over a Cardinals team that advanced to the semifinal-round of the FCIAC Tournament and qualified for the CIAC Class L Tournament. Greenwich was edged by Darien, 3-2, in the FCIAC semifinals and was beaten by Amity, 2-0, in the opening round of the Class L tourney.
“The losses to end our season last year still stings, so our team is ready to play,” Wax said. “We know this season that it will take all of us. We are going to try to share the wealth and set each other up for success.”
A senior-laden squad in 2018, Greenwich graduated 16 players from last season’s team, which registered a record of 13-6. Yet the Cardinals do return players who made an impact last season, two of whom are captains Ashley Zolin and Katie Piotrzkowski.
The senior duo are expected to lead the team at the midfield position.
“I’m really excited for the season and to help lead the team to great things,” Zolin said. “It’s an honor being one of the captains and it feels really good that I have the support from my fellow teammates and coaches.”
The coaching staff and captains like what they’ve seen during the preseason from the first-year varsity players.
“Our team has great potential,” Piotrzkowski said. “We have a lot of new girls on varsity, so this is their chance to improve on themselves and it’s a chance for the team to work together.”
Greenwich starts its season Thursday with a road game against rival Ridgefield.
AT THE HELM: An Immaculate graduate, Wax attended the University of Connecticut and during her sophomore year got her start in coaching, serving as a varsity assistant and junior varsity field hockey coach at E.O. Smith.
In 2012, she arrived at Greenwich, where she has coached field hockey, girls basketball and girls lacrosse. She was Orrico’s varsity assistant coach the past several seasons and has been an assistant as on the varsity lacrosse team’s staff. Wax is the head coach of the Cardinals’ freshman basketball team and is a mathematics teach at Eastern Middle School.
During Orrico’s tenure, Greenwich won a share of the FCIAC title in 2012 and the FCIAC Western Division championship in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
WHO’S GONE?: Zoe Metalios and Paige Finneran, both of whom earned First Team All-FCIAC Team honors, graduated, along with All-FCIAC West Team selections Courtney Swift, Katie Walko and Abril Martinez-Arraya.
Also graduating were Sam Chabot, Grace Sunoo, Ava Gwozdz, Georgia Imperatore, Jennifer Kelly, Olivia Hoekman, Margot Sosa, Maria Clare Pereira, Nicole Maloney, Eva Serra and Emily Miller.
WHO’S BACK?: Zolin and Piotrzkowski return at midfield, while senior Demi Janis and junior Agustina Ferrario will be looked upon to spark the squad at forward.
Junior Charlotte Gans is back to help lead the defensive unit and sophomore Zita Cohen, who stepped up offensively last fall, returns. Jorja Pastore, a junior, is one of the Cards’ goalies.
STRENGTHS: “We have really talented girls and a lot of potential and depth at every line on the field,” Wax said. “We are also very dispersed by grade level, which is a strength, because it creates depth on our team. On our team, we have some really great players, as far as stick skills and distributing the ball.”
CAPTAIN’S COMMENTS: “Our motto for this year is bring it on, so we are going to take each game and each day as a challenge and try to overcome it,” Zolin said. “We have to take everything step by step and always stick up for each other.”
SHOWDOWNS: Brien McMahon, Sept. 12, away; Fairfield Warde, Sept. 17, home; New Canaan, home, Sept. 23; Staples, home, Oct. 1; Mamaroneck (N.Y.), Oct. 10, away; Darien, Oct. 15, home; Norwalk, away, Oct. 17, away; Wilton, home, Oct. 23.
“A big key we are focusing on is communication from the goalie, all the way to the forwards,” Piotrzkowski said. “We have a smaller team this year, so we are working on staying together. We want everyone to be able to fill in for each other across the field.”