Possessing the ball from the outset, Greenwich Academy built a three-goal halftime lead on FAA field hockey foe King School on Friday and never looked back.
The defending NEPSAC champion Gators started their season Friday with a decisive 5-0 win over visiting King School. Senior co-captain Grace Schulze scored two goals, while Lily Berger had one goal and one assist to lead GA, which led 3-0 at halftime.
“It was a really good start to our season,” GA coach Jamie Brower said. “Our team played with confidence and showed a lot of communication right off the bat. We had four different goal scorers, which was great to see.”
Alessia Packard scored the game’s first goal, converting a pass from Berger. Evelyn Barringer was also credited with an assist on the play. Senior co-captain Maya Walker set Berger up for a goal midway through the opening half, making it 2-0.
“We are a close team on and off the field and it shows in how we play,” Walker said. “We all do a good job of supporting each other.”
Schulze’s goal late in the first half put GA ahead, 3-0. On the attack, the Gators added to their lead when Elektra Rodger put a shot from close in past King goalie Mimi White, giving the home team a 4-0 advantage with 22:49 remaining.
With 8:38 left to play in the second half, Schulze gathered a pass from Lila Murray on the right side and lifted a high shot that found its way past White for the game’s final goal.
White made 19 saves for King, which was outshot, 22-1. Greenwich Academy, which drew 13 penalty corners, got one save from Hamilton Doster.
“I felt we came out really strong,” Schulze said. “The past three weeks, we have been working really hard in preparation for the season and what we did today was a representation of that. King came out with a lot of intensity, so we knew we had to match that by using quick passes and winning the 50/50 battles.”
GA was also paced by the effective play of Katharine Glassmeyer, Sophie Freedman (two assists) and Antonia Packard. Greenwich Academy scrimmages several teams Saturday at a play day at Hotchkiss School.
“It should be a lot of fun, especially coming off this win,” Walker said.
GREENWICH HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY
The Cardinals raised their record to 2-1 with their second win in as many days, defeating host Westhill, 2-0, in an FCIAC game.
Senior captain Paige Finneran gave Greenwich a 1-0 lead, tallying with 16:27 remaining in the first half. Junior Demi Janis assisted on the goal. Sophomore Augustina Ferrario put GHS ahead, 2-0, tallying off a feed from senior Zoe Metalios.
Greenwich registered 36 shot on goal for the game, 21 of which came during the second half. Mary Leydon made 34 saves in goal for Westhill
“Their goalie was excellent,” Cardinals coach Ally Orrico said. “She made some fantastic saves.”
The Cardinals continued generating shots during the second half, after taking a 2-0 edge into halftime.
“We did an excellent job of maintaining possession,” Orrico said. “Our ball movement was excellent. Abril Martinez-Arraya had a fantastic game at center back, Zoe and Paige really did a nice job of helping us maintain possession and creating opportunities and Ashley Zolin did a great job at left win.”
Greenwich hosts Mamaroneck (N.Y.) High School Saturday at 3 p.m.
SACRED HEART VOLLEYBALL
Sacred Heart opened its season with a 3-2 loss to host Greens Farms Academy in a hard-fought FAA match held on Thursday.
Greens Farms won the match by set scores of 18-25, 29-27, 23-25, 25-20, 16-14.
Senior co-captain/setter Natalia Pazos registered 14 assists, 14 digs, nine aces, six kils and two blocks to lead the Tigers (0-1). Kellie Ulmer had eight kills, 20 digs, one assist and one ace for Sacred Heart.
Eva Canalakis notched 12 digs, three kills, two aces and one assist for Sacred Heart, which visits Loomis Chaffee School on Saturday at 3 p.m.