Sacred Heart Greenwich began action in the NEPSAC Class A Field Hockey Tournament by topping Taft School, 7-0, in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round.
The Tigers (17-1) advanced to Saturday’s 2:15 p.m. NEPSAC Class A semifinals, where they will play either fourth-seeded Westminster School, or fifth-seeded Deerfield Academy.
“We are excited to pass through the quarterfinals,” Tigers coach Alex Gheorghe said. “Taft played really hard, but our team was able to convert on our set pieces.”
Sacred Heart’s scoring began with Delfina Gonzalez Lobo’s goal with 22:20 remaining in the first half. Beth Yeager struck just 18 seconds later, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
With 21:04 to go in the first half, Gonzalez Lobo tallied off an assist from Caroline Nemec, putting the home team in front, 3-0.
Leading 3-0 at halftime, the Tigers quickly added on to their advantage in the second half. Yeager converted a shot with 24:02 left in the second half, then tallied again with 16:41 remaining off a pass from Katie Keller, making it 6-0.
Gonzalez Lobo and MaryGrace Farrell added second-half goals for the victors, which received an assist from Hanke Govaert.
Olivia Caponiti made two saves for Sacred Heart, which outshot Taft, 20-2. Taft goalie Jenna Guglielmi stopped 13 shots.
Sacred Heart held a 10-0 advantage on penalty corners.
“This is our second year advancing to the semifinal and it has definitely given us a lot of experience,” Gheorghe said. “We are looking forward to a great game on Saturday.”
GREENWICH ACADEMY FIELD HOCKEY EDGED
Greenwich Academy’s journey in the NEPSAC Class A Tournament ended in heartbreaking fashion, as it dropped a 1-0 decision to visiting Hotchkiss School in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
The second-seeded Gators finished its season with a record of 17-3-1. Hotchkiss, which scored the game-winning goal in the second half, plays either Tabor Academy, or Phillips Andover Academy in Saturday’s semifinals.
In the first half, GA held the possession advantage and created more scoring chances. At the 8:50 mark of the opening half, senior Grace Schulze sent her insert pass off a penalty corner to senior Maya Walker, who passed it back to Schulze. Schulze’s shot at the post was saved by Bearcats goalie Emily Ferguson.
With 8:11 to go in the first half, Walker’s drive off a penalty corner was saved by Ferguson. Behind Schulze, senior Elektra Rodger and Lila Murray, the Gators created nine shots on goal for the game and 10 penalty corners.
“We played a great first half,” GA coach Jamie Brower said. “Their corner defense was good, we had some trouble putting it in there. Their goalie played a great game, making some great saves.”
Hotchkiss, which played Greenwich Academy to a tie during the regular season, created more of a push offensively in the second half. Senior Taylor Leckey broke the scoreless tie, scoring off a penalty corner with 16:24 left in the second half. Leckey converted a hard drive from the top of the circle. Sophomore Grace Keefe assisted on the game’s lone goal.
“It was really nice execution,” Hotchkiss coach Kaitlyn Perrelle Leonard said of the goal. “We haven’t been executing on corners, so it was nice to see that our game came off a corner. GA had a great game overall, I think they came out stronger in the first half, but we were able to withstand it.”
Wednesday marked the final game for Gators seniors Schulze, Walker, Katharine Glassmeyer, Evelyn Barringer, Antonia Packard and Rodger, all of whom were key contributors.
“The hardest part is that it was so fun to coach this team,” said Brower, whose squad won the FAA Tournament title. “They played a great level of hockey, they were fun and they worked hard. I am grateful for what the six of them brought each day.”
GREENWICH ACADEMY SOCCER
The eighth-seeded Gators were eliminated by top-seeded Miss Porter’s School in the quarterfinal-round of the NEPSAC Tournament on Wednesday in Farmington.
Scoring three times in the first half, Miss Porter’s posted a 4-1 win.
“We came out all fired up, but then we conceded a goal in the first 30 seconds, which was key,” GA coach Alistair Lonsdale said.
Miss Porter’s tallied in the 13th minute and added a goal in the 30th minute to go ahead, 3-0. Junior Schuyler Sargent scored Greenwich Academy’s goal with 15 minutes remaining in the second half. Senior Tessa Brooks assisted on Sargent’s tally.
“We were playing really well, passing well and doing a good job all over the field,” Lonsdale said. “It was tough coming back from 3-0.”
Lonsdale cited the play of Ellie Burdick and seniors Taylor Lane, Brooks, Chloe Burraway, Christina Maldonado and Katie Goldsmith for pacing the squad’s effort.
“Making it to New Englands was a good accomplishment for our school,” Lonsdale. “We are pleased with the season we had and I’m proud of the improvement we showed.”
SACRED HEART VOLLEYBALL
The Tigers’ season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to top-seeded Phillips Exeter Academy in the NEPSAC Class A Tournament quarterfinals held at Deerfield Academy on Wednesday.
Exeter won the match by set scores of 25-17, 25-18, 25-10. Junior Annabelle Hartch had three kills, two digs and one block, while senior Kellie Ulmer added three kills and three digs for Sacred Heart Greenwich (15-9).
Eva Canellakis, a junior, notched six digs and two aces for the Tigers.
“It was a great season for us,” Tigers coach Beth Wilson-Jordan said. “It was season that was better than expected and we have a lot of youth on our team. We are positioned to do well next season.”
Junior Fran Iraola had two kills, two blocks and two digs, while junior Liv Lockwood added two kills, one assist, three digs and two aces for the Tigers. Morgan Wilkens, a junior, also paced Sacred Heart (10 assists, 9 digs, 1 ace).