GREENWICH — With Beth Yeager on the field, generating goals certainly hasn’t been an issue for the Sacred Heart Greenwich field hockey team.
Scoring on the Tigers, however, has been a problem for the opposition, with sophomore Caroline Nemec on the scene.
Thursday, the Sacred Heart duo once again, helped power the squad on each end of the field, resulting in another convincing win for their squad.
Yeager scored four goals, while Nemec sparked the defensive effort in Sacred Heart’s 7-0 victory over visiting Greens Farms Academy in an FAA game.
The triumph moved the Tigers’ mark to 13-0 overall and 6-0 in FAA play. Sacred Heart has clinched the FAA regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming FAA Tournament.
“This year, with a lot of new people, we’re coming together as a team really well,” Yeager said. “We have a lot of good players, who have great skills individually, but we’re starting to really move the ball and play as a team really well.”
In Wednesday’s 9-1 win against Canterbury School, Yeager tallied four times, with three of her goals coming in the first half. She had the same sort of start Thursday against the Dragons.
Her unassisted goals at the 28:37, 23:31 and 17:13 marks quickly put the Tigers ahead of the Dragons, 3-0, in the first half.
“As a team we are all really aggressive and we really want to win, so when we come out we have the desire to put the ball in,” Yeager said.
Freshman Kate Nemec extended the Tigers’ lead to 4-0 driving a shot from the right side of the circle past Greens Farms goalie Nicole Farber with 14:25 remaining in the first half.
Drawing a penalty corner, Sacred Heart lit the scoreboard again, with junior MaryGrace Farrell scoring off a tip on a drive by Yeager, making it 5-0 with 11:15 still left in the opening half.
Junior Hanke Govaert added a transition tally with 8:35 to go in the opening half and Yeager capped the Tigers’ scoring for the day with a goal off an assist from freshman Vivi Caruso at the 7:54 mark of the first half.
Greens Farms Academy, which received 16 saves from Farber in goal, is 4-3 in the FAA and battling for third place.
“Sacred Heart played beautifully, they are a very skilled team,” said Greens Farms coach Liz Schuellein, who credited Kate Millard, Autumn Bartush and Laila Paina for their solid effort for GFA. “This is a beautiful facility for them to train at and they’re a really good team. Sacred Heart and Greenwich Academy are the top two teams in the FAA and several teams like us are fighting for third place.”
Sacred Heart, which received one save from freshman Olivia Caponiti, outshot the Dragons, 23-1 and did all its scoring in the first half. Caroline Nemec and senior co-captains Morgan Smith and Sydney Gallop paced the Tiger’s defensive effort.
On the season, SHG has allowed only a handful of goals.
“We want to keep all the goals out, that’s the mentality of our team — no goals at any time, no matter where we are in the game, no goals in,” Caroline Nemec said.
For three years (8th-10th grade) Yeager was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Field Hockey Team. This year, Yeager earned a spot on the U.S. Women’s National Under 17 Team.
“Being a part of the women’s national team was a lot of fun, it was a great learning experience,” said Yeager, a midfielder/forward. “We went to Germany and played against Germany and Belgium and I feel I grew a lot as a player from that experience.”
Yeager began playing field hockey as a fifth-grader for the FC United Club, then moved on to Rye Academy, before joining the WC Eagles program, which is based in Pennsylvania.
“I started to play field hockey, because I wanted to play a fall sport and my cousins played it,” she said. “Once I began playing it I loved it.”
Caroline Nemec took up the sport as a sixth-grader and quickly found her niche as a defender.
“I am able to move everywhere on the field and connect with everyone on the field and connecting passes,” Nemec said. “We have such a great defense, everyone has been really helpful back there.”
The Tigers, who are on a quest for their first undefeated season, host St. Luke’s on Monday, before playing Choate Rosemary Hall on Nov. 2. The FAA Tournament begins in a week-and-a-half, followed by the NEPSAC Tournament. Sacred Heart defeated rival Greenwich Academy this past Saturday and could play GA in the FAA finals.
“We are really excited, especially with the win against GA,” Yeager said. “We are looking forward to performing that way against them again and we hope to get the title again and also win NEPSACs, because we have never won it before.”
Added Caroline Nemec, a member of the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team. “We definitely want to push to win everything and be our best. We’re also striving to become FAA champions again.”