Greenwich Academy lacrosse team suffers first loss of the season

Lexi Henkel scored a game-high six goals for Greenwich Academy

A lot of pressure is often attached to an undefeated season. Though the Greenwich Academy lacrosse team was disappointed following their 12-11 loss to Rye High School Saturday, the Gators hinted the defeat may help them in the long run.

“This is going to put some fire back in our bellies and make us stronger,” GA freshman midfielder Izzy Nixon said. “This game will help us boost us against other teams and take our play to another level.”

“It reminds us of how hard we have to work to win every game,” Gators sophomore midfielder Julia Conway said. “The loss will give us a lot of momentum for our next games.”

This game featured two of the better teams in their respective regions. Greenwich Academy (12-1) is ranked No. 2 in New England by, while Rye is regarded as one of the premier teams in Section I – the conference they compete in in Westchester County. The Gators never led, but tied the score several times, the last of which occurred when Julia Conway tallied with 6:14 remaining in the second half – a goal that knotted the score at 11-11. Here’s my view on the action-packed game.

Slow start for GA: The Gators thrive in transition and the Garnets slowed down their fastbreak for the most part – especially in the first half. GA trailed 7-5 at halftime and five goals in one half for a Gators team that has lit the scoreboard frequently this season isn’t that much.

“We started the game slow, then we started executing better, which brought us back into the game,” Greenwich Academy coach Angela Tammaro said. “We made a nice comeback, but we put ourselves in too big a hole.”

A lot of credit for the Gators’ slow start goes to the Garnets, who focused on preventing GA from making long passes up the field and tried to pressure the ball throughout. Goalie Maddie Kinker was stellar, making 12 saves.

Quick on the draw: Freshman midfielder Izzy Nixon did a fine job on the draw when Tammaro put her in the faceoff circle in the second half, but the Gators had trouble winning the draw in the first half, which meant not many quality possessions.

“Possessions were hard to come by,” Tammaro said. “Our weakness the whole season has been winning the draw and getting the ball out of the air.”

By the numbers: Junior midfielder Lexi Henkel stepped up for GA, scoring a game-high six goals. Senior attack Anne Gilliland and junior middie Mary Taussig each scored twice for the Gators. GA tied a season-low with 11 goals Saturday. They scored 11 goals in an 11-10 comeback win against Taft on Wednesday.

On the road again: Greenwich Academy won’t be home until May 19 when Loomis Chaffee comes to town. The Gators will visit King School on Monday, Hopkins Wednesday, Hotchkiss School Saturday and St. Luke’s on May 14.

Dave Fierro