Greenwich Academy Press

The Student News Site of Greenwich Academy

Greenwich Academy Press

Greenwich Academy Press

Fall Sports: Meet the Captains

Greenwich Academy’s fall varsity athletes have been hitting the gym, fields, and courts since mid-August in preparation for the upcoming fall season. The Varsity Field Hockey, Cross Country, Volleyball and Soccer captains gave insight into their team’s preparation for the season and a closer look at what happens at practices and games.

Varsity Field Hockey

Captains: Maggie Schmidt, Group XII, Annie Leonard, XII, and Hannah Goodrick, XII.

“Field Hockey is 90% mental,” Leonard said. Even though the team is usually seen sprinting on Tammaro Field, Field Hockey is more than a sprint to the twenty or so girls who proudly represent Greenwich Academy on the Field Hockey team.

With twenty-eight consecutive FAA titles, a New England Championship in 2012 and an impressive number of college recruits, GA’s Field Hockey team has a formidable reputation. Although some athletes might take this near-perfect record as an excuse to slack off, Leonard noted, “We can’t let us winning last year get into our heads and make us overconfident. It’s hard to get to the top, but it’s even harder to stay there.”

While winning might be the ultimate goal for some, Schmidt insisted that “we have to fulfill the little goals of working hard in every game and practice to push each other to be better players.” “It is not going to be easy by any means,” said Goodrick, “but with good fitness, stick skills and teamwork, our goal of an undefeated season and defending our titles is definitely reachable.” Hotchkiss is considered the Field Hockey team’s biggest rival. Having never beaten them in the regular season, GA finally ended Hotchkiss’ ten-year New England winning streak by beating them in last year’s finals. “Hotchkiss will work their hardest to regain their title so the games against them will be tough. We know we have a target on our backs every game now,” Goodrick said.

All athletes know that there is more to a sport than stick-handling and running. “We all look after each other and that’s something that I really cherish,” said Leonard. “My team becomes my family…we all have each other to lean on to get through not only difficult games but difficult moments during the school year as well,” Schmidt said.


Varsity Cross-Country

Captains: Julia Sassi, Group XII and Michelle Basta, Group XII.

As last year’s FAA champions, Cross-Country captains Julia Sassi and Michelle Basta are ready to lead the team through another successful season.

“I know we have a lot of incredibly dedicated members, so I hope with everyone working together we can win FAAs again,” Basta said.

“It would be really cool if we could get our top seven girls with times under twenty one minutes, but even if this isn’t accomplished I’d be proud knowing that everyone gave everything they had, and left the season with no regrets,” Sassi said.

Cross-Country is different than most sports because runners spend hours training to be fitter and faster than their competitors. “Cross-Country can get very tough sometimes. It’s easy to want to stop…or slow down on a never-ending hill, but I hope Michelle and I will be that boost of encouragement to keep going,” Sassi said.

Although physically strenuous, cross-country is a way for the runners to relieve stress and forget about school. It gives its participants, as Basta put it, “a sense of purpose and drive.” The team’s ultimate rival is Hopkins, but another important race is the Canterbury Invitational.

“I am excited for Canterbury, although [it is] notoriously painful because of its never-ending hill. We did well last year so it will be exciting to see how we do this time,” said Basta. “[The race] will be a good indicator of where we stand and what we need to do for the rest of the season.”

Though GA’s Cross-Country team makes the average runner tremble, the spirit of the program is lighthearted. Sassi recalled a favorite memory from last year’s season: “Finch made a speech about this three-legged dog she saw running, and was like, ‘if that dog can look so happy running with its owner, then you guys can survive a 5K.’”

5K’s, repeats, and never-ending hills might make many people shy away from this rigorous sport, but these girls love it and take pride in what they do.


Varsity Volleyball

Captains: Tyla Taylor, XII and Zoe Morris, XII

Last year GA’s Volleyball team bumped themselves up the ladder — no pun intended —  by winning the FAAs.

“We were really pleased with our outcome in the FAAs, but one of our biggest goals this year is doing better in New England’s,” Taylor said.

When many hear volleyball, they think, “bump, set, spike,” but the majority of the game consists of more than these three motions. “Volleyball is all about communication and cheering each other on,” Morris said.

“Volleyball is such a team sport that we need to be cohesive and able to rely on each other no matter what,” Taylor agreed.

Both captains plan to forge strong relationships on and off the court this upcoming season. “It’s really important for us to be role models for the younger girls on the team and establish what kind of people we should be on and off the court,” Taylor said. “We really want to try to build the bridge between Coach Girard and all the players.”

Though GA’s Volleyball team’s biggest rival is the Convent of the Sacred Heart, every game matters to these girls, regardless of who they’re playing against.

“We are just excited for the season as a whole…just getting back into the game is always a great way to start the year off,” Morris said.


Varsity Soccer

Captains: Julia Conway, XII, Kate Sands, XII, and Isa Dumoulin, XII 

GA’s soccer team is known for its exceptional camaraderie. “Everyone genuinely loves each other, which makes our team dynamic so strong,” said Conway.

Although GA’s soccer team has not won FAAs since 2010, they came very close to doing so last year, tying one of their biggest rivals, St. Luke’s. Though the final game of the FAAs was cancelled last year, the captains have high hopes for the upcoming season.

“Since we have such a talented team, we hope to win New England’s this year,” Conway added. Despite losing three seniors, the captains are thrilled to welcome several new players to the team. “Besides being dedicated athletes,” Conway continued, “our team is the quirkiest, friendliest, funniest team I’ve been a part of.”

In the GA community, this team is known for their delicious secret psychs, crashing Brunswick soccer team dinners, and their dance routine at the Homecoming pep rally. Because the Homecoming bonfire has been cancelled the past few years due to rain, the team has missed its opportunity to perform there, something Conway regrets.

“Hopefully we have a bonfire so we can finally dress up underclassmen, since our grade has never experienced a homecoming bonfire,” she said.

“We are hardworking but we also know how to make things more fun for the team,” she added.

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Fall Sports: Meet the Captains