Glastonbury girls lacrosse senior captain Alicia Choquette attempts to split Greenwich’s Emma Abbazia and Kaitlyn Kelly during the Guardians’ season opening loss on April 4.
In the team’s season opener, Glastonbury High School girls lacrosse lost to Greenwich 16-2 on April 4 at GHS.
But the discrepancy on the scoreboard was not what GHS head coach Kris Cofiell wanted her team to take away from the game.
“I told the team that the team we are today is not going to be the team we will be,” Cofiell said after the defeat.
Cofiell added that she purposely schedules tough out-of-conference games and the game against Greenwich—a program that plays in the highly-competitive Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC)—was a good lesson for her young team, featuring only four seniors.
Greenwich, a team with 10 seniors, scored two quick goals courtesy of Cece Tauber and Aubrey Roth within the first four minutes of the game.
In the early stages, Glastonbury went shot-for-shot with the visiting Cardinals, but the home team’s attempts were just off the mark as Kate McKiernan and Stephanie Koppy had shots ricochet off the post.
At the 17:09 mark of the first half, Glastonbury senior captain Alicia Choquette cut the deficit in half with a goal before
Greenwich reeled off nine straight points, a run that bled over into the second half.
Greenwich’s Emma Abbazia, a junior, scored a game-high six goals and senior Kiera Young added four more.
Cofiell said the Cardinals repeatedly beat the Guardians to loose balls, which ultimately put them in an insurmountable deficit.
“That is a gut-check-type of game,” said Cofiell, who added that the team can learn from the 14-point defeat.
Helping steady the ship for Cofiell is a trio of captains in Choquette, fellow senior Sydney Norman, and junior Avery Olschefskie.
Cofiell said her field generals have been “awesome” and “great leaders for this young group.”
Several sophomores are playing pivotal roles, including Lola Espirito-Santo, the team’s starting goalie.
Greenwich’s high-powered, efficient offense peppered the first-year goaltender with shots throughout the game, particularly in the first half when they scored 11 goals.
Following a shaky start, Espirito-Santo settled in and made a handful of saves in the second half, showcasing poise and
toughness in goal.
Espirito-Santo began playing lacrosse only a year ago and is replacing Bridget Clarke, who made all-conference as a senior
a year ago.
Cofiell said Espirito-Santo learned the ropes under Clarke and praised her new goalie for not wavering after the rough start.
“She didn’t give up; she kept her head up,” added Cofiell. “I’m really proud of her. The maturity that she showed today was awesome.”
Sophomore Abigail Kasper also showcased her talents in the second half, scoring a goal at the 20-minute mark. Cofiell called Kasper “tough as nails” and praised her athleticism.
Cofiell added that her sophomore class, which also features McKiernan, Francesca Gionfriddo, and Cora Cwiertniewicz—-a crossover athlete from basketball that is playing lacrosse for the first time—will play a big role this year and beyond.
Many of the younger players have excelled in other sports and Cofiell said they are just learning of the nuances of lacrosse.
“We have good athletes, they just have to learn the game,” added Cofiell. “We don’t have the fundamentals right now, but that will come. Right now we are just trying to iron some things out.”
While the team goes through some growing pains, Cofiell added that it will be important for the younger players to soak up the knowledge of the captains.
“It’s that team that listens, and works, and plays with sportsmanship and builds those friendships that comes together,” added Cofiell. “That is my hope with this team, that we keep taking steps forward.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin