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Fall Sports Highlights 9.23.19

Cross Country – First Boys'
Sept. 21: Canterbury Invitational
The annual Canterbury Invitational allows the First Team to see where it stands early in the season on a course Westminster has been running for decades. Of course, weather conditions make a difference, and a jump in temperature was a factor after two weeks of training in milder days. Daniel Pinckney ’20 went right after it, going across the first mile in under 5:30 and averaging under a six-minute pace to come in at 18:22. The next five runners for Westminster were also quick off the line; Josh Mason ’23 and Cooper Kistler ’22 were both under six minutes at the mile and worked together, shoulder to shoulder for most of the race, to achieve mid-six average paces for the track. Great job for boys in their second week of high school running! Rex Flinn ’21, also new to running distance, showed a distance runner’s patience, running a slower first mile but passing a number of runners in the final mile to finish fourth. Jay Henry ’23 and James Beit ’22 traded places through the run and also both managed to run sub-7’s for the race. Zach Burelle ’20, also new to running, went out fast in the first mile and it caught up to him, but we admire his courage; he will learn how to manage his pace as the season goes on. This team will improve significantly over the course of the year as they get stronger and learn how to race. Final: ninth of 10 in Division 1. Full results, here.
 
Cross Country - First Girls'
Sept. 21: Canterbury Invitational
Girls’ Cross Country faced impressive competition this weekend at the 47th annual Canterbury Cross Country Invitational. The meet, which attracts athletes from over 40 schools, featured Division I and Division II races for both boys’ and girls’ competitors. The Martlets competed in the Division I race on an unseasonably warm day, placing 10th out of 11 teams. Laura Mittelman ‘20 placed 21st overall (out of 78), and was the first Westminster harrier to cross the finish line. This race was also her debut in black and gold! Olivia Goldstuck ‘21 was next to finish, followed shortly by Bethany Winters ‘20 and Bella Tawney ‘22, who battled through the chute to finish within one second of one another. Janessa Yan ‘22 and Michelle Wu ‘21 rounded out the top six for the Martlets. The team will compete in its only home meet of the season next weekend in the 14th annual Richard Miller Invitational. Final: 10th of 11. Full results, here
 
Field Hockey - First Girls'
Sept. 21: Field Hockey - First Girls’ 7 vs Northfield Mount Hermon School 1
After a solid fall preparation trip to Bermuda, seven practices and three scrimmages, the team was very much ready to compete for keeps. Westminster played very nicely scoring three goals in the first eight minutes before scoring regularly to take the final tally to seven. NMH played with spirit and heart, pressing well right to the end and scoring a nice breakaway goal at the middle of the second half. Scorers first half: Sam De Leo '21 (assist from McKenzie Bloom '23 and Bennett Ghriskey '22); Claire Taylor '21 (assist from Megan Rittenhouse' 20); De Leo (assist from Bloom); De Leo (assist from Taylor and Rittenhouse); Betsy Winslow '21 (assist from Margaret Kennedy '22); Margaret Sadak '22 (assist from Kennedy). Scorers second half: Casey Winslow '21 (assist from Sadak).
 
Field Hockey - Second Girls'
Sept. 18: Field Hockey - Second Girls’ 6 vs The Bement School 0
The Martlets opened up the scoring early in the first half with a hard shot from Olivia Fernandez '23 that was tipped into the net by Abby Moss '20. The persistent offensive efforts resulted in two other goals just minutes after the first. Ellie Cramer '22 shot a beautifully placed ball to the corner of the cage, followed by another hard shot from Fernandez that was tipped by Elle Dorrian '22. Westminster ended the first half ahead by five. Bement placed tough defense in the second half and the Martlets were only able to capitalize once. A special shoutout to Ellie Suit '20 and Dorrian who both recorded their first career goals.
 
Sept. 21: Field Hockey - Second Girls’ 0 vs Northfield Mount Hermon School 0
Despite controlling the game offensively, Westminster was not able to find the back of the cage. The Martlets played outstanding team defense and only allowed NMH two shots; while the Westminster offense had over 20 shots. The Martlets fought hard until the final buzzer. Overall, it was a great team effort.
 
Field Hockey - Third Girls'
Sept. 18: Field Hockey - Third Girls’ 0 vs Rumsey Hall School 4
Westminster had a rough first half with four opponent goals being scored. But the during second half the team did a great job spreading out, reading the field and communicating. The team even had a couple very close shots on goal. Despite the effort, the score remained the same.
 
Soccer - First Boys'
Sept. 18: Soccer - First Boys’ 0 vs Taft School 2
On a warm sunny afternoon the Martlets took the drive west to take on the Rhinos. About midway through the first half Taft would knock home a crossing ball to take the 1-0 lead. Early on in the second half Westminster would tip home a goal but it was called back for off-sides. With about 15 minutes to go, Taft would take a free kick that would get around the wall and knocked home on the rebound to for the 2-0 lead. The second half saw both teams create good chances and decent possession.
 
Soccer - First Girls'
Sept. 18: Soccer - First Girls’ 0 vs Deerfield Academy 0
First Girls' Soccer traveled to Deerfield to take on the Doors for the first away contest of the 2019 season. The ride north did not prove to be an issue for the Martlets as they started off strong with a few chances in their offensive end right from the first whistle. The first half was a battle end to end, as both squads made solid attacking surges into their own offensive thirds, but Westminster's longer-range shots were saved by the Deerfield goalie and Deerfield's threats on attack were stuffed by Westminster's defensive line. The first half was relatively even in possession and chances, but Westminster took control in the second half, dominating the game and putting consistent pressure on the Deerfield defense until the final whistle. The Martlets just could not find the back of the net before time expired. The back line of captain Jaclyn Laplante '20, Bianca D'Onofrio '23, Samantha de Kanter '22 and Kalilah Akbar '23, with Gabby Marcus '20 in net, consistently frustrated the Deerfield offense during the entire game and the entire Westminster squad turned in a great effort in today's tie. Although Westminster controlled much of the game, the score does not show this dominance.
 
Sept. 21: Soccer - First Girls’ 3 vs Wilbraham & Monson Academy 0
First Girls' Soccer returned to its home field for a hot, sunny game against the Titans of Wilbraham & Monson. The Martlets took the field as a unit, ready to earn their first win of the season on this beautiful afternoon, putting together passes, keeping possession and creating scoring opportunities. From the first whistle, Westminster dominated and maintained control of the game. Just 59 seconds into the contest, keeper Gabby Marcus '20 sent a ball up the right sideline to find Taylor Adams '20. Adams then crossed the ball to forward Eliza Roach '21 who one-timed it back to Adams. Adams then found the back of the net and scored the first goal of the game. Twenty-five minutes later, Westminster struck again from the right side of the field as Roach put one in the back of the net off a feed from defender Abby Davis '20 to put the Martlets up 2-0. With 10 minutes left in the half, Jillian Gregorski '23 sent a corner into the box that was rebounded back out to her. She then dribbled to win the end line and found Roach's feet for what ended up being the final goal of the game. Westminster went into halftime leading 3-0 and the score would remain that way for the rest of the game. Westminster played with a lot of grit and plenty of grace and earned its first win.
 
Soccer - Second Boys'
Sept. 18: Soccer - Second Boys’ 0 vs Taft School 5
Second Boys’ Soccer was undone by set pieces against the Second Taft Boys. The score line disguises how much the team has improved even since their last game with Tunji Osho-Williams '21 delivering a standout performance in the heart of defense. Osho-Williams fought fairly and was rarely on the losing side of a tackle. Will Cronin '23 worked hard for the team and never shied from a challenge. Cronin performed his role admirably despite his youth and should be proud of his effect on a fast and physical Taft team. Christian Yalda '22 was energetic in the midfield, showing impressive strength of character. Yalda always wants to know how best he can help the team and will be a potent member of a formidable midfield. A final mention for Charlie von Stade '21, who is still finding his place in the team. Von Stade is a positive voice on the field and always looks to give his best for Westminster. He works hard to support his teammates and has the potential to drive the team forward with his energy. The game itself was decided by two penalties and a pair of free kicks. Taft had a number of chances in open play but the Westminster back line was up to the challenge. The team is starting to come together but these are still early days and the fluidity is still lacking.
 
Sept. 21: Soccer - Second Boys’ 0 vs Suffield Academy 2
Second Boys’ Soccer continue to show marginal gains in these early stages of the season. The boys struggled to find a rhythm and impose themselves against a mature Suffield team. Max Hong '22 was the brightest spark during the second half, tormenting the Suffield right back and generating a number of excellent chances for himself and the team. Tommy Cramer '23 once again shone in the midfield, and will continue to grow in the face of enhanced marking from the opposition. The team rallied late in the second half to threaten the Suffield goal, and began to control possession. As these periods of dominance become the rule rather than the exception, the Westminster boys will turn these losses into wins.
 
Soccer - Second Girls'
Sept. 18: Soccer - Second Girls’ 4 vs Deerfield Academy 2
Second Girls’ Soccer improved to 2-0 with a solid road win at Deerfield. The Green established early momentum and took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute. Fortunately, it didn't take long for the Martlets to equalize as Cecilia Raymond '20 got behind the back line and finished well. Just over a minute later Susie Mahoney '20 made it 2-1 after gathering in a well-placed long ball from Lauren Way '20. Both teams generated several more good chances, but the first half ended with the narrow one-goal margin. The second half saw another strong start by the hosts, but it was the Martlets who struck first when Mahoney netted her second goal of the day after some nifty dribbling in the box. Deerfield pulled to within one again, connecting on a free kick from just outside of the box, but Mahoney snuffed out any hopes for a comeback by completing her hat trick less than a minute later. Shout outs go to Ola Szopa '20, who largely neutralized Deerfield's speedy winger, and to Way and Ridgely Green '20, who controlled the flow of play in central midfield.
 
Soccer - Third Boys'
Sept. 21: Soccer - Third Boys’ 1 vs Salisbury School 0
Third Boys' Soccer traveled to Salisbury for an early fall contest against the Crimson Knights. At just the two-minute mark, Finn Gerry '20 casually slipped one past the Salisbury keeper. Gerry's goal was all Westminster needed in the end. The final score is a bit misleading, for the Martlets controlled most of the game. They won the majority of 50-50 balls, played an ambitious possession game on the artificial turf and outshot their opponent 15-3. Offensively, Darion Benchich '20, Luke Holyfield '22, Danny Judge '22, and the aforementioned Gerry put constant pressure on Salisbury's defense. On the other side of the ball, the Martlet defense continued to hold their own. Will Scott '20, Sawyer von Jess '22, Will Mazzaro '21 and Oliver Frantzis '22 soundly anchored the Martlets' backfield as Theo Vandervoorn '20 recorded his second shutout of the season in net.
 
Soccer - Third Girls'
Sept. 18: Soccer - Third Girls’ 0 vs Ethel Walker School 4
Third Girls’ Soccer team fell to Ethel Walker 4-0 on a beautiful September afternoon. The team played tough in the first half, keeping it notched up at 0-0. The team as a whole was able to control the ball, play solid defense and work the field. In the second half, an Ethel Walker goal a few minutes in seemed to sap some of the strength and stamina of the girls from Westminster, and from then on, EW maintained possession for most of the remaining minutes and was able to put in a few more goals. Some newcomers to the team put in some valuable minutes though: Maris Cathcart '23 got the start at midfield, and on defense, Grace Cristini '22 and Caroline Cochener '22 played very well.
 
Sept. 21: Soccer - Third Girls’ 0 vs Suffield Academy 4
Third Girls’ Soccer arrived to a very sunny and hot field on Sept. 21, losing 4-0. The Suffield girls netted three goals in the first half and were able to tire out the Westminster squad. However, in the second half, despite the heat, the Westminster girls only allowed one more goal. Several players demonstrated some real enthusiasm in the hot conditions: Francesca Bradley '21, Grace Cristini '22 and India Lalor '21. The entire team should also be commended on its great sportsmanship in the second half as team members worked together and still respected their opponent.
 
Soccer - Fourth Boys'
Sept. 18: Soccer - Fourth Boys’ 3 vs The Bement School 6
 
Water Polo - First Boys'
Sept. 18: Water Polo - First Boys’ 5 vs Williston Northampton School 14
The Martlets opened their second season with a determined effort against Williston Northampton School. Williston took control early in the game, but Westminster continued to battle through four quarters. Jeremy Hopsicker ’22 and Max Larock ’22 each had two tallies. Hunter Hoogkamp ’21 earned the fifth and final goal for the Martlets on the day. Calvin Hurty ’23 and Keegan Bankoff ’22 played well, splitting time in net. Both came up with some timely saves and helped give their team motivation to compete. The road ahead has some strong opponents on it, and this group of Martlets is warming to the task. Growing water polo IQ and building endurance will be necessary in the weeks ahead. Today was a good start to build upon. Deerfield and Andover are up next.
 
Sept. 21: Water Polo - First Boys’ 3 vs Andover 18
Sept. 21: Water Polo - First Boys’ 4 vs Deerfield Academy 12
Andover
Westminster competed through four quarters despite being outmatched in terms of game knowledge. This group continues to improve, and each match is another opportunity to grow as players and as a team. Keegan Bankoff ‘22 again came up with some superb saves in this match to prevent Andover from scoring more.
 
Deerfield
In the second match of the day, Westminster took another opportunity to battle against a strong, experienced opponent. Deerfield was a little older and a little more experienced, and in the second quarter, Deerfield was able to take control of the match. The end of the game saw a flurry of strong team plays for the Martlets, and they were able to capitalize and put some points up.
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