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Fall Sports Highlights 9.30.19

Cross Country - First Boys’
Sept. 28: Cross Country - First Boys' — Richard Miller Invitational
It was a picture perfect fall day for the 14th running of the annual Richard Miller Invitational, an event which celebrates the founder of Westminster XC and a quintessential school person. In the First Boys race, Westminster was patient off the start, not rabbiting out to the front as many of the other runners did. This strategy paid off as the Martlets steadily moved up on their competition throughout the race. As he has all season, captain Daniel Pinckney ’20 led with action and word as he does every day at practice, running a solid sub-20 run to take fourth place in the race. The next three finishers (Josh Mason ’23, Oliver Fenner ’22 and Cooper Kistler ’22) are all in the first year of running at Westminster, and they all cracked the top 100 chart (best Martlet times on the home course over the past 20 years) with their finishes. Jay Henry ’23 rounded out the scoring five with a great battle down the stretch, with Zach Burelle ’20 and James Beit ’22 acting as displacers. The First Team finished fourth out of the eight teams present.
 
In the Second Boys race, we had a number of people racing the course for the first time, but returner Hudson Stedman ’21 led the pack, and pushed through a lot of discomfort, to place 10th overall in the race. The other scoring members of the Second Team (Owen Huang ’23, Sung Min Cho ’22, Spencer Kwan ’22 and Seve Cordero ’21) all finished within 20 seconds of each other just under the 24-minute mark. Jamai Miller ’22 and Hewitt Shelton ’23 were displacers, and returner Will Warner ’22 ran his own lifetime best on the home course. The Second Team finished sixth out of the nine teams that were competing. It was a really nice result for those who were able to run; they are seeing the results of their training paying off and, with 2/3 of the season still ahead, they will have many opportunities to improve. Thank you to all of the parents who came out to support the team; the plentiful snacks and the loud cheering were all appreciated.
 
Cross Country - First Girls’
Sept. 28: Cross Country - First Girls’ — Richard Miller Invitational
In their first and only home meet of the season, the Martlets hosted seven other schools in the annual Richard Miller Invitational. Boasting a much larger and deeper squad than in past years, the team put together solid teams for both the First and Second Girls races. The First Team placed fourth out of eight and had two girls finish in the top 10. Annabelle Smith ’21 crossed the line in fourth place, and first-year runner Laura Mittelman '20 came in 10th. Olivia Goldstuck ’21 was only two places behind at No. 12. It was a great race for these top three finishers who gutted out a tough one on a hot day. Bethany Winters ’20 also looked strong as she came across the line, running her best race in two seasons. Bella Tawney ’22 rounded out the top five for the Martlets. These girls show a great deal of potential for the weeks ahead. Nine girls ran in the second girls race, a huge group compared to years past. Alice Liu ’23 led the squad of mostly newcomers to cross country running. It was a big achievement for many of these girls to complete their first official race, and they should be proud of not only finishing, but doing so on a warm late September day. The Martlets showed determination and great team spirit in encouraging each other across the line.
 
Field Hockey - First Girls’
Sept. 25: Field Hockey - First Girls’ 6 vs Kent School 0
Westminster started strong scoring twice in the opening three minutes. After a little lapse in concentration and some pushing from their coaches, the team refocused and scored a third to go into halftime. Three goals in the second half rounded off a strong performance where lots of younger players showed their promise and skills — a great sign for the future. Goal scorers, first half: Mckenzie Bloom ’23 (1), Bennett Ghriskey ’22 (1), Betsy Winslow ’21 (1). Assists from Claire Taylor ’21 (2) and Sam DeLeo ’21 (1). Goal scorers, second half: Bloom (2), Casey Winslow ’21 (1). Assists from Taylor and Ghriskey.
 
Sept. 28: Field Hockey - First Girls’ 8 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 0
Westminster started strongly at Choate, scoring eight goals in the first half. The Martlets moved the ball nicely and with real control — the rewards came quickly and freely despite a spirited and strong defensive effort from Choate. Choate worked hard in the second half to push the Martlets back, and the score ended 8-0. Goal scorers first half: Mckenzie Bloom ’23 (3), Sam DeLeo ’21 (1), Claire Taylor ’21 (2), Betsy Winslow ’21 (1), Margaret Sadak ’22 (1). Assists: Casey Winslow ’21 (1), Winslow (1), Bennett Ghriskey ’22 (1), Sadak (1), DeLeo (2). There were no goals scored in the second half.
 
Field Hockey - Second Girls’
Sept. 25: Field Hockey - Second Girls’ 4 vs Kent School 0
Westminster offense was working as a unit from the moment the first whistle blew. The Martlets got out to an early lead after two minutes of play from a beautiful shot by Abby Moss ’20. Westminster would go on to score two more goals in the first half; Arin Goldberg ’22 tipped a shot from teammate Olivia Fernandez ’23, and Chloe Ferro ’20 sent a hard hit past the goalkeeper just inside the circle. The offensive pressure continued in the second half and Fernandez was able to put one behind the Kent goalkeeper on a great individual effort. Westminster defense was strong all game, not allowing any Kent shots.
 
Sept. 28: Field Hockey - Second Girls’ 6 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 0
Westminster continued offensive momentum from the last game, quickly getting on the board after the starting whistle. Olivia Fernandez ’23 led the way for the Martlets with two goals and one assist. While Callie Dermody ’23 and Amelia Molin ’23 both recorded their first career goals! Overall, this was a great team win and every player contributed to the team's success.
 
Field Hockey - Third Girls’
Sept. 25: Field Hockey - Third Girls’ 0 vs Granby High School 7
The combination of trouble moving the ball up the field and a relentless Granby High School team resulted in a tough 7-0 loss Sept. 25. The girls did a great job of maintaining their high spirits and, despite the score, played some great defense.
 
Soccer - First Boys’
Sept. 25: Soccer - First Boys’ 1 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 3
The Martlets were on the road to play a tough Choate team. Westminster would come out strong in the first half and play some great soccer. Choate would take advantage of a long driven ball over the top to a speedy forward that would take it to goal for a well-placed shot. Before the half was over, the visitors would get on the board from a nice individual effort from Boniface Fatohou ’23 who drove the box and hammered a shot in. Choate jumped on another long crossed ball just outside the box to take a 2-1 lead midway through the second quarter. Westminster would push late and force the Choate keeper to make two nice saves, but it would be Choate that would score the late goal to take a 3-1 victory. Lucas Wahlberg ’21 would finish the game with four saves for the Martlets.
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - First Boys’ 3 vs Pomfret School 0
After starting much of the first couple of weeks on the road, the Martlets returned home on a hot sunny afternoon. Both team came out hard and tried to pressed each other for scoring chances. Westminster would get on the board midway through the first half from a well driven low ball by Ryan Messina ’20, which Pomfret would deflect into its own net. Later in the first half, John Picard ’22 would attack the box from the left side and get through for a well-placed low ball into the side netting. Up 2-0 at half the Martlets knew they needed to clean up play and move the ball better around the field. The visiting Pomfret goalie would make some great saves in close to keep the score tight. Jordy Nelson ’21 would put home another driven ball from Messina to put the home side up 3-0. Lucas Walberg ’21 would get the start in net and finish with five saves. Going in net during the second half would be Parker Sinclair ’23 who would have four saves of his own.
   
Soccer - First Girls’
Sept. 25: Soccer - First Girls’ 6 vs Kent School 0
First Girls’ Soccer hosted Kent Sept. 25. It was a picture-perfect day as the teams took the field ready for a midweek match up, but it was Westminster who, from the first whistle, dominated the game to earn its third straight shutout. All six goals were scored in the first half, making a comeback out of reach for the visiting Kent team. First to get on the board was Eliza Roach ’21 for the first of her three goals of the day when just five minutes into the game, Wheatley Sutro ’22 found Roach with a ball through the Kent back line. Four minutes later, Jillian Gregorski ’23 sent a ball wide to Priscilla Ameyaw ’22 who crossed it to Roach who chest-trapped the pass and volleyed it in for her second goal and the second goal of the game. Just one minute later, Sutro found Gregorski through the Kent defenders and Gregorski sent the ball low into the corner of the Kent net, extending Westminster's lead to 3-0. With 25 minutes left in the first half, Ameyaw found Roach again and two minutes later, the reverse happened when Roach sent the ball to Ameyaw for the fifth goal of the game. The final goal of the half, which ended up being the final goal of the entire game, came with 17 minutes left in the first half when Morgan Pineault ’21 found Gregorski through the center of the Kent defensive third for the sixth and final goal. While the first half was quite exciting for the Martlets, the final five minutes of the game proved to be just as important for the win and shutout. Keeper Allison Kijanka ’20 made two outstanding saves in the last five minutes to solidify the shutout.
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - First Girls’ 2 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 2 
The Martlets came out strong for the home contest versus the visiting Wild Boars from Choate Rosemary Hall. It was a hot day with a lot of action around the Westminster athletic fields and First Girls’ Soccer added to the excitement and energy for the entire 80 minutes of play. Westminster was relentless and stuck to its plan of attack for the whole match, competing for each ball, remaining composed and believing in its preparation for this game. Choate was strong and fast, but Westminster got on the board 12 minutes into the game. Captain Eve Cathcart ’20 played a through ball between Choate backs to Eliza Roach ’21 who finished with a solid shot beyond the Choate keeper. Westminster kept its 1-0 into halftime. Choate had opportunities but the back line, with its anchor center backs captain Jaclyn Laplante ’20 and Bianca D’Onofrio ’23, kept the Choate goals to zero. The second half was another battle and Choate found the back of the net with a scrappy one 15 minutes in. The Martlets were gritty and replied with their own four minutes later when Jillian Gregorski ’23 won the end line and found Roach for her second. It looked like Westminster would take this one, but in another scrappy mess in front of the net, Choate got the equalizer with seven minutes left. Keeper Gabby Marcus ’20 turned in a stellar game in net for the Martlets. This team effort, a 2-2 tie against an athletic Choate squad, was a great one for Westminster as the team keeps working hard day in and day out to improve each session.
   
Soccer - Second Boys’
Sept. 25: Soccer - Second Boys’ 1 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 1
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - Second Boys’ 2 vs Pomfret School 0
Second Boys’ Soccer ground out its first win of the season against a fast and direct Pomfret team. Adam Cerny ’21 bookended the scoring with a goal within the first minute and five minutes from the end of the match. Cerny was an active threat throughout the game and combined well with Tommy Cramer ’23 for his second. Pomfret offered a physical challenge to the team and Jonah Prentiss ’22 continued to be a critical element at the center of defense. Prentiss was regularly called into action, often seen at full sprint and shoulder to shoulder with a marauding Pomfret striker. He continues to grow into his role as one of the team captains and leads by example in practice and during matches. Cramer continues to be the difference in midfield and his assist for Cerny's second goal was brilliant. Cramer held his pass under pressure from three Pomfret players and released Cerny at the very last moment once he had drawn in the Pomfret defensive line. This move showed great awareness and game management, and gifted Westminster a two-goal cushion to protect.
 
Soccer - Second Girls’
Sept. 25: Soccer - Second Girls’ 7 vs Kent School 0
Second Girls’ Soccer jumped all over visiting Kent, scoring six first half goals and cruising to a 7-0 win. Cecilia Raymond ’20 got things going with a pair of breakaway goals in the seventh and 14th minutes. Alexa Dwyer ’22 converted a breakaway of her own in the 20th minute. Any doubt about the outcome was removed by three goals in the last five minutes, two on long shots by Ellie Bailey ’21 and the last on a through ball converted by Elisabeth Knauf ’20. Riley Vincent ’23 rounded out the scoring in the 54th minutes when she capped off a long dribbling run past several defenders with a neat finish.
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - Second Girls’ 1 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 0
Cecilia Raymond ’20’s goal just before halftime proved to be the only score on the day — enough to give the Martlets their third straight win to open the 2019 season. A steady wind at their backs in the first half helped the girls establish a territorial advantage, and strikers Raymond and Susie Mahoney '20 got into dangerous positions on several occasions. Mahoney generated two excellent shot opportunities for herself, but the Boar keeper was up to the task. The deadlock was broken when Raymond took a beautiful lead pass from Lauren Way '20 down the right flank, dribbled into the box at speed, and beat the keeper with a shot that had to be perfectly placed from a fairly tight angle. Between the change of wind and an inspired Choate side, the momentum shifted after the break. The Boars had the better of possession and position at the outset of the second half, but most of the shots they generated were from long range, as the back line of Lizzy McCoy ’20, Campbell Swift ’21, Ola Szopa ’20 and Ava Beckford ’23 absorbed the pressure ably. Goalkeeper Lily Marvin ’22 had to be on her toes, and she was ready when needed, making a brave save on Choate's best chance. A well-placed corner kick resulted in a minor scrum and a close range shot that Marvin smothered. Besides the aforementioned, Ridgely Green ’20 also earned a shoutout for her relentless effort, allowing her to win countless balls in midfield and initiate counterattacks.
 
Soccer - Third Boys’
Sept. 25: Soccer - Third Boys’ 6 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 0
On a warm afternoon in Wallingford, it took a mere 10 minutes for Westminster to put the game away. The action started early as Niclas Swahn ’22, assisted by Danny Judge ’22, slid one past the Choate keeper. The Martlet pressure kept coming from up top when Judge scored his own goal (second of the season) off a beautifully-placed ball from veteran Darion Benchich ’20. No more than two minutes later, Benchich scored off a Finn Gerry ’20 ricochet. Finishing off the first half, fan favorite Ben Ferrell ’21 netted his second goal of the year on a penalty kick that was awarded when Brad Donegon ’20 took a sloppy spill in the box. After a respite in the shade and fending off some formidable pressure from Choate, the black and gold tacked on two more scores after halftime. Midfielder Luke Holyfield ’22 bent a corner kick right on top of Gerry's foot, giving the forward his second goal of the young season. Finally, Ferrell, who wasn't finished, scored Westminster's sixth goal of the afternoon, his third this month, on a clearly-offsides-but-it’s-a-Wednesday breakaway. Kien To ’21, who was cleatless for the first two weeks of school, possessed the ball wonderfully in the center of the field. Besides the welcomed offensive play, the consistent storyline still remains the Martlet defense, which hasn't allowed a goal this season.
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - Third Boys’ 9 vs Pomfret School 0

Soccer - Third Girls’
Sept. 25: Soccer - Third Girls’ 1 vs Hotchkiss School 1
On a hot afternoon at Hotchkiss, Third Girls' Soccer tied 1-1. A sluggish first half left the game at 0-0 and Hotchkiss put one in the net with seven minutes remaining. Putting pressure on the Hotchkiss defense, the Westminster defense played aggressive with a few minutes to go. Caroline McDermott ’20 intercepted a Hotchkiss pass, controlled for a few seconds and sent a shuffle pass toward the goal that Celia Sotirhos ’21 nudged into the net with two minutes remaining. The Westminster defense continued to be very stingy, not allowing many shots on net.
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - Third Girls’ 2 vs Choate Rosemary Hall 2
 
Soccer - Fourth Boys’
Sept. 25: Soccer - Fourth Boys’ 0 vs Northfield Mount Hermon School 6
 
Sept. 28: Soccer - Fourth Boys’ 1 vs Avon Old Farms School 3
 
Water Polo - First Boys’
Sept. 25: Water Polo - First Boys’ 1 vs Loomis Chaffee 8
Sept. 25: Water Polo - First Boys’ 1 vs Staples High School 9
The Martlets traveled to Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, Sept. 25 to play another tri-match against Staples and Loomis. Loomis is one of the top teams in our league this year, and Staples has a strong program, competing against the best teams in New England. Westminster played Staples first, and Staples quickly took control of the game using its swimming and game awareness to outmatch the Martlets. Westminster continues to develop a better understanding of positioning and individual play, but transitions have been challenging to control so far. Staples beat the Martlets 8-1. Loomis took advantage of similar mistakes from the Martlets, and defeated Westminster 9-1. A high point in this game came in the fourth quarter when the Martlets began executing in the half-court offense while moving off ball and creating opportunities near the goal. It will be improved swimming ability, as well as game awareness in the next few weeks that will be the difference in games. Keegan Bankoff ’22 has been exceptional in net. He has come up with some critical saves, he has blocked five-meter shots, and he has coordinated outlets and managed transitions. Calvin Hurty ’23 also saw some time in net during the second half against Loomis, and he was able to stop some shots, keeping the score at nine for Loomis. 
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