Returning this season are 20 runners, including senior co-captains Anna Liddy, Emily Fray, Christina Steele, Julia Preusse, Caitlin Panarella, and Maggie Semprevivo…
Returning this season are 20 runners, including senior co-captains Anna Liddy, Emily Fray, Christina Steele, Julia Preusse, Caitlin Panarella, and Maggie Semprevivo; six newcomers fill out the team.
“Good chemistry and good leadership are our strengths,” said Head Coach Mike Simon, who is in his third year at the helm.
For the first time in the team’s history, the Gryphons won the first meet of the season at Sherwood Park on September 16. They beat perennial favorite Hopkins by five points. Coach Simon said they ran well as a team and they had a few surprises. Freshman Emma O’Shea, coming back from an injury, ran well, as did sophomore Hannah Cleary, who was injured all last year, and came in fifth, a crucial place, since the top 1-5 are the primary scorers. Senior Anna Liddy came in fourth.
At their next meet, September 24 at Edith Read, Holy Child will compete against Rye Country Day School, Greenwich Academy, and Green Farms Academy.
Simon said the championship meet on November 2 is going to be a “barn burner,” but for now they will take it one race at a time.
Senior Co-Captains Maddy Fitzwilliam and Adare Kennedy are two of the 11 returning players for the Gryphons. Four new players have joined the team and Coach Barbara Lorys believes the fact that the girls have been playing sports together for the past few years will carry over in games.
Coach and players are looking forward to playing cohesively and to earning a better record than they had last season, and so far they’re doing just that. The team has won all five of its games, and, for the first time in the 12 years Coach Lorys has been with the team, they beat Rye Country Day during regular season play, winning 3-2 on September 17. Captain Kennedy said, “We came out strong and played as a team. We moved the ball well and played to our strengths on both sides of the field, which was the difference for us. The game ultimately came down to a final corner, with time expired, and our defense really stepped up to stop their final push. I am really proud of Holy Child!”
On Monday, Holy Child overwhelmed Manhattan’s Brearley School, winning 8-0.
Not only does Holy Child have a new coach, they also have a brand-new gym and field house. Noelle Vasquez, who played volleyball at Holy Child and now teaches science in the high school, has taken over the helm after five years as assistant coach. She, along with the eight returning players, all seniors, looks forward to embracing the six new team members.
The three captains, Annemarie Altomare, Veronica Rizutto, and Eileen Cacsire, are very excited about their new head coach, “who is very encouraging and creates a lot of positive energy amongst the players.”
The team is currently 2-2. They won their first game against Riverdale 3-1 and then suffered two losses in a row. Regrettably, their second loss, 3-2 to Marymount, was their first game in the new Kelly Family Gym. But their second win, against Hamden Hall September 16, was a decisive one. The Gryphons won 3-0.
They meet Greenwich Academy on September 25. Their second game in the new gym is against Masters on Homecoming Day, September 26.
As Holy Child’s Assistant Athletic Director Beau Morki begins his third season coaching the team, he expects, “the girls will work hard. That’s what it takes to be successful.” And he knows a lot about success, having taken a team with a losing record in previous years to a state championship in his first year as head coach, and to the playoffs last year.
This veteran team, with 12 returning players, ten of whom are seniors, is looking to improve game by game and make the playoffs. The three senior captains, keeper Margaret Brady, midfielder Francesca Cristiano, and forward Kathleen Daly are excited about the season and look forward to seeing new and veteran players come together as a team. Coach Morki says, “Heart and will power are our team’s strengths.
The team is currently 1-1-2. They beat Fieldston 5-2 on September 11, tied Convent of the Sacred Heart NYC 1-1 on September 14, lost to Hackley 3-2 on September 16, and lost to Greenwich Academy 4-2 on September 21.