Darien athletes fuel Dragons playoff push
The first part of the postseason for Greens Farms Academy volleyball and boys soccer came to a close while the regular season wound down for the girls soccer and field hockey programs last week.
Volleyball fell in the FAA quarterfinals and boys soccer was ousted in the FAA semifinals.
Cross country, meanwhile, reached the finish line of its season with a fast performance at the New England Class C championship meet.
The Dragons lost in the quarterfinals of the FAA Tournament 3-0 to Holy Child by the scores of 25-17, 25-19, 25-21.
The sets were played close and GFA really came out and played a much more consistent and aggressive match today.
“I was very happy that our team played hard and played to win but today Holy Child played a bit better at moments and earned the win,” GFA coach Paul Groves said. “Both teams played exceptionally with each team providing excellent saves and long rallies certainly worthy of a quarterfinal game.
The Dragons were led by Kirwan Caray (Westport), who had 12 kills; Elena Mota (Darien), who had six kills; Jesse Boolbol (Greenwich), who had 4 kills; and Meg Nesi (Fairfield), who had 16 assists).
Defensively Celeste Matte (Straford) had 7 digs while Alex Nason (Darien) had eight. The duo led a steady defense which also included Ililta Pina (Weston), Tess McCormick (Westport) and Hannah Kozdeba (Shelton), all of whom had strong performances.
Despite out-shooting and out-possessing their opponents for much of the game, the GFA Dragons boys soccer team was unable to outscore Masters (NY), falling by a 3-1 count in an FAA semifinal at home on Wednesday.
One player scored all three goals for Masters, including two just two minutes apart to take a 2-0 lead midway through the first half.
The Dragons got one back with 26 minutes to play when Steffen Refvik (Westport) booted home the rebound of a Jake Sinnott (Fairfield) direct kick.
GFA continued to control play and create opportunities, but Masters added an insurance goal to complete the hat trick and take a 3-1 lead 12 minutes later.
GFA outshot Masters 12-9.
Henry Holzinger (Westport) had six saves for GFA.
It was a lightning fast course and the Greens Farms Academy cross country team was surrounded by talented runners from all over New England.
The result was a day that produced a lot of outstanding times for the Dragons who took part in the NEPSAC Division 3 cross country championship meet at the Rivers School on Saturday.
All season long, most of the Dragons were chasing sub-20 minute times.
Toward the FAA championship meet, sub-19 became the goal.
On Saturday, four Dragons posted times in the 18-minute range.
Senior Sean Minson (Darien) led the way for GFA, running his final XC race as a Dragon and finishing in the top spot for the team. He placed 40th overall in 18:38.
Owen Minson (Darien) and Conner Calzone (Norwalk) weren’t far behind, placing 47th and 48th, respectively. Both were clocked in 18:46.
Sophomore Charlie Bohnsack (Darien) also PR’d in 18:53, placing 51st overall while Larson Palmgren (Fairfield) was 74th in 19:13.
Ross Mix (Darien) was timed in 19:43 and Will Magrone (Darien) was clocked in 19:59 to round out the GFA varsity effort.
A total of 152 runners finished the varsity race.
The Dragons placed ninth as a team with 254 points, trailing New England champ and meet host Rivers School (75 points).
In the girls meet, the Dragons sent three runners to the meet.
Freshman Caroline McCall (Westport) placed 31st overall in 21:48.
Bella Worrell (Westport) was clocked in 24:46 and Kaitlin Reed (Southport) was timed in 25:20.
Worrell’s time was more than a minute better than her PR while Reed’s time clocked in 38 seconds faster than she had ever run before.
In the boys JV race, Jeb Rooney (Darien) placed 18th overall, earning a ribbon with a time of 20:10.
The GFA girls soccer team wrapped up its season on Saturday with a 4-0 home loss to Miss Porter’s School.
Kendra Offerman (Bedford, NY) played the first half in goal while Sarah Peltier (Stamford) played the second half.
They combined to make five saves.
The Dragons got off seven shots in the game with Ella Murphy (Darien) and Elyse Kimball (Easton) leading the way with two each.
GFA put up a valiant fight against a strong Ethel Walker team but lost 6-0.
EW scored three goals in each half. Rikeh Saingbe (Bridgeport) was in goal for GFA and made five saves. Defenders Ryan Morris (Stamford) and Alex Nesi (Fairfield) made key defensive saves. Sophomore Kara Ventura (Weston) made a spectacular open field block tackle to stop an Ethel Walker offensive breakaway.
Despite strong midfield play by Lucy Holzinger (Westport) and Bryn Morrison (Weston), GFA was unable to mount much offense against the strong Ethel Walker defense, nabbing just three shots and four corners.