NCCS finishes 2017 unblemished
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, July 20, 2017
New Canaan Country School boys varsity lacrosse team had an undefeated season with a 7-0 final record.
The team, consisting of Upper School students (grades seven, eight and nine), competed in the Fairchester Athletic League, made up of independent schools from Fairfield and Westchester Counties. The Country School Cougars netted 103 goals scored versus just 27 allowed, showing their strength at both ends of the field.
“The team’s success was based upon a willingness of all players to put ego aside regardless of role or position, and work together,” coach Charles Khuen said. “These boys really understand the concept of a shared goal. Many of them have been playing together since middle school (grades five and six) and have tremendous individual and collaborative skills.”
The midfield was led by the four ninth-grade captains, Henry Alpaugh, Shane Baldwin and Carter George all of Darien, and Bo Ziegler of Rowayton. They were assisted by expert face-off specialist, Teddy Schoenholtz of New Canaan. The defensive lineup was marshalled by eighth grader, Jackson Alvord of New Canaan and brothers Thomas and Jeffrey Ricciardelli, also of New Canaan. Thomas, a sensational seventh-grade goalie, made saves that were truly beyond his years, while eighth-grader Jeffrey, a southpaw talent, left defenses in fits all season with his elusiveness and shot accuracy.
Highlights of the season included quality wins against perennial rivals, Greenwich Country Day School and Brunswick School. From the first whistle and after just a single practice under their belts, the Cougars proved they had something special this year against GCDS, tallying three consecutive goals in the opening two minutes. The final score ended in a convincing 12-5 victory. In an away-contest versus Brunswick, the boys from New Canaan proved that they were legitimate contenders, as they held off a well-coached and experienced Brunswick team that was determined not to lose on their home field. The dust settled after a back-and-forth slug fest with the Cougars winning 10-8.
Maintaining their focus, the team knew they still had some tough tests ahead. After comfortably beating a strong Fairfield Country Day School in their first meeting 12-4, the team went into the away game confident of a repeat performance. However, the rematch proved to be much different, with the Cougars trailing for the first time all season going into the fourth quarter. It was a time when captains made their voices heard, and the team was forced to find out who they were did they have the necessary resilience? The answer was clear. The team stuck together and rallied back to earn a much deserved, hard-fought 6-5 win.
“I’m very proud of these boys,” Khuen said. “Their mettle was tested several times, but their commitment to the team is what clinched the wins.”
New Canaan Country School is a co-ed, independent day school for students in Pre-K (ages three and four) through grade nine. Located on a 75-acre campus at 635 Frogtown Rd in New Canaan, the school offers transportation to those families living in Fairfield and Westchester Counties. For more, please visit www.countryschool.net.