Quartet of Darien players named to All-American Girls Lacrosse Team
Here's a look at the team everyone would love to coach.
U.S. Lacrosse recently announced its All-American Girls Lacrosse Team and here's the First Team members from Connecticut.
Olivia Hompe, senior midfielder/attack, New Canaan: One of the best athletes in the state, the two-time All-American was an unstoppable force, igniting the Rams offensively each game. Hompe, who will continue her lacrosse career at Princeton University, registered four goals and two assists in New Canaan's 10-6 win over Wilton in the Class M finals -- a victory that gave the Rams their second straight state title. Her six goals and three assists helped power the Rams past Avon in the Class M semifinals. The Rams' leading scorer's outstanding stick work and ability to read the field made her one of the toughest players to defend. The talented Hompe also excelled on the ice, finishing her career as the New Canaan hockey team's all-time leading scorer.
Taylor Hardison, senior attack, Darien: The ability to make the perfect pass in clutch moments separated Hardison from the rest. Hardison registered a school record 46 assists last season as a junior and most likely approached that number this year. The two-time First Team All-American had three goals and five assists to power the Blue Wave past Greenwich in the Class L finals and posted three goals and three assists in a quarterfinal round victory against Simsbury. Beyond the statistics, Hardison's leadership and unselfish play carried over to her teammates.
Emilia Tapsall, senior midfielder, Greenwich Academy: Tapsall recorded 31 goals and 37 assists this spring to help propel the Gators to a 17-1 record and their 28th FAA championship in 30 years. Tapsall, who finished her distinguished career with more than 100 goals, will play field hockey in the fall at the University of Virginia. She concluded her final lacrosse season at GA in style, notching a team-high five goals and three assists in the Gators' win over Convent of the Sacred Heart in the FAA Tournament final.
"Emilia had the quickest first step of almost anyone around," GA coach Angela Tammaro said. "She has an extra gear and can kick it up another notch. She's also a good defender and is really a complete player. She can easily play Division I lacrosse as well."
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Mary Taussig, senior midfielder, Greenwich Academy: A two-time First Team All-American, was the glue that held the Gators' defense together from her defensive wing position. She also showed versatility, center and attack wing. She helped GA gain possession throughout the season, registering 45 draw controls. Taussig will play lacrosse at Colorado College.
"Mary is the consummate defender," GA coach Angela Tammaro said. "She comes out with the ball on the draw, which has a big impact on the game. She also led our defense"
Carolyn Paletta, junior midfielder, Greenwich: Paletta was second on the Cardinals in scoring, registering 57 goals and 23 assists. Voted as the team's MVP, Paletta also led Greenwich with 81 draw controls. The speedy Paletta has already committed to play lacrosse at North Carolina
"Carolyn is a great utility player, she can cover all aspects of the field," GHS coach Caitlin Keane said. "She really helped with our transition game, bringing the ball up the field and getting draw controls at the center of the field. She doesn't think of herself as the go-to player, but her teammates really relied on her. They voted her as one of the captains for next season and she was completely surprised by it."
Kristy Gilbert, senior midfielder, Darien: A deep and potent midfield is one of the reasons why Darien was so dominant and Gilbert helped pace the Blue Wave in that department. After recording a hat trick in the Blue Wave's Class L semifinal win over Hall, she scored twice and was a force all over the field in her team's state final win against Greenwich. She's headed to Cornell in the fall, where she will play lacrosse.
Dillon Schoen, junior midfielder, Darien: Schoen contributed in all aspects of the game and was one of the driving forces in the team's torrid transition game. She scored three goals in the Blue Wave's state semifinal victory and had two goals and two assists in the state championship game. A player who does a lot things that don't show up in the box score, Schoen has made an early commitment to Stanford University.
Amelia Dickson, senior midfielder, Hotchkiss School: Ranked fourth in New England, the Bearcats rolled to a record of 11-1, winning their final 11 games of the season with Dickson patrolling the midfield. One of the highlights of the high-scoring Dickson's season (she's a Greenwich resident) came when she scored five goals in Hotchkiss' 17-14 triumph against rival Greenwich Academy.
Cassandra Ekstrom, junior defender, Newtown: The Nighthawks were tough to score on all season and Ekstrom was the anchor of the defensive unit. She excelled at defending the opposition's best offensive players and was a key reason why Newtown won its ninth consecutive SWC championship.
Caylee Waters, senior goalie, Darien: The Blue Wave allowed only 130 goals in 22 games and saw the opposition score more than 10 goals on them just three times during the season due to the standout play of Waters in goal. She saved an impressive 69 percent of the shots that came her in leading Darien to its 12th state championship. Besides earning All-American First Team honors, the North Carolina-bound Waters was named the CIAC Player of the Year and the Nike/US Lacrosse Northeast Player of the Year. Not often do you see goalies routinely make saves on free position shots, but that's exactly what Waters did throughout the season.
Liz O'Sullivan, senior goalie, New Canaan: Despite missing six games with a broken thumb, O'Sullivan didn't show any rust in the Rams' Class M state final matchup against Wilton. O'Sullivan made nine saves in the Rams' victory against the rival Warriors. O'Sullivan, who will compete on the lacrosse team at Notre Dame Next year, yielded 10 or more goals just three times the whole season.