3 Greenwich High athletes to play at Ivy League schools
Playing lacrosse at a Division I school has been in Maggie O’Gorman’s plans for quite some time.
“When I was in eighth grade, I knew I wanted to play Division I lacrosse and I did everything I could to do that,” said O’Gorman, a Greenwich High School senior.
Soon, O’Gorman will compete at the Division I level, as she announced that she will play Ivy League lacrosse at Dartmouth during a ceremony at Greenwich High on Thursday morning.
O’Gorman was one of three Greenwich athletes who announced they were Ivy League-bound. Seniors Sofi de la Sierra and Cameron Thibault are going to join the crew teams at Pennsylvania and Dartmouth, respectively.
“It’s just an amazing feeling, after waiting so long to have it be less than a year away is really exciting,” said O’Gorman, who will serve as one of the captains of the Cardinals’ lacrosse team in the spring. “I am so honored to have the opportunity to go to such an amazing school with amazing people.”
Possessing breakaway speed and an accurate shot at the attack position, O’Gorman established herself as one of Greenwich’s top scorers the past several seasons. A five-goal effort in the Cardinals’ 18-10 season-opening win against Fairfield Ludlowe last spring, began O’Gorman’s standout junior campaign.
The Cardinals reached the FCIAC tournament quarterfinals last season (lost to Ridgefield) and advanced to the CIAC Class L Tournament semifinals, where they were defeated by Wilton.
“I think we have a really great season ahead of us,” O’Gorman said. “I am hoping we can make it to the state and FCIAC championship.”
A dynamic playmaker, who is difficult to defend, O’Gorman’s overall game has evolved each season while at Greenwich High.
“With each team I’ve played on, my lacrosse IQ has increased,” O’Gorman said. “Playing with different girls on different types of teams has helped me improve. I’ve also gone from being a follower to being a leader on this team.”
O’Gorman began playing lacrosse as a third-grader with the Greenwich Youth Lacrosse program.
“I loved the speed of the game, I felt it was an exciting sport to play,” she said.
She also displayed her leadership and skill during the fall as a member of the Cardinals’ field hockey team, which made it to the semifinal-round of the state tournament.
“The speed of field hockey has helped me with lacrosse and how fast the ball is moving,” O’Gorman said. “It’s good to have a sport where I am working different muscle parts in the fall, so I’m not going to burn out my muscles for spring lacrosse.”
Dartmouth’s lacrosse team is coached by Danielle Spencer.
“The program is such a tight-knit group,” O’Gorman said of Dartmouth. “It really felt like home when I visited there. I know going from high school to college is going to be a big change. Everyone will be a the same level as me, so practice will be much more intense.”
Kaitlin Gaghan, who will begin her first season as coach of the GHS girls lacrosse team, attended the ceremony.
For de la Sierra, rowing became her favorite sport when she joined the Greenwich Crew program as a sophomore.
“My parents said I should try it and no sport clicked liked that for me,” de la Sierra said. “Rowing requires a team effort, you are not ever in it alone. Even when you are not on the water in the winter, everyone is training and offering so much support to each other.”
The Greenwich senior enjoys the challenge being part of a crew team entails.
“You have to have a lot of grit to compete in the sport,” said de le Sierra, who was part of Greenwich Crew’s women’s junior eight boat that finished second out of 85 boats at the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston back in October. “You just have to keep pushing yourself, even when you think you are at your best, you can achieve more.”
She is eagerly anticipating continuing her crew career at Penn.
“I believe I will continue to grow as an athlete,” de la Sierra said. “There are so many amazing opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania. “I met the coaching staff and everything was great.”
Thibault, like de la Sierra, has honed her rowing skills at Greenwich Crew’s program. She also discovered the sport as a sophomore.
“It was the winter of my sophomore year and even though I was not on the water I fell in love with the hard work you put in, but you see the results,” Thibault said. “Once I got on the water, I loved it.”
At the Head of the Charles Regatta during Greenwich Crew’s fall season in October, Thibault rowed in the team’s women’s junior four boat that placed seventh. Greenwich Crew also won the women’s overall points trophy at the Head of the Fish Regatta this past fall. Greenwich Crew coaches Catherine Starr and Heidi Hunsberger joined Thibault and de la Sierra at the ceremony.
“In the spring, we are hoping to qualify for regionals, then go to nationals in California,” Thibault said. “Being a member of the team has been amazing. Our senior class is the driving force for our whole team.
“Mental toughness is a huge thing that I have been able to get out of rowing. There’s a lot of dedication you have to put in to see the results.”