Water polo: Greenwich Academy 14, Hopkins 2 Balance leads to rout
With the season at its halfway point, the Greenwich Academy water polo team is beginning to round into the form that would enable it to contend for another New England championship.
Shutting out Hopkins School in the second half, while receiving a balanced scoring effort, Greenwich Academy posted a decisive 14-2 win over the Hilltoppers at Brunswick School on Wednesday.
The Gators (6-2) held a 3-1 lead after the first quarter and took a 7-2 advantage into halftime before outscoring the Hilltoppers 7-0 in the second half.
“The third and fourth quarter, everything started working,” GA coach Ulmis Iordache said. “The second quarter, the ballhandling could have been better. But after a tough start, our players started using the fundamentals to their advantage in the third and fourth quarter.”
Kayla Yelensky helped power the Gators offensively, recording six goals, three assists and three steals.
“Kayla stepped up her game,” Iordache said. “She has a very high percentage of finishing her shots.”
Senior Borden Wahl, who will play water polo at Harvard next season, registered four goals and three assists while Kaitlin Ganshaw had three goals, two assists and two steals in the winning effort. Also pacing the victors were Lindsay McBurney (one goal, one assist), Annabel Stickel (one steal) and goalie Casey Gottlieb (eight saves).
“We did a really good job on defense,” Iordache said. “We took advantage of our steals and we had a lot of goals off the counter-attack. Casey (Gottlieb) blocked a lot of shots.”
Greenwich Academy, which has won the NEPSAC title the past two seasons, will host the New England tourney next month at Brunswick School.
“We’re motivated to do really well at the tournament once again,” Iordache said. “Right now, our season is going very well.”