Choate Day: Game by Game Varsity Recap

This past Saturday, the Lawrenceville School Varsity sports teams traveled to Wallingford, Connecticut, to compete against Choate Rosemary Hall.

This past Saturday, the Lawrenceville School Varsity sports teams traveled to Wallingford, Connecticut, to compete against Choate Rosemary Hall. Almost all of Lawrenceville’s fall varsity sports competed, except for the Girls Varsity Water Polo Team and the Girls Varsity Tennis Team, which are spring sports at Choate. Lawrenceville controlled the fields, pool, and courts at Choate and lost only three games against Choate: football, boys soccer, and girls soccer. This is the third annual Choate Day, which started back in 2017 to expand Lawrenceville’s competition to more of its peer schools in the Northeast.

Boys Cross Country: The Boys Varsity Cross Country Team was able to taste the sweet flavor of victory after a dominant performance at Choate winning 15-47. The first runners finish score fewer points for their respective teams, meaning that the team with the lower score wins. The Boys Varsity Cross Country Head Coach, Christopher Hyson P'14 '16 '21, praised Matej Cacik ’21 after Cacik won his first race, while Co-captains Alex Pesendorfer ’20 and Theo Bammi ’20 finished in second and third place respectively. Cacik, Pesendorfer, and Bammi finished the race with the times of 17:26.7, 17:36.1, and 18:01.9, respectively.

Girls Cross Country: Lawrenceville’s Girls Cross Country Team easily beat Choate with a final score of 16-46. Katie Chaput, the Girls Varsity Cross Country Head Coach, mentioned that regardless of the “tough [and] hilly course” at Choate, the girls were able to “beat the hill that allowed them to have a successful day.” Allison Haworth ’22 and Tiffany Lin ’20 were praised for good performances while Charlotte Bednar ’23, Kate McCann ’22, and Rina Takoaka ’20 “did their jobs to help [the team] towards a victory.” Chaput stated that the team should “work on a strong last mile and on staying healthy.” The Girls Varsity Cross Country Team is also looking forward to having a shot at the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) or the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJISAA) title later in the fall.

Girls Soccer: After a tough battle against Choate, the Girls Varsity Soccer Team had to conclude its away match with a 0-2 loss. Bela Ricardo ’21 played an excellent game and completed multiple crosses into the box to create offensive opportunities for Lawrenceville. Unaccustomed to Choate’s striker-oriented style of play, Lawrenceville’s defense took time to adapt and it ultimately cost the team the game. Co-captain Carolyn McLaughlin ’20 said, “I’m really proud of how hard we played and our great job on passing. Although our result was disappointing, I’m really glad we had the opportunity to push ourselves against Choate in this game.”

Boys Soccer: The Boys Varsity Soccer Team lost to Choate in a hard-fought game, 0-2. In the first half, neither team scored, but Choate scored on a penalty kick in the opening minutes of the second half to take the lead. While playing from behind, Lawrenceville continued to battle for the ball and kept its composure, but Choate scored another goal from distance, while Lawrenceville failed to capitalize on multiple attempts. Head Coach G. Blake Eldridge, Jr. '96 H'12 was happy with the team’s overall performance and said, “we were organized, we attacked with speed, and we defended as a unit… this was our best overall performance as a team this season.”

Water Polo: In its game against Choate, the Boys Varsity Water Polo Team defeated Choate 18-7. Using speed to its advantage, the team scored many of its goals off of fast breaks and also man-up situations when a Choate player was excluded. Working closely with Aidan Oster ’21 on fast breaks, Tim Barry ’21 scored six goals. Co-captain Henry Giangrande ’20 said, “we jumped into the water ready to win. Our gritty zone defense shut Choate down, and we caught them by surprise on our counterattacks, allowing us to score 12 of our 18 goals.” The team also played the New Haven Hydras, a water polo club based out of New Haven, defeating the Hydras 12-9.

Football: Lawrenceville played a tough game against Choate and lost to an extremely strong Choate team 6-43. Prior to its loss against St. Thomas More School on September, Choate had a historic run of success in New England football play for the past five years and maintained an impeccable 49-0 record. Following a 1-1 start after two home games, with a win over the Pingry School and a loss to Deerfield Academy, Lawrenceville went on the road and competed valiantly against the powerhouse opponent. Although Lawrenceville ultimately lost, the team found a positive in getting on the scoreboard as Big Red’s tally of six points scored was improved from years prior.

Volleyball: Volleyball came out on top against Choate, winning the game 3-1. Playing aggressively on offense and dominating the net on blocking, Lawrenceville got out to a quick lead. Led by Co-captains Ashley Warren ’20 and Victoria Dugan ’20, the team remained very composed throughout the game by playing technically and fluidly. Head Coach Katherine O'Malley H'07 said, “we lost to Choate last year, so it was great to have a good comeback… our strengths lie in our blocking and our hitting, led by Warren.” In addition to Warren’s strong performance, “Sara Xu [’22] had a phenomenal game, winning Lawrenceville five consecutive points off of her serving at one point.” The team also defeated Lyman Hall High School, a public school-based out of Wallingford, 2-0.

Field Hockey: The Girls Varsity Field Hockey Team got off to a quick start against Choate and scored within the first two minutes of the game. The game finished 6-0 in favor of Lawrenceville with Bella Koch ’22, who netted three goals, shining on offense. Lawrenceville’s defense, led by Co-captains Lizzie Huesman ’20 and Grace Faircloth ’20, also kept Choate scoreless. Both captains had “phenomenal defensive games,” according to Head Coach Lisa Ewanchyna P’23. However, Ewanchyna noted in future games that the team’s focus would be on improving areas of weakness, such as swinging the ball more often because “[it] played a lot… on the left side of the field and could have brought the ball to the right side more, which is [the team’s] stronger side and the weaker side for the defense.”