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Fall 2023 Athletics Banquet and Season Recap

November 28, 2023—Upper School athletes and their families attended the Fall 2023 Athletics Banquet honoring the cross country, field hockey, rowing, soccer, and volleyball teams. Noshing on pizza, salad, and desserts, teams gathered in the dining room to recap the fall season, which concluded earlier in the month.

While teams eventually went to breakout rooms for their own special celebrations, Director of Athletics Sherren Granese welcomed everyone and called to mind a few highlights of the season. In particular, three Winsor sports—field hockey, soccer, and volleyball—qualified for the post-season EIL tournaments, and there were big wins or ties in the last week of the season to get there.

Thanking the “dedicated coaching staff for all of the time, effort, and passion that they put into teaching, coaching, and bringing each group together to become the best team possible,” she also acknowledged the facilities staff who make practices and games possible day after day. 

Urging athletes to look beyond the scoreboard, Ms. Granese addressed the seniors saying, “You are the reason that your teams played with such heart and determination, but also had fun while doing it. We appreciate​ ​everything​ ​that​ ​you​ ​have​ ​done and​ ​given​ ​to​ ​represent​ ​Winsor​ ​at​ ​the highest​ ​level.​ ​​​Beyond​ ​the​ ​wins​ ​and​ ​losses, I​ ​hope​ ​that​ ​you​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​friendships that​ ​you​ ​have​ ​made​ ​and​ ​the​ ​fun​ ​that​ ​you had​ ​playing​ ​a​ ​sport​ ​that​ ​you​ ​love.”

Read what the coaches had to say about each of the teams this season:

Varsity Rowing
The first race for Winsor crew this fall was at the Textile Regatta, where 66 clubs and high school teams competed. Winsor had solid success with every boat finishing in the top 10 in all events with five top-five finishes. The women’s varsity 2 won the gold, finishing a full minute and 20 seconds ahead of the next crew and the Winsor novice 4 boat won a bronze medal.  The next regatta was a surprise regatta, with a few missing rowers due to the Head of the Housatonic being canceled due to the flooding of the river. With never-practiced lineups, the team medaled in four of the six high school events, they competed in and maintained top-10 finishes in all races. Winsor’s next race was the Head of the Charles, the largest regatta in the world. The varsity 4 finished 12th out of 89 teams, the second fastest boat of all other NEIRA crews. The varsity 8 fought a hard race and beat 10 crews across the finish line. The season finished with the second annual crazy 8s, where Winsor combined with Belmont Hill to compete in a relay race course. Overall, the team found speed both on and off of the water throughout the fall, setting the team up for an exciting spring season!

JV Field Hockey  
EIL Record 1–2 Overall Record 4–5–4
The JV field hockey team had a fun and competitive season. Each and every day the 16 members of the team came to practice ready to work hard and get better. It was exciting to watch them grow as a team and individually. Many of the team members were open to trying new positions, with several of them putting the pads on to play goalkeeper throughout the season. The team did well against their ISL opponents, beating BB&N and Thayer, and holding Rivers to a 2–2 tie. The last three games of the season saw the team playing their best field hockey of the season. The team played to a draw against both the Pingree and Phillips Exeter Academy teams, and then finished the season with a thrilling 2–1 victory over NCDS at home under the lights. Congratulations JV field hockey on a great season!
 
Varsity Field Hockey  
EIL Record 7–3 Overall Record 7–10
The 2023 Winsor varsity field hockey season was a true test of our players’ grit and determination. After a couple of tough losses to non-league teams to start the season, the players came back strong with two exciting shut-out wins against Berwick and Wheeler to kick off regular season play with a bang! Toward the middle of the season, we started to stumble with a few key losses but instead of hanging their heads and giving up their post-season playoff dreams, the team banded together to turn the season around. Spurred on by back-to-back-to-back shutouts against Beaver, Concord, and Dana Hall, the players leaned on one another and rose up in the face of adversity to reignite their chances for a spot in the EIL Championship tournament! During the final regular season game against the undefeated, number one-seeded team in the league, Newton Country Day School, some teams may have been intimidated...but not this team! They embraced the challenge and clinched a nail-biting victory under the lights in a 2–1 victory during overtime. With that win, Winsor varsity field hockey earned a spot in the semifinal game of the EIL Tournament against NCDS on their home grass field. After a tough fought game, Winsor was defeated 1–0 in the semifinal game, but the team refused to give up, making offensive breakaways to goal until the very last second of play. Overall, this season was an example of not only this team’s strength of skill but also their strength of character and willingness to never give up! 

JV Soccer
EIL Record 4–4 Overall Record 5–7
With seven eighth graders, the 2023 JV soccer team finished with an overall record of five wins and seven loses against some tough out-of-league competition. Their EIL record was 4–4 with convincing wins over their league opponents. This season was highlighted by strong teamwork, continuous improvement, and youthful exuberance. The team finished with a total of 31 goals and 14 assists. Goals were scored by eight different players and assists were scored by nine different players. Key wins include a 7–1 win at home over Berwick and a 6–2 win on the road at Concord Academy. Coach Kelly and Coach Rupp are proud of the work each player put in this fall and thank them for their dedication to the team this season.

Varsity Soccer  
EIL Record  7–3–2 Overall Record 7–7–3
The varsity soccer team had another successful season under the leadership of the four outstanding seniors. The team started the season with two strong EIL victories, a 3–2 win over Portsmouth Abbey and a dominating 2–0 victory over Berwick Academy. The team then played some outstanding soccer against their ISL opponents, with the highlight being a 1–1 tie against perennial power Lawrence Academy. Starting with a 6–0 victory over LCA at Under the Lights, and wins over Wheeler and Beaver Country Day School, the team set themselves up to be strong competitors for the post season EIL tournament. With ties against Dana Hall and Newton Country Day School, the team ended up with the third seed in the EIL postseason tournament. The highlight of the season was the team’s amazing 2–1 victory over Dana Hall in the semifinals, that went into penalty kicks with Winsor netting three to Dana Hall’s one, including one by goalkeeper Sophie Fleishman ’25. With that win and the majority of the team returning, Winsor soccer program’s future looks bright. Congratulations, varsity soccer, on an outstanding season.

JV Volleyball  
EIL Record 11–7 Overall Record 12–7
The team started the season with several new players and three coaches new to Winsor. With hard work and dedication, the athletes were able to grow into a team that competed and battled for every point and match. The stark change in every single player’s growth only mere weeks into the season was astonishing. Highlights of the season were a strong early-season victory over powerhouse Austin Prep School and sweeping both in-season matches against EIL opponents Concord Academy and Dana Hall School. With an overall record of 11–7, the team finished with the best JV volleyball season ever. Just as important as the wins were the laughs and fun that was had, from singing on the bus rides home to trying to beat the coaches in doubles this fall. Congratulations and thank you for an amazing season, JV volleyball.

Varsity Volleyball  
EIL Record 8–4 Overall Record 9–11
With a young team, the varsity volleyball team played some outstanding volleyball and finished with an EIL record of 8–4. With the gym packed at UTL, the team rose to the occasion and beat a strong Dana Hall opponent 3–1. They qualified for the EIL postseason tournament and battled top-seeded NCDS for every point in their semifinal match up.

As a coach, I have been extremely grateful to have worked with such an amazing team this year. One of the things I am most proud of is the remarkable growth of each player, not only with their volleyball skills, but also as a team, coming together and fighting for one another. The team consistently pushed each other to achieve their highest potential through their effort in practice; they were always working their hardest and pushing their teammates to do the same. 

The second thing is the strength and resilience of this group to never give up. No challenge was too daunting, no setback too discouraging. It was amazing to see how, despite the adversities we faced, this group always found that spark of energy to get back up and keep going. This made our comebacks some of the most intense and fun matches to be a part of. Thank you and congratulations to varsity volleyball.

Cross Country  
EIL Record 11–0 Overall Record 11–5
The 2023 XC season represented a season of growth for our team. After a nail-biter win at 2022 EILs that came down to the 6th runner we were determined to do the offseason work to defend our title. Our three captains hosted early morning runs all summer, and September brought an impressive roster of 29 athletes, representing a 26% increase over the previous year. Early season workouts showed us that we had significant promise but we knew every EIL opponent would be working hard to break our long winning streak. We opened the season with decisive victories over Dana Hall and EIL-newcomer Wheeler before traveling to the Canterbury Invitational to finish fifth out of eight teams. Next up was a rematch with the 2022 runner-up Pingree. We went into the meet confident but apprehensive—as we graduated two of our top five runners and number one runner, Meg Madison ’24, was out for the season. Wow did the team deliver—we took four of the top seven spots and held off Pingree by nine points. This meet was a turning point for us as we recognized we had a really good chance of defending our EIL title if we could stay healthy for the rest of the season. 

We had a few tough races against ISL and D1 NEPSTA opponents but managed to stay perfect in the EIL for the ninth straight year. We went into the championship race confident and excited. 
​​As the race started, Pingree, Berwick, Dana, NCD, and Portsmouth Abbey runners crowded the front, Winsor runners ran with incredible patience but asserted themselves to fight for every position. In the final 300 meters Gracie Zhou ’26 moved ahead to beat Dana Hall’s undefeated runner for the first win of her life. Winsor’s depth sealed the win as we had seven runners in the top 25, and every Winsor athlete ran a seasonal or personal best. 

Next up was New Englands where Winsor competed against the largest boarding schools based on our historical strength. Our Varsity had a tough day finishing 14th but our JV was an impressive 5th. 
As the team graduates four amazing seniors, we are immensely grateful for your leadership and excited to see what the future holds. 

Congratulations, Winsor cross country, on your continued success.

Honors
Several Winsor athletes receive All League and All New England Honors. At the banquet, they stood for applause and recognition of their accomplishments. 
  • Varsity Field Hockey EIL Honorable Mention: Sophia Bub '27 and Catherine Russell ’25
  • Varsity Field Hockey EIL All League: Veronica Agudelo ’24, Maddie Cheng ’25, and Ariana Rowe ’24
  • Varsity Field Hockey All New England Honorable mention: Veronica Agudelo ’24
  • Varsity Field Hockey All New England: Ariana Rowe ’24
  • Varsity Soccer EIL honorable mention Grace DeStefano ’24 and Skylar Goldstein ’24 
  • Varsity Soccer EIL All League Sophie Fleishman ’25, Nell Sparks ’25, and Tessa White’27
  • Varsity Soccer All New England Honorable mention: Tessa White ’27
  • Varsity Soccer All New England: Sophie Fleishman ’25
  • Varsity Volleyball EIL honorable mention: Yemisi Adetowubo ’26 and Kelly Yin ’26
  • Varsity Volleyball EIL All League: Lucie Rynne ’24 and Karla Sahin ’24
  • Varsity Volleyball All New England Honorable mention: Karla Sahin ’24
  • Varsity Cross Country EIL honorable mention: Lara do Rosario ’26 and Ryan Fantasia ’24
  • Varsity Cross Country EIL All League: Suzanne Pogorelec ’24, Serena Toscani ’25, and Gracie Zhou ’26
  • Varsity Cross Country EIL MVP: Gracie Zhou ’26
  • Varsity Cross Country All New England Team: Gracie Zhou ’26
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