Ten seniors sign off on their athletic futures


Ms. Rachel Zurheide

Senior student-athletes celebrate their National Letter of Intent signing day.

Sacred Heart Greenwich celebrated ten student-athletes pursuing athletics in college after they signed their National Letters of Intent December 17.  Seniors Amelia Sheehan, Morgan Smith, Claire Chmiel, Katie Keller, Paige Pucel, Ashley Giannetti, Bella Rogers, Emma Caruso, Carly Haines, and Erin O’Connor plan to further their athletic achievements for Division I and Division III programs.

A National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and a National Letter of Intent (NLI) member institution, according to nationalletter.org

Morgan, Katie, Amelia, and Claire will continue their lacrosse careers at the Division I level.  The four students currently play for Sacred Heart’s varsity lacrosse team.  Morgan, Katie, and Amelia are the captains of the team this year. 

Claire Chmiel ’20, Katie Keller ’20, Amelia Sheehan ’20, and Morgan Smith ’20 will compete for Division I lacrosse programs in college.  Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide

Morgan will play for the University of Pennsylvania next year.  In the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) preseason rankings, the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team stands as the ninth-best team nationally, according to uslaxmagazine.com.  In 2018, the University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team earned the distinction of Ivy League Champions.

Morgan reflected on what she has learned while playing for Sacred Heart.

“Throughout my time here at Sacred Heart, I have been taught that I must put my teammates in front of myself and when one of my teammates is struggling, whether that is on or off the field, it is up for the rest of the team to help her,” Morgan said.  “Without Sacred Heart, I would not have been able to experience such amazing seasons and create friendships that will last a lifetime.”

In the fall, Claire will continue her lacrosse career at Villanova University, a member of the Big East Conference.  After their 2019 campaign, recording ten wins and eight losses, the NCAA ranked Villanova’s women’s lacrosse team thirty-sixth nationally, according to ncaa.com.

Katie will be playing for Duke University, which competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).  The NCAA did not rank Duke in its 2020 preseason rankings, however, the team beat Notre Dame in the ACC quarterfinals with a score of 14-13 in 2019.

Amelia will be joining the women’s lacrosse team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).  Both Duke and UNC compete in the ACC conference.  In 2016, UNC’s women’s lacrosse team won the NCAA Championships, defeating the University of Maryland.  The NCAA ranks UNC as the number one women’s lacrosse program in the country.

After playing varsity lacrosse together at Sacred Heart for four years, Amelia and Katie will join the rivalry between the Duke and UNC women’s lacrosse teams.  The two teams last played in the 2019 ACC semifinals in April.  UNC topped Duke 16-11, advancing to the ACC Championship and defeating Boston College for the ACC title.

Paige, Ashley, Bella, and Emma will be rowing their way to future accomplishments.  Ashley will be continuing her career at Brown University, the seventh-best Division I rowing program in the United States, according to ncaa.com.   Ashley rows for RowAmerica Rye, a rowing club in Rye, New York. 

Ashley Giannetti ’20, Bella Rogers ’20, Emma Caruso ’20, and Paige Pucel ’20 will continue their rowing careers in college.  Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide

Paige will be taking her talents to Indiana University, the fifteenth best program in the NCAA.  Emma will further her skills at Williams College.  The NCAA recognizes Williams as the eighth-best Division III program for women’s rowing, according to ncaa.comBoth Emma and Paige row for Connecticut Boat Club, located in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Bella, who currently rows for Sacred Heart’s varsity team, will row for the University of Notre Dame.  Notre Dame is twenty-fifth in the United States for Division I women’s rowing, according to ncaa.com

Bella believes that her time on the rowing team at Sacred Heart helped her grow as an athlete.

“The rowing team at Sacred Heart is a lot smaller than teams in the area, so it was hard sometimes,” Bella said.  “However, sticking with the team and the coaches showed me how much hard work and patience can do.  These values I learned will help me stay humble and resilient in college, and will ultimately set me up for a successful academic and athletic career.”

Carly, the captain of Sacred Heart’s varsity golf team, will further develop her skills at the University of Louisville.  The NCAA ranks Louisville as the thirty-seventh best team in the country, according to golfstat.com

Carly notes that a background in athletics at Sacred Heart will help her in college.

Carly Haines ’20 and Erin O’Connor ’20 sign their National Letters of Intent.  Sydney Gallop ’20

“I think that playing for Sacred Heart has helped me understand how to make golf more of a team sport and become a leader on the golf course,” Carly said.  “I will miss the sense of family that is built within the smaller community of Sacred Heart’s athletic department.”

Erin, co-captain of the varsity squash team, is the only senior who will continue her squash career beyond Sacred Heart.  Erin will compete at the University of Virginia for the tenth-best women’s squash team in the nation, according to csasquash.com.

Erin shared her thoughts about the qualities she has gained while playing for Sacred Heart. 

“Playing for Sacred Heart has allowed me to expand my knowledge of the sport and build new friendships with girls of all ages,” Erin said.  “Sacred Heart reinforces and practices the values of sportsmanship and leadership both in practice and in competition, and it has allowed me to grow not only as an athlete and as a person.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide