BERLIN – A new era of Berlin girls lacrosse has taken shape this season with senior Carly Grega guiding the new-look Redcoats through eight games.
As one of the four seniors on this year’s squad, Grega leads Berlin’s attack as its most agile and confident offensive weapon. In the Redcoats 14-9 win over Windsor on Tuesday, No. 15 piled up a handful of points to secure their fifth win of the season.
For first-year coach Dan Crowley, having a player with Grega’s abilities helps instill a fresh system on the field.
“As one of the captains, she sets the example,” Crowley said. “She doesn’t say very much, but she sets the example and that’s what I like to see.”
In the victory against the Warriors, Grega showcased her impressive vision around the net as she found teammates with high-danger passes multiple times, en route to numerous assists in the contest.
“When she’s around the goal she’s a threat. Not necessarily that she’s going to score, but she may cause someone to score, and that’s what I like,” Crowley said. “I’ve been telling them from the beginning, I’m not going to hype on anyone, ‘you have to score this many goals.’ I want them to develop opportunities and take advantage of the opportunities we’ve just created and go after that, and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
It’s likely Grega is looking for one of the plethora of juniors that fill-up the Redcoats’ roster with a pass as 11th-graders Clare Mcgeever, Gabby Crossley, Lindsey Leary and Brooke Roberti each netted goals Tuesday. In fact, Berlin boasts 14 juniors, serving as the next wave of talent alongside Grega.
“We’ve had a couple other players who within the last two or three games, have been putting in a couple goals who haven’t been producing before because they weren’t in that role,” Crowley said. “When we changed roles for them, they responded in a positive way.”
Grega is also a standout basketball player for Berlin as she trusts her feet to get her out of tight spots, whether it’s by simply outrunning the competition or by pulling out some sharp spin moves to evade opponents’ sticks.
“She’s got a slashing game,” Crowley said. “She’s very quick on her feet, very quick with her decisions, she moves the ball around very quickly and she’s a threat anywhere near the goal. Sometimes she’s more accurate with her shots than other days, but she’s been producing.”
Berlin hasn’t posted a winning season since 2015 when it was still competing in Class M. The Redcoats finished 11-5 before falling to Guilford in the first round of the Class M postseason, 18-6.
Following its move to Class S in 2018, Berlin has concluded 6-10 and 7-10, with the 2019 season counting as its most recent playoff berth. As the No. 21 seed, the Redcoats dropped the qualifying round game to No. 12 Old Lyme, 18-3, two years ago.
With a new coach at the helm and a batch of explosive talent, headlined by Grega, Berlin is already two wins away from its 2019 total and Crowley is starting to see his players buy in to his teachings.
“ They know, they see that it’s a different era, it’s a different way we’re going about doing this and the old ways are gone, so we’re going to keep trying,” Crowley said.
The Redcoats (5-3) will host Southington in a non-league battle at Scalise Field on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Blue Knights took the first matchup between the two teams on Apr. 23, 19-7.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.