Thayer Athletics fall season recap

Thayer Academy’s Upper School held its fall season sports assembly Nov. 23 in the CFA’s Hale Theater. Below is a message from Athletics Director Rick Foresteire P ‘19, ‘21 followed by individual team summaries from the respective coaches. 

Welcome to the fall season sports assembly. I first want to congratulate Ms. Hines and the cast and crew of Newsies on their wonderful musical production. A special thank-you goes out to the athletics department staff, and a sincere thank-you to all the athletes, coaches, teachers, staff, administrators, maintenance crew, fans, and friends of Thayer Academy for a great fall season. All your dedication to Thayer’s athletics program is greatly appreciated! 

This was an exciting fall, and for me, the highlights are many. The coaches will share most of them, but I especially enjoyed all the camaraderie of the Saturday cookout tailgate, the festive crowd at the field hockey playoff game, and the overall tremendous success of Homecoming!

Congratulations to all the fall athletes and coaches. I look forward to a continued successful winter season full of Tiger pride and spirit! 


Rick Foresteire P ’19, ‘21
Athletics Director

GIRLS SOCCER (Head Coach Nick Rugnetta ‘07)
First and foremost, I would just like to say thank you to Mr. Foresteire, Mr. Peterson, and Ms. Parnell in the Athletics Department for all of their hard work. And thanks to the training staff of Ellen Malloy, Anne Lally, and Garett Butkuss for spending countless hours taking care of the players and communicating with the coaches, parents, and outside medical sources to ensure everyone was well taken care of and on the same page regarding their health. And also to our amazing staff: from Heidi Brown and Kiley Horne, who assist me with the varsity team; to my father, Mike Rugnetta, and Giuliana Schallmo, who coach the JV girls; all the way to the Middle School with Coach Jeff Masse and Giuliana, who continue to do a great job with those girls, the next wave of Thayer Academy girls varsity soccer. 
Our JV girls had another amazing season, going undefeated with 12 wins and one tie! Some big highlights for them were beating BBN 1-0 at home and also beating Tabor 1-0 at Tabor earlier in the season. They finished with a remarkable 57 goals for and a miniscule four goals against! That shows we have an incredibly bright future the next few years and that the program overall is incredibly talented and deep. Congrats to JV soccer on a fantastic season!
The varsity girls finished with 12 wins and four losses, with 45 goals scored and 10 goals against, continuing our tradition of being one of the very best teams in the ISL each year. Some highlights for the team were knocking off undefeated, 9-0 Lawrence Academy with a big 3-0 win at home; getting a big win, 2-0, at Rivers; and knocking off a very good Middlesex team 3-0 on their homecoming weekend. 
We were fortunate to be led by an amazing group of seniors. All five of our seniors will graduate with incredible memories, and all five girls were a part of the first-ever ISL championship team from the 2019 season and will have a banner in the gym they can always come back and look at with pride, knowing they played a big part in winning that title as well as setting the standard for what our program is capable of and expects from each other. 
Thank you to our five seniors — Brooke Mulroney, Daisy Sullivan, Caroline Kendall, Caroline Brooks, and Lindsay Burgess — for their hard work and commitment, the examples they set and legacy they will leave behind, and for being incredible representatives of the girls soccer program and Thayer Academy. 
We had a number of award winners this year. Team MVP is Brooke Mulroney. Coaches Award winner is Daisy Sullivan. Brooke Mulroney and Nadia Cassamajor earned First Team All-ISL honors. Daisy Sullivan and Emily Pimentel earned All-ISL Honorable Mention Honors. Brooke Mulroney also earned All-State Honors and finished fifth in the ISL MVP voting. Thank you all. Go, TA!

BOYS SOCCER (Head Coach Patrick Metelus) 
I would like to start by thanking Mr. Foresteire and the Athletics Department for promoting me to head coach. I would like to thank Ellen and the athletic training staff who held the boys together through an injury-plagued season. The JV team competed hard every day against rigorous competition. Under the outstanding leadership of Captains Aidan Doyle, Teagan Rich, and Jackson Palladino and seniors Evan Friedel, Collin Whitmore, Jeremy Ridlon, Jonah Torres, Shourya Gupta, Arjun Sohur, Kyle Cedrone, and Conor Walsh, the team continued to progress and had a very productive season this fall with three early-season wins. The team battled throughout the season and finished out the year with the program’s best record in over eight years at 7-9-1. The highlight of the season was back-to-back away wins at Tabor and Groton. It had been almost a decade since Thayer beat Groton on the road. Thank you to every single player for their time, hard work, and dedication to this season.

I would like to present the Coaches Award and MVP. First, the Coaches Award goes to two senior captains: Aidan Doyle and Teagan Rich. The MVP award goes to senior captain Jackson Palladino. 

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY (Head Coach Joe Pelletier) 
This fall, the boys cross country team added 14 new athletes from all grades to a strong pack of veteran runners. In September, the group quickly set to work training for success and improvement. With a full roster of motivated harriers, the team raced competitively against every opponent, scrapping its way, in a series of close races, to an overall record of 10 wins and eight losses.

The varsity finished 7th at the ISL championships and 6th at the New Englands. Ross Tejeda placed fifth in each of those races, and James Pener finished 18th in each as well. Both Ross and James qualified for the NEPSTA all-star meet. The JV team trained and competed with intensity all season, capturing several memorable wins along the way.

The coaches thank all of our runners for a great season, and the Athletics Department and trainers for all their support. Today, we are especially proud to honor the accomplishments and leadership of our six seniors: Chris Barrett, Ryan Chiari, Aidan Humphreys, Ben Koper, Jonah Rothman, and Ross Tejeda. This year’s Most Valuable Runner Award goes to Ross Tejeda. And we have two very deserving recipients of the Coaches Award: Ryan Chiari and Aidan Humphreys. 

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY (Head Coach Jeff Browne P ‘04, ‘05) 
The JV team, led by Captain Virginia Thompson, finished an impressive undefeated season and won the ISL JV Race. They then repeated this, winning the New England JV Race in a dominating performance, making history by taking the top five places. Sophomores Brooke Hansen, who WON both ISL and New England JV races; Colleen Leary; Clare LaMattina; Megan Corry; Ella Richards; and Aly Mantville were the dominant force in the ISL and New England JV races, and clearly the future is bright.
The varsity team, led by Captains Caitlin Fitzgerald, Eloise Daniello and Meg Dugan, finished an impressive regular season with a 15-2 record. The Varsity 7 of Chloe Clifford, Katie Wipf, Maddie Stearns, Sophia Hansen, Mia McLean, Caitlin Fitzgerald, and Eloise Daniello took 4th in the ISL Meet and followed that up with a spectacular race at the New England Championship, grabbing 3rd place out of 20 teams. I also want to recognize all the other seniors who participated in the program: Sophia Hansen, Devin McConnaughey, Mia McLean, Ashley Roycroft, and Emily Williams.
It was a great ending to a “welcome back” season for all our seniors and the full team who worked so hard and displayed heart all season. No coach could ever ask for more from a team. The team wants to thank Mr. Foresteire, Ms. Parnell, Mr. Peterson, and all the parents and friends who supported them all season.

VOLLEYBALL (Assistant Coach Edmund Zhang) 
The volleyball program saw its largest growth with over 50 players competing, including 24 Middle School students. This is a great boost for the program as it becomes a more competitive program for Thayer. The varsity team — led by Senior Captain Stella Chiari, Junior Captain Olivia Walker, Sophomore Captain Annelise Reinhard, and Senior Gianna Quatromoni — had an outstanding campaign. This season the varsity team won the most games and sets of any previous team, setting a school record. Their season finished with a serving record of 87% and an average of 20 Kills/Match, 10 Aces/Match and 36 Digs/Match. 

The Most Valuable Player Award is given to Senior Captain Stella Chiari, who held the record this season with most kills per match and an impressive season of 94 digs and 72 kills. In addition to her MVP Award, Stella was also selected to the ISL All-League Team. Congratulations, Stella. Your leadership and talent on the court will be missed next season. 

Also selected to the ISL Team as Honorable Mention is Annelise Reinhard, one of two sophomores earning this selection. She led the Thayer team in digs/season, digs/match, and aces/match. Her defensive skills were critical this season, and she is expected to play a pivotal role next year. 

Selected as Honorable Mention to the NEPSAC Team is Olivia Walker. Olivia stepped into the role of setter, a very big responsibility. Her energy and can-do attitude directed the team to its best season in Thayer history. She led the team in assists and aces/match; she placed second in digs/season and aces/season. 

Our final award, the Coaches Award, is given to senior Gianna Quatromoni. Gianna, or “G,” is the engine of the team. She was not a starter initially but worked hard to earn her role on the team. She developed as a strong backup defensive player and her greatest role as a serving specialist. Her defensive ability saw her step into the role of libero in a key match, and as a serving specialist she put on a show, serving 11 points in a row, leading to a decisive Thayer  win. G is a team example of persistence and determination. Next season, Thayer varsity volleyball will have 11 returning players. With this depth, they will be on the hunt to break another season win record. Congratulations to Thayer volleyball and all their accomplishments this season.

FOOTBALL (Head Coach Jeff Toussaint ‘82) 
Playing one of the tougher schedules in the league and led by Captains Dylan McDonough, Samuel Okunlola, and Sampson Okunola as well as seniors Ted Wilson, Andres Calderon, Alejandro Calderon, Jarvis Adams, Jake Sannella, Kyle Deegan, Ben Chaskes, and Will Rooney, the ‘21 Tigers won their last four games of the season to finish their season with a 5-3 record. Highlights of that streak include a dominant 20-7 win at Belmont Hill followed by shutout home victories over Nobles and Groton. In the traditional season finale against our archrival St. Sebastian’s, the Tigers prevailed in a 14-13 thriller. 

The team featured a dominant, smothering defense. Starting with the second quarter of the Belmont Hill game on Oct. 23, that unit combined to record 12 consecutive shutout quarters, not surrendering another point until Nov. 13. Samuel and Samson Okunlola set the tone up front with linebackers Dylan McDonough and Gibson Akoh supporting. Ted Wilson was a ball hawk as he captained the secondary. 

On offense the Tigers were diverse. Quarterback Grady Russo passed for 1,136 yards spread among 10 different receivers, six of whom grabbed TD passes. Nate Austin-Johnstone rushed for 455 of the team’s 1,114 yards rushing. 

With six starters returning on each side of the ball, the Tigers’ 2022 outlook is exciting.

Editor's Note: After the assembly, Samson Okunlola '23 was named NEPSAC Co-Lineman of the Year. That information has been added to the awards list. 

FIELD HOCKEY (Head Coach Kathleen Boyle) 
First, thank you to Thayer’s athletics department and its incredible team of trainers for all that you do behind the scenes to support us and make our season a reality. Also, thanks to all of Thayer’s fall sport athletes and coaches for the support you’ve extended to our team this season. Congrats on your seasons!

Thayer’s JV field hockey team committed fully to development this season, joining varsity players for combined practices twice per week to enhance technical skill and game-play experience to compete at its highest. Their work paid off, earning impressive wins over Middlesex, Brooks, and St. Mark’s and building the foundation for program-wide success next season.  

At the varsity level, we have 12 awesome seniors: Elizabeth Gill, Lindsay Warwick, Brooke McLoy, Margot Maxwell, Annabel May, Kasey Devaney, Elizabeth Dever, Caroline Lally, Brighid Holland, Anna Kenney, Abby Foran, and Annie Middleton, whose grit, character, and commitment to team will leave a lasting legacy on this program. 

Our team was anchored by the outstanding leadership of our three captains — Caroline Lally, Brooke McCloy, and Annabel May — and supported by game-changing offensive and defensive impact from our younger players. 

Our team committed to a few key themes this season: 1) develop technical fundamental skills, 2) do the little things well, 3) compete to always win the 1v1 battles, 4) inspire and own important moments, and 5) invest fully in each other and our experience together on and off the turf. 

And it worked: the 2021 Thayer field hockey team went 11-6-1 this season. They qualified for the NEPSAC postseason tournament for the first time in 10 years, and as the 4th seed, they won the Class B quarterfinal game on Thayer’s home turf. This incredible season wrapped at the semifinals of the NEPSAC Class B championships, surrounded by an extended community of Thayer Academy field hockey fans who’ve supported every moment of this awesome journey.

Please join me in congratulating our entire team on total success this season and the following individual athletes on postseason awards: Coaches Awards to Brooke McCloy and Caroline Lally; MVP to Celia Benson; ISL All-League Honorable Mention to Annabel May, Maren Boyle, and Toni Ierardi and ISL All-League 1st Team to Celia Benson and Brooke McLoy; NEPSAC Honorable Mention to Annabel May and Millie Smith; and ALL-NEPSAC 1st team honors to Caroline Lally and Celia Benson.

Below, please find individual honorees listed by sport: 

Boys Varsity Soccer
Team MVP: Aidan Doyle '22 & Jackson Palladino '22
Coaches Award: Teagan Rich '22
ISL All-League: Aidan Doyle '22 & Jackson Palladino '22

Girls Varsity Soccer
Team MVP: Brooke Mulroney '22
Coaches Award: Daisy Sullivan '22
ISL All-League: Brooke Mulroney '22 & Nadia Cassamajor '24
ISL Honorable Mention: Daisy Sullivan '22 & Emily Pimentel '24
All-NEPSAC: Brooke Mulroney '22

Varsity Field Hockey
Team MVP: Celia Benson '24
Coaches Award: Brooke McLoy '22 & Caroline Lally '22
ISL All-League: Brooke McLoy '22 & Celia Benson '24
ISL Honorable Mention: Annabel May '22, Toni Ierardi '23, Maren Boyle '26
All-NEPSAC: Celia Benson '24 & Caroline Lally '22
All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention: Annabel May '22 & Millie Smith '23

Varsity Football
Team MVP: Samuel Okunlola '22
Coaches Award: Dylan McDonough '22
ISL All-League: Samuel Okunlola '22, Dylan McDonough '22, Samson Okunlola '23, Nate Austin-Johnstone '24
ISL Honorable Mention: Ted Wilson '22, Will Rooney '22
ISL Co-MVP: Samuel Okunlola '22
All-NEPSAC: Samuel Okunlola '22 & Samson Okunlola '23
All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention: Dylan McDonough '22 & Nate Austin-Johnstone '24
NEPSAC Co-Lineman of the Year: Samson Okunlola '23

Varsity Volleyball
Team MVP: Stella Chiari '22
Coaches Award: Gianna Quatromoni '22
ISL All-League: Stella Chiari '22
ISL Honorable Mention: Annelise Reinhard '24
All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention: Olivia Walker '23

Boys Varsity XC
Team MVP: Ross Tejeda '22
Coaches Award: Ryan Chiari '22 & Aidan Humphreys '22
ISL All-League: Ross Tejeda '22 & James Pener '23
ISL Honorable Mention: Ryan Chiari '22
All-New England: Ross Tejeda '22 & James Pener '23

Girls Varsity XC
ISL All-League: Chloe Clifford '22 & Katie Wipf '23
ISL Honorable Mention: Mia McLean '23 & Maddie Stearns '23
All-New England: Chloe Clifford '22 & Katie Wipf '23