The Day's All-Area Girls' Lacrosse Player of the Year: Fitch's Rita Sefransky
One of the many goals Rita Sefransky set for herself this high school girls’ lacrosse season was to be named The Day’s 2022 All-Area Player of the Year in what is her favorite sport.
“I set goals for myself and I make sure that I do them,” said Sefransky, who graduated from Fitch High School in June. “I’m definitely a Type A personality.”
Sefransky made the goal a reality as she earned The Day’s Player of the Year honor over a strong field of candidates. She was also honored as The Day's 2021-22 All-Area Girls' Athlete of the Year at a banquet June 28 at Lake of Isles.
"I was surprised (about the honor) just because my team within the ECC tournament didn't make it to the finals or anything and I know there's a lot of other really good lacrosse players in the ECC," Sefransky said. "I knew it was going to be a challenge, so I was surprised when I heard (the news).”
Fitch coach Michael Luethy said: “She's just a hard worker. She’s very conscientious about always bringing her best. She’s got an internal motivation and internal drive that really pushes her to the best she can be both in the classroom and on the field or court. ... She excels at what she’s doing and puts all of her effort into it and leads by example that way.”
Sefransky was always on the go. She played volleyball and basketball in addition to lacrosse, was a straight A student and waitresses at Lake of Isles.
The obvious question, then, is when she had free time for herself.
“Honestly, sports have been such a huge part of my life that I’m so used to the schedule,” Sefransky said. “That’s just something that’s completely normalized for me.
“I definitely do find time to be by myself but I really do enjoy just being busy and being with my teammates.”
Sports have been a big part of Sefransky’s life since she was very young. She played basketball, soccer and softball when she was younger. Her entire family played volleyball, including older sisters Mae and Diana, who both played at Fitch.
Sefransky was 8 years old when Bridget O’Leary, one of her best friends and classmates, told her she was going to play lacrosse. Sefransky thought it sounded fun and joined her. She was hooked.
“I really liked the high intensity and really fast-paced games, just like basketball,” she said.
Sefransky didn't just play three sports, she excelled at them. She earned ECC Division I first team and Connecticut High School Coaches' Association Class L all-state honors this volleyball season and was also chosen to The Day’s All-Area team. She was an ECC Division I honorable mention selection in girls’ basketball.
Sefransky had 80 goals and 38 assists in lacrosse and received All-ECC Division I first team honors for a second straight year. She was also selected to the CHSCA Class M first team and earned both academic all-state and USA Lacrosse Academic All-America honors. She’ll play the sport next season at Adelphi.
Keeping up the pace of playing three sports was challenging but Sefransky couldn’t give any of them up.
“There were times where I would question if I wanted to play basketball in the upcoming season but I knew I could never just leave the sport,” Sefransky said. “I think it was because of all the people that I played with. I grew up with all the seniors and juniors that have been on my team. They’re like my best friends so I knew if I stopped playing sports I wouldn’t see them as much.”
Luethy knew that he had a talented team this season, so he set out to challenge it by assembling a tough nonconference schedule. The Falcons played road games at 2021-22 Class M champion Guilford, 2017-22 Class S champion New Fairfield and Weston.
Fitch also had to deal with the likes of perennial league power East Lyme, Bacon Academy and Stonington in ECC play.
The Falcons (12-9) took their lumps during the regular season and were seeded 14th out of 22 teams in the Class M tournament. They won twice, including a 17-6 win over third-seeded Wethersfield in the first round.
“I just really wanted us to have a really, really fun season this year,” Sefransky said. “Especially with lacrosse. The girls on the team this year, we’ve been playing together ever since we were 8, 9, 10 years old. This being our last season together, I really wanted us to make the most out of it and I think we definitely did. We had a lot of fun this season. It was a really great group of girls and everyone was super funny. I’m really lucky.
“It was definitely a challenge. We traveled across the state multiple times to play these really, really good teams. I think that’s something that you have to do as a team because you want to challenge yourself.”
Player of the Year - Rita Sefransky (Fitch)
Attack - Dani Bruno (East Lyme), Emily Gates (Waterford), Skylar Gustavsen (Bacon Academy), Emma Logel (Stonington), Bridget O'Leary (Fitch)
Midfield - Gabby Dimock (Stonington), Lucy Fader (Williams), Ivy Goodman (Stonington), Sydney Sager (East Lyme)
Defense - Kaitlyn DiLoreto (East Lyme), Jess English (Ledyard), Sarah Newton (Bacon Academy)
Goalie - Ilyanna Rivera (Waterford)
Utility - Abbie Belleville (East Lyme), Emily Mesham (Old Lyme), Lily Tomczik (Montville)