Fall sports

Greenwich High field hockey team shows its chemistry in home win over Stamford

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich’s Justine Liguori moves the ball along the sideline against Stamford on Oct. 8.

Friday marked the Greenwich High School field hockey team’s 10th game of the season and it has followed an impressive pattern in each matchup.

In six of the Cardinals’ seven wins so far this season, they have posted shutouts. Meanwhile in their three losses, they’ve competed well, as they were edged each time by only one goal.

Stamford visited Cardinal Stadium on Friday and Greenwich registered one of its six shutout victories.

Seniors Isa Biagini and Maggie Bulis scored two goals apiece, while senior Justine Liguori recorded one goal and three assists to pace Greenwich to a convincing 8-0 win over Stamford in an FCIAC matchup. With the triumph, Greenwich upped its record to 7-2-0-1 with six games remaining in the regular season.

“Earlier in the season we talked about how we are a pretty new team and how we had a lot of chemistry that we needed to sort out,” Greenwich coach Megan Wax said. “The girls have been working hard and have been focused in practice. We are watching a lot of film and we are clicking. We are getting into our chemistry and communication and it’s resulting in much better field hockey.”

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich field hockey coach Megan Wax gives high fives to her players after the team scored a game in a game against Stamford at Cardinal Stadium on Oct. 8, 2021.

The Cardinals held a 2-0 lead on the Knights following the first quarter and entered halftime with a 5-0 advantage. Throughout the game, Greenwich exhibited stellar passing and solid execution on both ends of the field.

“We have been working on being a 60-minute team, so from the beginning we came out and we were ready to get after it and beat Stamford,” said Bulis, one of the Cardinals’ four captains. “I think we honestly are just working on not letting the losses get to us and coming back strong.”

Those losses came against FCIAC rivals Ridgefield, New Canaan and Staples. Greenwich lost to Ridgefield in overtime, 3-2, was edged by New Canaan, 1-0 and was defeated by Staples, 3-2. Friday’s win against Stamford was the Cards’ sixth shutout.

“Playing alongside the top teams in the FCIAC like Darien, New Canaan and Staples, we have kind of gotten used to the flow of things and we have gotten really good at communicating where to go on the field and working together as a team,” Cardinals senior midfielder/captain Zita Cohen said.

Said senior captain/midfielder Angelica Veronis: “We’ve been working on trusting each other on the field. The little things we are working on like give- and-goes and communication. So, I think that’s how we are going to come back to the teams that we lost to and build our strength and beat them.”

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich is all smiles after posting a victory against Stamford at Cardinal Stadium.

Biagini scored in transition off a pass from Liguori, giving Greenwich a 1-0 lead with 12:13 remaining in the first quarter. Liguori converted a penalty stroke at the 4:31 mark of the opening quarter, making it 2-0. Forty seconds into the second quarter, Biagini struck again, as Liguori set her up for a tally, putting GHS on top, 3-0.

“We jumped on them from the start, we were moving the ball,” Wax said. “We were trying to use all sides of the field and we got everyone involved and we did just that.”

Bulis scored the final two goals of the second quarter for Greenwich, putting Stamford in a 5-0 hole. The Cardinals could have scored more, if not for the fine play of Stamford’s goalie, who registered 16 shots for the game.

Sophomore Kelly Janssen and senior Bryn McConnell combined on the shutout in goal for the Cardinals.

Isa Lattuada moves the ball along the sideline for the Greenwich field hockey team against Stamford.

Aly Janssen, a sophomore, senior Nima Gupte and Cohen each tallied during the second half for the victors.
“The season has definitely been a lot of fun,” said senior midfielder/captain Isa Lattuada. “We enjoy playing the competitive teams and just spending time at practice every day and getting better every day at practice. It has been a lot of fun.”

Throughout the action against Stamford, Greenwich effectively moved the ball around the circle and found open teammates to pass to.

“It’s really nice having an offensive  team you can rely on,” Cohen said. “All our drills are focused on running to space and cutting open to the ball, so it’s really nice to have players out there to rely on and we can kind of anticipate we can go ahead of time.”

Zita Cohen turned in highly effective performance for Greenwich in its decisive victory against Stamford.

Greenwich hosts Fairfield Ludlowe on Tuesday and Danbury on Thursday. They will visit Darien on Oct. 18.

“We are playing with a higher field hockey IQ I would say than when we started the season, which is great to see,” Wax said.

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