Fall sports

Sacred Heart Greenwich duels Greens Farms Academy to a draw in FAA soccer

Receiving goals from Lauren Griuriceo and Madison Hartnett, the Sacred Heart Greenwich soccer team played Greens Farms Academy to a 2-2 draw in a key FAA matchup held at Sacred Heart on Monday.

“We had the lead twice and we feel that we did enough to win the game and it was taken from us in the last four minutes,” Sacred Heart coach Stuart Smith said. “It was a good, even game both teams played good soccer and it was the most complete performance we put together all season.”

The Tigers have an FAA record of 5-1-2 and are currently in fourth place in the league. They are on pace to host an FAA Tournament quarterfinal-round game, with one game remaining on their FAA schedule.

A scoreless first half saw both teams create scoring opportunities.

Hartnett hit the crossbar with a shot in the opening half and Tigers junior goalie Daphne Hartch made several impressive saves, as the half ended in 0-0 tie. Sacred Heart took a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute, courtesy of Griuriceo. Senior Justine Hounsell was taken down by GFA’s goalkeeper in the box, so the Tigers were awarded a penalty kick.

Griuriceo, a senior midfielder, converted the penalty kick, putting the Tigers on top, 1-0. The goal was Griuriceo’s fourth in the team’s last three games and she’s tallied three on penalty kicks. She recorded a hat trick in the squad’s recent victory against King School.

Greens Farms Academy scored the equalizer in the 65th minute, putting the score at 1-1, but three minutes later Sacred Heart responded. Hounsell, a senior forward, served her corner kick into the box and Hartnett, a senior midfielder, finished just inside the 6-yard-box, one-touching the ball into the corner and giving the Tigers a 2-1 advantage.

“It was off a play we’ve been working on in practice all season,” Smith said.

With four minutes remaining in the second half, Greens Farms knotted the score at 2-2 with a goal on a play the Tigers believed an offsides infraction could have been called.

“At that point, it was tough to come back,” Smith said. “I told the girls they should be proud of their performance, they gave their all today.”

Greens Farms Academy has a record of 6-2-1 in the FAA and is in third place.

“About five teams can really win it (the FAA Tournament),” Smith said. “It’s the closest since I’ve been involved in the league, which makes it a lot of fun.”

Hartch made 11 saves and Smith credited Griuriceo for successfully marking GFA’s top offensive player the whole game. The Tigers are in action again Wednesday, as they make a long road trip to Choate Rosemary Hall.

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