The goals came quickly for Greenwich’s girls lacrosse team in its season-opener against visiting Norwalk and by the end of the first half, the home team already held a commanding 12-goal lead.
Yes, it was an absolutely dominating performance for the Cardinals, who received goals from eight different players on their way to opening their season in emphatic fashion.
Sophomore midfielder Emma Abbazia scored five goals, all of which came in the first half, while freshman attack Aubrey Roth scored four times in Greenwich’s 19-0 win over Norwalk in an FCIAC matchup at Cardinal Stadium.
Senior midfielder/captain Noey Johnson recorded a hat trick, while senior midfielder/captain Sophia Neitzell tallied two goals and two assists for the Cardinals, who held a significant possession advantage throughout.
“I thought it was awesome and a great start to our season,” Johnson said. “I thought it was the perfect start, because it shows how hard we’ve been working and I think from last year, we made a bunch of improvements. The offense did really well, we did well on both ends to be honest.”
After Norwalk goalie Rachel Miller made several saves during the first few minutes of action, Abbazia scored the game’s first goal at the 19:54 mark of the opening half. Roth then tallied off the ensuing draw, making it 2-0, less than 15 seconds later.
Abbazia converted a low shot with 19:10 to go in the first half and Roth tallied again off a dodge, putting GHS ahead, 4-0, at the 18:19 mark. Flourishing in transition, Abbazia put another shot off after Greenwich controlled the draw, giving the home team a quick 5-0 edge.
“We did a really good job and it was everyone on our team, so I’m really proud of how everyone worked well together,” Abbazia said. “There’s a lot of potential and this is just the beginning of it and I think we did well on the plays we have for now, but we’re just going to keep growing and get better game after game.”
Roth scored again, then Johnson dodged and tallied for the Cards’ seventh goal at the 13:10 mark of the first half. Johnson would score again in the half and Neitzell converted a free position shot for the victors.
“I’m so proud of us,” Neitzell said. “I think we did so well with assists to each other. Our defense did amazing and I think we can still improve during the season.”
Starting games strong will be one of the points of emphasis for the Cardinals (1-0).
“It’s very important that as a team we get off to a good start and it’s not just a couple of us, because then we have the team energy to continue,” Neitzell noted.
Junior attack Cece Tauber notched two goals and one assist, sophomore attack Libby Zola tallied twice and sophomore attack Liv Caminiti had one goal in the winning effort.
“A bunch of players got to touch the ball and that’s what’s most important,” Johnson said. “As we play more teams, we are going to be able to show everything we’ve been working on and I think today was a great example of that.”
Coached by Tara Clough, Greenwich was paced defensively by senior captain MK Savio, junior Kaitlin Kelly, junior Sophie Roth and junior Keira Young. Junior Daryl Furno made three saves for the shutout win.
Greenwich will visit Greenwich Academy for a scrimmage game on Thursday, then will host Simsbury on Tuesday.
“It’s fun for everyone to have our first game and we’re looking forward to our next games,” Abbazia said.