When Payton Sfreddo registered a goal 26 seconds into today’s game against School of the Holy Child, it marked the start of a first quarter scoring surge enjoyed by Sacred Heart Greenwich’s field hockey team.
By the time the opening quarter ended, the Tigers put six goals on the scoreboard and were cruising toward victory in their 2022 FAA-opener.
Scoring six goals the first 11:29 of action, Sacred Heart rolled to a resounding 7-0 triumph over Holy Child in an FAA matchup. The Tigers, who lost to The Hill School this past Friday in a scrimmage, in a game in which they played well against their formidable foe from Pennsylvania, were highly impressive in their first game of the regular season today.
Senior forward Vivi Caruso scored three goals, while senior captain/midfielder Delfina Gonzalez Lobo tallied twice for defending FAA champion Sacred Heart (1-0).
The home team led 6-0 following the first quarter, then added a second quarter goal to seal their scoring.
“I’m happy for the girls their first home game of the season, with no goals against, which is very important for us,” Tigers coach Alex Gheorghe said. “We have a lot of things to work on and we are hoping we can get better and better during the season.”
Sfreddo, a junior forward, registered a goal, while senior midfielder Kate Nemec notched one goal and two assists. The victors controlled the ball the majority of the game, drawing numerous penalty corners while keeping Holy Child on the defensive.
“For us, we’ve been working on our shape and being able to move the ball up and down the field,” said Nemec, who noted the team worked on various aspects during the matchup. “It’s great practice for our trapping and passing game. We were able to connect as a team and not playing individually by passing in and out of the pockets toward the goal.”
Sfreddo opened the scoring 26 seconds into the game, making it 1-0. Caruso, a forward, tallied with 13:12 left in the first quarter, then converted another shot at the 8:28 mark, giving SHG a 3-0 advantage.
Gonzalez Lobo’s unassisted goal put the Tigers on top, 4-0, with 6:53 to go in the opening stanza. Caruso scored again with 3:31 still left in the first quarter and Nemec lit the scoreboard with 2:30 to go, putting Holy Child in an early 6-0 hole.
“We decided to give it our all, secure our place and just work on basics in the second half,” said Gonzalez Lobo, who along with senior goalie Olivia Caponiti and defender Ines Araujo, is a senior captain. “We’re working as a team and we have some really good passing. We’re transferring the ball really well and we’re getting a lot of corners and then really good shots.”
Gonzalez Lobo sealed the scoring with a goal at the 8:57 mark of the second quarter. In the second half, Sacred Heart focused on moving the ball and connecting with their passes.
“We’re working on having a lot of hustle and good press in the front and being able to win the ball with our forwards,” Nemec said. “Our forwards are working as a team of forwards, so we were cutting all around up front to get open and being hungry on the ball.”
Caponiti earned the shutout win in goal for SHG, which played its usual solid defense.
“I think the team played great today,” Caponiti said. “It was a great opportunity to work on connecting and getting those passes down and working together and communicating. I think this was a great start. “We’re coming off the ground running and having these games are great practices for later games in the season.”
Up next for Sacred Heart are home games against Kent School on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Hopkins School Monday at 4:30 p.m.
“We always love playing the boarding schools,” Gonzalez Lobo said. “We’re going to be ready for that, we’ve been training hard and we’re going to be ready for a good game.”
“Saturday Kent which will be a tough match here at home, we’re looking forward to it,” Nemec said.
“We always love playing the boarding schools,” Gonzalez Lobo added. “We’re going to be ready for that. “We’ve been training hard and we’re going to be ready for a good game.”