Fall sports

Sacred Heart starts season with tie against visiting Taft in NEPSAC soccer matchup

Eva Wilkerson of Sacred Heart, pictured here in a game last season, scored a goal for Sacred Heart in the team’s first game of the season against Taft School at Sacred Heart in Greenwich.

Sacred Heart Greenwich kicked off its 2022 season by dueling visiting Taft School to a well-played 1-1 draw in a game held on Wednesday.

Eva Wilkerson gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead when she scored in the 73rd minute off an assist from Madison Hart. Taft tied the score at 1-1 with a goal from Alessia Schettino in the 76th minute.

Daphne Hartch provided a boost in goal for Sacred Heart, making seven saves.

“We set up with a game plan to be difficult to break down and to use our opportunities to counter when we had them, because we know we would get chances if we stayed in the game,” Sacred Heart coach Stuart Smith said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our team for their discipline and concentration to implement the plan perfectly.”

Sacred Heart and Taft entered halftime locked up in a scoreless tie, with both squads turning in strong performances.

“We had our first big opportunity a few minutes before halftime when we were awarded a penalty kick after Victoria Hart was fouled in the box,” Smith noted. “Unfortunately, the Taft goalkeeper saved the penalty, but we didn’t allow that to affect us. We were defensively strong again in the second half and got the go-ahead goal with seven minutes left on the clock.”

Sacred Heart’s goal started with Hartch making a key save. She moved the ball to Madison Hart, who carried the ball 50 yards, before setting up Wilkerson, who took a touch, before booting a shot past Taft’s goalkeeper. Taft scored off a cross three minutes later for the equalizer.

“I felt that we had the better chances and did enough to win the game,” Smith said. “The fact that we limited a very strong team to so few scoring chances gives us a great deal of confidence and the performance gives us a strong platform upon which we can build a successful season.”

The Tigers’ 2022 team includes: Daphne Hartch, Zara Black, Karina Sethi, Eva Wilkerson, Scarlett Pfistner, Victoria Hart, Ariana Chin, Maggie Bacigalupo, Bettina Holden, Madison Hartnett, Dalia Si-Ahmed, Katie Quill, Olivia Leahy, Madison Hart, Ashley O’Meara and Giada Coviello.

Sacred Heart visits Loomis Chaffee School tomorrow for a 3 p.m. matchup, then hosts Rye Country Day School on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.

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