Fall sports

Sacred Heart Greenwich uses three-goal fourth quarter to edge neighborhood rival Greenwich Academy in field hockey action

Photo by David Fierro: Delfina Gonzalez Lobo of Sacred Heart Greenwich scored two goals in the Tigers’ 3-2 win over host Greenwich Academy on September 30, 2022, in Greenwich.

Sacred Heart Greenwich stared at two-goal deficit entering the fourth quarter of its game against longtime field hockey rival Greenwich Academy, after GA registered second and third quarter goals, yet the Tigers couldn’t be tamed in the final quarter.

The fourth quarter belonged to Sacred Heart, which rallied to score three goals, the last of which came with only 17 seconds left to play.

That dramatic goal off the stick of Emma Marvin in the final seconds propelled Sacred Heart past host Greenwich Academy, 3-2, in a well-played game held on Friday. The matchup was a non-league game and did not have a bearing on the current FAA standings. Sacred Heart and GA will meet again in an FAA game later this month at SHG.

Sacred Heart scores the winning goal against Greenwich Academy in an intense matchup. Click the arrow to watch.

With the score tied at 2-2, Sacred Heart drew one of its numerous penalty corners in the fourth quarter with less than a minute remaining. Senior Delfina Gonzalez Lobo initiated the penalty corner with an insert pass. A shot was taken on goal that Gators senior goalie Ellie Volpe blocked and the ball kicked out to another Tigers player who directed the ball toward the goal. The shot bounded off a GA player and Marvin got her stick on the ball and deflected it into the cage, giving Sacred Heart a 3-2 lead with just 17 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers’ comeback victory was the result of forcing a wave of penalty corner opportunities, particularly during a fourth quarter that saw them have possession approximately 80 percent of the time.

“We really wanted to win at the end, we had all this energy, we gave it 100 percent and honestly, it paid off,” Gonzalez Lobo said. “Going into the fourth quarter, we just wanted to get it all out at that point. We wanted to give it 100 percent and come back, we had this urge of we needed to get this.”

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich Academy and Sacred Heart Greenwich renewed their rivalry at GA on Sept. 30, 2022.

For the game, the Tigers forced 15 penalty corners, a number of which came during the fourth quarter, sparking their rally.

“I’m very proud of them,” SHG coach Alex Gheorghe said. “I couldn’t be happier to see the game end this way. We worked really hard, we were not very focused in the beginning, but it’s always good to finish in a positive way. We had a lot of chances to put them in off corners, but in the end, we scored when we needed.”

Greenwich Academy received goals from freshman forward Quinn Leahy and senior midfielder Laetitia Cartellieri, giving the squad a 2-0 advantage. GA coach Jamie Brower was pleased with her team’s effort from start to finish.

“I was very proud of every single person,” Brower said. “We had people coming off the bench for 30 minutes, for five minutes, for 30 seconds – everybody was ready to go and everybody contributed all over the field. I’m very proud of them and how hard they played.”

Greenwich Academy’s Georgia Schmitz battles for the ball during a matchup against Sacred Heart Greenwich.

Following a first quarter that saw Volpe make a pair of nifty saves in goal to keep the game scoreless, the Gators seized the lead in the second quarter. Dashing down the right sideline while controlling the ball, GA junior forward/midfielder Caroline Busler sent a cross ball to toward the middle of the circle. Leahy, who was charging hard to the cage, got her stick on the pass and directed the ball just past SHG senior goalie Olivia Caponiti, making it 1-0 with 14:23 left in the second quarter.

The score remained 1-0 the rest of the second quarter, with both teams having their moments. In the third quarter, Greenwich Academy took a 2-0 edge thanks to Cartellieri’s tally. Her goal came off a penalty stroke, after the Tigers were charged with an infraction on a shot deep in the circle. She drove her penalty shot inside the left post, giving the home team a 2-0 lead before the large, enthusiastic crowd.

“I thought we played a great first half,” Brower said. “We played confident, we played strong and we played together. Those were the things we were trying to do coming into this game.”

Sacred Heart staged a comeback victory against host Greenwich Academy in an exciting field hockey game.

Trailing 2-0, the Tigers quickly went on the offensive in the final quarter, tenaciously moving the ball toward the Gators’ circle and once in the circle aggressively attempting to get shots off. Senior Kate Nemec, Gonzalez Lobo, senior Vivi Caruso and junior Charley Nemec helped lead the Tigers’ charge.

“I definitely think it took a lot of our mentality to stay in the game, especially down two at the half,” Nemec said. “So, we had to step up our energy and keep our effort going to come back and win.”

Sacred Heart’s first goal came off a penalty corner, courtesy of Gonzalez Lobo, who tipped in a shot that found its way inside the left post at the 13:05 mark of the final quarter. Gonzalez Lobo’s second tally again was the result of a penalty corner with 8:46 left to play, evening the score at 2-2.

Sacred Heart Greenwich gathers around coaches Alex Gheorghe and Sarah Hill after a hard-fought 3-2 win vs. Greenwich Academy on Sept. 30, 2022 in Greenwich.

Penalty corner execution was key in the final quarter for the Tigers, who received several saves from Caponiti.

“I had the insert on most of the corners and Kate (Nemec) has an amazing sweep, that was great,” Gonzalez Lobo said. “We executed really well. Taking a second, slow down, looking at the goal and seeing our options were key for us.”

Said Nemec: “Changing our lineup and being able to apply more pressure on defense and executing our corners is what set us apart.”

Greenwich Academy gathers prior to its game against visiting Sacred Heart Greenwich.

Greenwich Academy, which entered Friday’s non-league game with a record of 4-1, hosts Hotchkiss School on Sunday at 1 p.m. Volpe made six saves in goal for GA, which was paced defensively by senior Ellie Johnson.

“In the fourth quarter, it seemed that we were sitting back a little bit more than we had the rest of the game,” Brower noted. “I think we were kind of letting them control the game and we were just waiting until it got in the circle to tackle. So, we just needed to keep playing fearless even when you’re up a couple of goals, instead of backing up and trying to save that lead.”

“It was great for us to get the nerves out and play this great team in this type of environment,” Brower continued. “This will help us continue to grow and get better.”

Sacred Heart and Greenwich greet each other following their field hockey matchup.

Senior midfielder/defender Ines Araujo was one of the Tigers’ defensive standouts on Friday.

“If felt amazing, I could not believe the energy and the way our team pulled through,” Araujo said of the Tigers’ win. “I was in awe of every single player and how everyone wanted it so badly. They gave it their all. That’s the way we have to play from the beginning. We have to have that energy to win and the hunger on the ball.”

Though the game didn’t count for league standings, it certainly had the feel of a game that meant plenty. In fact, it had a playoff-type atmosphere.

“It’s a friendly game and we have a lot of girls on the other team that we know,” Araujo said. “Outside of this environment we are best friends. But it’s never really a scrimmage between us. We always want to win, there’s something to prove behind it.”

It was another tight battle between Sacred Heart and Greenwich Academy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s