Fall sports

Greenwich High girls soccer team duels Wilton to a draw at Cardinal Stadium

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich’s Ali Pennella, right, moves the ball along the sideline while being pursued by Kaitlyn Zizzadoro during an FCIAC girls soccer game on October 18, 2022, at Cardinal Stadium in Greenwich.

Registering goals against Greenwich High School’s girls soccer team has indeed, been a tough task for the opposition this season.

The Cardinals have allowed only one goal in their last five games, posting four shutouts in their process, their latest coming Tuesday against Wilton.

In an intense, physical FCIAC matchup, involving two teams battling for a postseason berth, Greenwich and Wilton played to a 0-0 late-season draw at Cardinal Stadium.

With the tie, Greenwich’s record stands at 6-4-3 with two games remaining in the regular season. The Cardinals currently have 21 points to go along with their record, ranking them eighth in the FCIAC. The top eight teams qualify for the upcoming FCIAC Tournament.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich’s Sylar Aysseh, right, battles Wilton’s Isabel DiNanno during a soccer game held at Cardinal Stadium on October 18, 2022, in Greenwich. The Cardinals and Warriors tied, 0-0.

Greenwich visits St. Joseph on Friday, then travels to Stamford on Tuesday to close out its regular season. They are in prime position to qualify for the FCIAC Tournament and are in a good spot to earn a berth into the CIAC Class LL tourney. Though pleased with their defensive performance against the Warriors on Tuesday, the Cardinals, were, of course seeking a win and three important points in the standings.

“I’m initially a little disappointed,” Greenwich junior defender Meghan Ross said. “I think we definitely could have won that game, we just have to get our shots off and finish.”

The FCIAC rivals battled for possession throughout and each had their moments.

“Towards the end, everyone was feeling the intensity a bit,” Ross said. We just needed to keep our heads down and play. Everything got intense and physical.”

Wilton’s Heather Plowright, left, dribbles the ball, while Greenwich’s Julia Gustaffson closes in on her.

In the second minute, senior midfielder Sammy Craven sent a cross near the box and junior forward Julia Acosta also efficiently moved the ball for the Cardinals early in the opening half.

Sophomore forward Skylar Aysseh registered two first-half shots, while Acosta and junior forward Emma Abbazia had a shot apiece in the opening half for Greenwich.

Senior goalie Isabella Gega made two first-half saves for GHS, which was sparked defensively by Ross, sophomore Ellery Harte and junior Adriana Jones.

“I thought the first 20, 25 minutes we played really well, probably up there with the best we played all season,” Greenwich coach Simon Rumbold said. “We had opportunities to get decent shots off and just didn’t. Defensively, we’ve been great. We’ve conceded one goal in five games.”

Junior Meghan Ross has been one of the mainstay defenders for Greenwich’s girls soccer team.

Gega made saves with 9:40 remaining and 4:26 left in the first half against the Warriors, who were paced by Plowright and senior Molly Snow.

“We wanted a little more, we wanted a win on the board,” said Gega, one of the Cards’ captains. “We walked away with one point. We’ll bounce back. I thought the defense was great, we did our job with a shut out. We were unified in back and we were able to cover when necessary and provided a strong front.”

The second half saw junior forward Emma Abbazia register a pair of shots on goal and senior midfielder/captain Ali Pennella pace the Cardinals.

Isabella Gega posted another shutout in goal for Greenwich’s soccer squad.

Gega has provided six shutouts in goal for GHS, which has yielded just 13 goals in 13 games so far this season.

“We are a fantastic team defensively and a strong overall team,” Gega said. “The biggest thing for us is trying to be consistent and putting some balls in the back of the net.”

Greenwich defender Ellery Harte looks to pass the ball during a game against Wilton at Cardinal Stadium.

Rumbold also credited junior midfielder Brooke Wilkowski, Pennella, Ross and junior midfielder Anna Martschenko for helping lead the team’s solid play against Wilton.

“This wasn’t the result we wanted, but there’s still hope going forward,” Ross said. “In the first 25 minutes, we got the ball down and played. We just need to be consistent throughout the game to finish and keep the game going our way.”

“The next challenge is getting to the playoffs and FCIACs and making it through there as far as we can,” Ross continued.

The Cardinals’ game against St. Joseph on Friday in Trumbull is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. St. Joseph has a record of 11-1.

“In my eyes, we go in with nothing to lose,” Rumbold said. “We go in with a game plan to keep it tight as long as we can and see if we can create chances to score goals.”

Greenwich and Wilton battled to a scoreless tie at Cardinal Stadium.

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