Fall sports

Greenwich High girls field hockey team edged by Darien on a second-half goal, 2-1

Greenwich’s Klara Mueffelmann, left, pursues the ball down the left sideline during a game against Darien on Oct. 19, 2022, at Cardinal Stadium. The Blue Wave posted a 2-1 victory against the Cardinals.

In the midst of a highly impressive season, Greenwich High School’s field hockey team sports a record of 10-4-0-1 heading into its final home game of the regular season tomorrow against non-conference opponent Newtown. Indeed, winners of seven of their last eight games, the Cardinals are well-prepared to begin the postseason, which they hope, will feature deep journeys into the FCIAC and state tournaments.

Greenwich’s one loss in its past eight outings came Wednesday against FCIAC rival Darien, which hasn’t been beaten this season. The Cardinals came close to handing the Blue Wave their first loss of the season, yet Darien kept its perfect season intact.

Darien ran its record to 13-0 with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Greenwich at Cardinal Stadium. The Blue Wave tallied the game-winning goal with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Despite the loss, the Cardinals exited the game feeling they still had positive momentum going forward.

Greenwich and Darien renewed their field hockey rivalry at Cardinal Stadium on Oct. 19, 2022.

“It was an exciting game to coach, to play and for everyone that was watching,” Greenwich coach Megan Wax said. “A lot of things that we had been working on we executed well, so I’m really proud of them. We wish the score was different at the end, obviously. But overall, we are very pleased with how we played and the relentlessness that was on the field today.”

Greenwich ranks second behind Staples in the FCIAC West Division rankings with a record of 9-4-0-1. They have 19 points on the season, which ranks them fifth in the FCIAC. The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the FCIAC Tournament.

“This game is definitely going to help us moving forward, since we’re probably going to see them again in states, maybe FCIACs,” Greenwich senior forward Klara Mueffelmann said of Darien. “So, it will help us prepare more for the upcoming games.”

Greenwich’s Kate Donnellan goes after the ball during a matchup against Darien at Cardinal Stadium.

Kelly Janssen, a senior tri-captain, was once again, outstanding for the Cardinals. Janssen, registered 15 saves for Greenwich, which was outshot by Darien, 17-3.

The Blue Wave held an 11-3 advantage on the Cardinals on penalty corners, but Greenwich remained strong defensively throughout, protecting its cage against the high-scoring visitors.

“We had it so many times, our ‘D’ was on fire the whole game,” Mueffelmann said. “The goalie was on fire and we definitely gave everything we could, it was such a close game.”

Darien tied the score at 1-1 lead when junior Ashley Stockdale scored 4:26 remaining in the first quarter. Greenwich took a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a goal by sophomore forward Stella Thibeault. On the Cardinals’ goal, freshman Emilia Arroyo was carrying the ball up the field, while Mueffelmann and Thibeault filled lanes and a pass was sent to Thibeault, who sent a shot off Darien’s goalie’s pads for the goal, which occurred at the 9:02 mark of the first quarter.

Klara Mueffelmann of Greenwich, left, looks to move the ball while being pursued by Darien’s Morgan Massey.

Junior Bernie Thompson had five interceptions, while Arroyo, Caroline Babb, Sofia Klingbeil, Mueffelmann and Thibeault had one each for the Cards. Janssen made standout saves throughout this FCIAC matchup, stopping shots from all angles.

Wax was pleased to see the aggressiveness her squad competed with.

“One of the things we have been talking about all season long is making sure we don’t shy away from the ball,” Wax said. “Our team has a habit of playing things safe by backing up, so we’ve been talking about stepping up. I think defensively they did a really good job of that. Kelly had huge saves for us and played outstanding as well.”

Greenwich’s Maddie Hoekman, left, greets Darien goalie Lindey Darby following the FCIAC matchup.

Mueffelmann, Liv Caminiti and Thibeault each registered shots on goal for Greenwich, which was paced defensively by senior tri-captain Maddie Hoekman.

“At halftime, we thought about the Ridgefield game (an overtime loss) and how mad we were and how close we were and how much we wanted it,” Mueffelmann noted.” And we wanted to use that as motivation. We knew we had it, we just couldn’t get it into goal.”

Darien was led defensively by Chian Daugavietis and Massey. Greenwich will be up bright and early for a game tomorrow, as Newtown visits Cardinal Stadium at 9 a.m. The game marks Greenwich’s final regular season game at Cardinal Stadium.

Sofia Klingbeil of Greenwich moves the ball up the field against Darien.
Darien was victorious against Greenwich, 1-0 in field hockey action.

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