With only one league game remaining in its regular season, the Greenwich Academy soccer team has an opportunity to finish atop the FAA standings and earn the No. 1 see in the league tournament.
Greenwich Academy improved its record in the FAA to 7-1-1 with a 3-0 victory against league rival Greens Farms Academy in a game held in Westport on Thursday.
The loss was the first FAA defeat for Greens Farms, which is 4-1-1 in the league. St. Luke’s School is 6-1 in the FAA and has two games remaining in the regular season – matchups against Greenwich Country Day School on Tuesday and Greenwich Academy on Friday. If St. Luke’s defeats Greenwich Country Day on Tuesday, GA and St. Luke’s would play for the FAA regular season title and the top seed in the FAA Tournament.
“GFA was undefeated in the league and we played the best game we played all year,” GA coach Alistair Lonsdale said of Thursday’s win. “The kids played as a team. It’s always tough to play them away from home and it was a windy, blustery day. The first half, we were against the wind and sun. It was end to end a very even game at that point.”
Junior Lola Tirabassi scored the go-ahead goal for the Gator with 15 minutes remaining in the second half. Using her left foot, Tirabassi deposited her shot into the far corner, giving GA a 1-0 lead.
“We played very organized and well,” Lonsdale said. “In the second half, we had the wind and sun at our back and we went for it. Lola scored an amazing individual goal. They came back at us hard, so we had to defend well.”
Tirabassi, the team’s leading scorer, gave Greenwich Academy a 2-0 advantage. Earning a penalty kick after getting fouled, Tirabassi took the penalty kick with approximately eight minutes left to play and tallied, making it 2-0.
With approximately three minutes to go, senior Winnie Welch sealed GA’s important FAA win. Welch, a senior, scored off a pass from freshman Sofia Salazar, putting the Gators on top, 3-0.
“It was a really good performance, it was one of the best performances we’ve had,” said Lonsdale, who cited Tirabassi’s effort and senior Kate Haffenreffer for pacing the team.
In GA’s 5-1 win over Hopkins 10 days ago, Tirabassi recorded a hat trick, and assisted on two goals. Senior Maggie Whidden and senior Ellie Burdick scored a goal apiece for the Gators against Hopkins.
Burdick, a captain and Kit Harned, a senior captain, have provided excellent leadership.
“The captains have been great, they are doing a wonderful job for the team and the team is improving every game,” said Lonsdale, whose squad is playing at Kent today.