Scoring early and often, Greenwich High School’s girls soccer team flourished in its first-round game of the CIAC Class LL Tournament, downing Shelton, 5-0, at Cardinal Stadium in a matchup held on Tuesday.
With the win, Greenwich advanced to Thursday’s Class LL Round of 16 game, where it will visit Staples at 2 p.m. The Cardinals and Wreckers squared off in last week’s FCIAC Tournament semifinals, with Staples posting a 3-1 victory.
Tuesday’s win against Shelton marked the resurgent Cardinals’ first state tournament triumph in several seasons. Coached by Simon Rumbold, the 9-5-4 Cardinals also won an FCIAC Tournament game. In Tuesday’s game vs. Shelton, junior midfielder Emma Abbazia scored two goals, while senior midfielder/captain Ali Pennella and junior forward Julia Acosta tallied one goal apiece for Greenwich.
“We played really well, we didn’t know what to expect,” Rumbold said. “We practiced and focused on what we were going to do and the girls did a great job of playing with a lot of intensity.”
Indeed, Greenwich was the aggressor from the start of their state playoff matchup against Shelton.
“The first 20 minutes, we stamped our authority on the game,” Rumbold said. “We were on top and were able to move the ball well and pin them on to their half. We worked the ball really well in terms of passing. Before we scored, we had two or three really good chances.”
Abbazia, Pennella and Acosta helped pace the Cardinals offensively. Rumbold credited junior midfielder Anna Martschenko, sophomore midfielder Taylor Carrescia, senior defender Emma Viviano and sophomore midfielder Lauren Dionis for their stellar performances.
Now, the Cardinals are looking forward to playing Staples again in another all-important postseason game.
“We are excited,” Rumbold said. “Our team was right there with Staples the last game. Against them, the challenge is to play well the whole 80 minutes, which is our goal. We have to remain focused the entire game.”