Greenwich High

Greenwich High girls lacrosse team storms past Staples behind balanced scoring effort for sixth win of the season

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich midfielder Emma Abbazia, middle, gathers a ground ball between two Staples players during a lacrosse game at Cardinal Stadium on April 29, 2023.

Inclement weather certainly didn’t slow down Greenwich High School’s girls lacrosse team’s offense against Staples on Saturday morning.

Playing in a steady rainfall on a wet, slick field, the Cardinals attack prospered and their defense flourished on their way to a solid win over another formidable FCIAC foe.

Junior midfielder Emma Abbazia continued her standout season, recording four goals and one assist for Greenwich in its 13-8 triumph against Staples at rainy Cardinal Stadium.

With their second straight win, the Cardinals improved their record to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the FCIAC.

“Obviously the draw possession was key for us today, but I think it was great competitive game overall,” Greenwich coach Tara Clough said. “It was a great first half, Staples had some possessions early and they were composed and taking care of the ball. We were able to take more risks defensively, which we did.”

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich’s Giselle DiPietro, right, defends against Staples at Cardinal Stadium.

Senior attack/quad-captain, Cece Tauber kept her scoring surge going, registering three goals, while showing her playmaking ability with four assists. The Cardinals, who defeated conference rival Fairfield Ludlowe, 12-7, in Fairfield on Tuesday, went into halftime with a 7-4 lead on the Wreckers.

“We were definitely lacking fluidity coming into the first half, but we got a chance to regroup in a timeout and understand what was working and we definitely showed how we can adjust a lot better and not just in the second half, in the first half as well,” Cece Tauber noted.

Indeed, once the Cardinals settled in, they generated scoring opportunities, resulting in goals against Staples, which is 4-5 on the season. The Wreckers posted a 10-6 win against the Cards in 2022 and had given GHS trouble in recent seasons. Saturday’s victory concluded a winning week for Greenwich, which continues to illustrate that it’s a contender in the FCIAC.

MK Frey of Greenwich looks to make a pass with the Cardinals on offense against visiting Staples.

“Coming off two really tough losses, this is a good way to come back,” Cece Tauber said. “I’m really happy for our team and the way that we’re playing.”

Mary Kate Frey, a junior attack, capitalized on our scoring chances, tallying three times for the Cardinals, who received one goal and one assist from sophomore attack Flynn Tauber – Cece’s sister – and one goal apiece from freshman midfielder Giselle DiPietro and senior defender/quad-captain MK Savio.

“I think the hustle of this team is so impressive,” Flynn Tauber said. “We fought for every ground ball and everyone worked so hard on the field today.”

Greenwich senior Cece Tauber helped ignite the Cardinals’ offense during a matchup against Staples.

Ahead 7-4, Greenwich took a 4-goal advantage when Flynn Tauber put a shot from close range past Staples senior goalie Claire Sandhaus with 20:28 remaining in the second half.

A goal off an 8-meter shot pulled Staples to within 8-5 at the 19:14 mark of the second half, but Abbazia tallied off a strong run to the net, making it 9-5. Less than 20 seconds later, Abbazia won the ensuing draw, used her speed to take the ball down the field and tallied, giving GHS an 11-5 edge with 15-18 left to play.

“That was a great, competitive game,” Clough said. “Staples is super athletic and gritty like our Greenwich girls and I knew it was going to be a battle and it was going to come down to 50/50 possessions and ground balls.”

Greenwich’s Aubrey Roth, right, battles for a ground ball against Staples at Cardinal Stadium.

“It was certainly, wet and slick and I think we did a much better job in the second half of moving the ball and finding the openings, attacking the gaps. I think that made a big difference,” Clough continued.

Junior Keira Best converted a shot for Staples, bringing the visitors within, 11-7, but that’s the closes the Wreckers came, as Frey helped the home team close the game out strong with a key play resulting in a goal.

“In this game, we really brought it and showed what Greenwich is all about – fighting hard and working for each possession,” Flynn Tauber said.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich High’s girls lacrosse team gathers during halftime against Staples.

Senior Daryl Furno made three saves in goal, while junior goalie Kate Janis stopped one shot for the Cardinals, who were propelled defensively by Savio, senior Sophie Roth, senior quad-captain Keira Young and Kaitlin Kelly, also a senior.

Roth caused four turnovers, Young gathered three groundballs and Kelly had two draw controls and two groundballs in the winning effort.

“Our ride was successful and our kids worked really hard and wanted this game,” Clough said. “MK Savio played tremendously, she’s a great communicator.”

Greenwich defeated Staples in FCIAC girls lacrosse action at Cardinal Stadium on April 29, 2023.

Abbazia had a team-best six draw controls, enabling the Cards to gain consistently gain possession. Freshman midfielder Leighton Collier won two draws and controlled two groundballs, while Kelly had two draw controls for the Cardinals, who play again on Thursday.

Greenwich hosts Ridgefield Thursday under the lights at Cardinal Stadium at 7 p.m. Staples is in action again Tuesday, against visiting Fairfield Ludlowe.

Greenwich junior midfielder Emma Abbazia in action against Staples.


During Saturday’s game against Staples at Cardinal Stadium, the Greenwich lacrosse program raised awareness for the Emily Catherine Fedorko Foundation – a family foundation that provides funding to spread education, advocacy and awareness of boating and water sports safety for adults and children, throughout Connecticut and nationwide.

The foundation was created by Pamela and Joseph Fedorko to honor the life of their 16-year old daughter Emily, who lost her life during a tragic water tubing accident in the summer of 2014 in Greenwich. Emily was a talented lacrosse player and gymnast at Greenwich High School.

The Emily Catherine Fedorko Foundation is a foundation that provides funding and education, advocacy, awareness for boating and water safety for adults and children throughout Connecticut and nationwide.

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