Greenwich High

Greenwich girls rugby team celebrates Senior Night by stopping Southington

Photo courtesy of Antonio Monteiro: Greenwich High School’s girls rugby team hosted Southington on Senior Night at Cardinal Stadium on May 11, 2023, in Greenwich.

Contributed report by Antonio Monteiro

On a perfect evening for rugby on May 11, a large crowd of parents, students, and alumni were present for Senior Night to honor Greenwich High School girls rugby team seniors Isabella Gega, Natalie Rojas, Sophie Citron, Katie Coyle, Alessandra Perna, and Laura Smego. The Cardinals welcomed their in-state rivals, Southington, for a hard-fought match in which Greenwich eventually emerged as victors, 29-15.

Greenwich jumped out to a first-half lead of 19-0, scoring three tries from their half-back combination of junior Lara Olmsted and sophomore Lauren Huang, with senior captain Isabella Gega making the conversion kick on two of the tries.

The combination of Haung’s attacking instincts and Olmsted’s speed were too much for the opposition. Towards the latter parts of the first half, Southington had a sustained period of pressure, but the Cardinals managed to keep them out of the try zone with an extremely well-organized defense. Eventually, Southington scored end the end of the first half, making the score, 19-5.   

Photo by Antonio Monteiro: Greenwich High School’s rugby team defeated rival Southington at Cardinal Stadium.

The second half started much the same way, with Southington on the attack but once again, Greenwich held out with some last-ditch defense, marshaled by senior captain Natalie Rojas. Sophomore Rubi Lamkin scored after multiple phases of possession and a well-worked backline move, giving GHS a 24-5 advantage.

With Southington once again camped out in the Greenwich half, the visitors scored two more tries, cutting the Cards’ lead to 24-15 halfway through the second half. With a little counter-attaching magic, inside-center Rojas chipped over the advancing defense – Olmsted judged the bounce perfectly, beat the full-back and sprinted 50 yards to score her second try of the evening, putting the Cardinals on top, 29-15. 

Photo courtesy of Antonio Monteiro: Greenwich’s rugby team prevailed in a physical matchup against visiting Southington.

Greenwich’s next game is at Trumbull on Friday. The Cardinals remain on track to return to the Connecticut State Tournament final later this month. 

Photo by Antonio Monteiro: Senior Isabella Gega of Greenwich eludes a pair of Southington players on Senior Night.

Greenwich coach Erin Martschenko shared her thoughts following her team’s outstanding victory: “Southington is always a tough opponent.  They are coached very well and play good, physical rugby.  We knew this was going to be a really competitive match. We also knew going in that we needed this win to have the potential to position well into the post-season.  And the girls battled hard and got the job done under the lights, on senior night, in front of a big crowd of parents, friends, and alumni.”

Photo courtesy Antonio Monteiro: Greenwich’s boys rugby team topped Southington in rugby action.

“Our senior captain, Natalie Rojas, found that extra gear and played an outstanding game offensively and defensively,” Martschenko continued. “Newcomer, Lauren Huang, and veteran, Lara Olmstead, made big plays that resulted in key scores. But truly, every player out there stepped up and did what needed to be done in a big way and as a unit which is exactly how the game should be played.  It was a great night of rugby.”


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