After coasting to a 17-8 win vs. Fairfield Ludlowe in their season-opener, the Cardinals put even more goals on the scoreboard Friday against Cheshire. Senior standout Emily Johnson scored a game-high seven goals, while senior midfielder Emma Christie scored four times for Greenwich in its 18-10 victory over Cheshire in what was a rematch of last season’s Class L final.
Greenwich put this game away in the second half, outscoring the Rams 12-5. The pivotal stretch was a nine-minute span during the second half that saw the Cards score seven unanswered goals. Besides the goals, what was impressive about this performance was the ball movement and efficiency the Cardinals showed while running their offense.
“Our team chemistry is great,” said Johnson, a quad-captain. “We have all known each other for a while and have all been friends since Day 1, so we’re always clicking out there.”
Quad-captain Sophie Waine (two goals), Carolyn Paletta (two goals, two assists), Jenny Goggin (two goals), Sarah Rider (one goal, one assist) and Anne Dunster (three goals) also had big games for Greenwich, which flourished on the faceoffs thanks to Paletta, who won the majority she took in the second half, much to the dismay of Cheshire coach Dan Warburton.
“I thought we were doing a nice job defensively in the first half, then we stopped winning the draw,” Warburton said. “We had a hard time winning the draw and you can’t let a great team like Greenwich stay on offense the whole time.”
I talked to GHS coach Caitlin Keane after the game and she told me how impressed she was with the effort she received from defenders Natalie Paletta, Claire O’Connor and quad-captain Mollie Haimerl.
“The three of them are the heart of the defense back there,” Keane said. “Molli has stepped it up huge for us. They’re talking, communicating and really getting it done.”
So are the Cardinals’ young goalies. Freshman Caroline Schultz made five saves in the first half Friday, while Kyle Ginsberg, who plays goalie for the school’s soccer team, had eight saves.
“Our two brand new goalies, one of whom is a soccer goalie, who just picked up a stick three weeks ago, are very energetic,” Keane said. “Being able to use both of them has been great. They have been fantastic.”
GHS will be in action again on Saturday against visiting Danbury at 11 a.m.