Greenwich girls soccer team had a season to be proud of

A 2-0 loss to Ridgefield in the second round of the CIAC Class LL Tournament understandably left the Greenwich High School girls soccer team upset, disappointed and frustrated.
Yet while reflecting on their 2011 season following Saturday’s postseason game at Cardinal Stadium, the Cardinals knew they had plenty to be proud of.
Despite the sad ending, this was a season that saw Greenwich capture its second straight FCIAC championship, post a record of 14-3-4 and yield microscopic 1.28 two goals per game.
Senior forward Shannon Colligan tied her school record for goals in a season with 20, sophomore Maddie Graham emerged as a solid goalie in her first season as a starter after junior Taylor Bucklin transferred to Trinity Catholic and the Cardinals played rock solid defense, thanks to the efforts of senior Amanda Onofrio, junior Emily Johnson, junior Sara Mischianti, sophomore Christina Combias and sophomore Megan Bartholomew.
Indeed, it was a memorable season for this year’s Cardinals team.
“The fact that we won FCIACs again this year after graduating 10 seniors says a lot about our team,” Onofrio said. “I think we exceeded the level we were at last season.”
“We played 20 games in eight weeks and lost three times, and two of those games we lost in the last two minutes,” Cardinals coach Danny Simpson said. “Every contest we fought hard. Last year, we lost two games, so we lost five games in two seasons, which is phenomenal. We just have to keep our heads up and reflect on the season, because it’s been fantastic.”
Watching the Cardinals defeat Darien, top-seeded St. Joseph and Fairfield Warde in the FCIAC Tournament, it was obvious the team once again found that special chemistry under Simpson’s guidance.
“This season was an incredible experience,” senior midfielder and tri-captain Izzy Mackell said. “Playing 20 games is a grueling season, but it was unbelievable how well we played.”
For the seniors, it was time to bid farewell to Simpson and assistant coach Jason Simone and reflect on the memories they built during their time on the team.
“It’s crazy, this is the last high school game we’ll play,” said the North Carolina State-bound Colligan, who capped her career with an eye-opening 150 points. “It’s been an amazing four years.”
Though the Cardinals are saying good-bye to Colligan, Mackell, Hayden Stein, and Amanda Onofrio, the cupboard isn’t bare. Simpson’s squad will take the field with plenty of talent next fall.
“I can’t speak highly enough of our seniors and how they molded and guided the sophomores and juniors,” Simpson said. “I think those players are ready to improve even more next season.”
– David Fierro

David Fierro