Newtown gives Greenwich girls lax a scare, but Cards net 16-14 win

Greenwich High School sophomore Jenny Goggin darts past her New Canaan opponent during the FCIAC tournament last week. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Greenwich High School sophomore Jenny Goggin darts past her New Canaan opponent during the FCIAC tournament last week. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Rain was falling and the air was cold at Cardinal Stadium, but the Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team (14-2) shined through, securing a quarterfinals spot in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class L tournament with a close 16-14 victory against the No. 13 seed Newtown High School Hawks.

Greenwich head coach Caitlin Keane felt as though this win, although close, was a much-needed mental boost for her team. Keane believes that if her team keeps this up, a state trophy could be in their future.

“The girls really needed this win after our loss against New Canaan the other day,” said Keane. “We needed a couple days off, and we needed the rest. Yesterday’s practice was awesome; today they came out and implemented what we did yesterday. We just need to keep doing that.”

The Cards proved why they were the No. 4 seed, as they came out strong by scoring seven goals in the first 10 minutes of the first half, leaving Newtown trailing 7-2.

Newtown closed the gap late in the first half. Junior Kristie VosWinkel scored four goals to help tie the game 11-11 going into the second half.

As the second half was underway, Big Red started to get its momentum back, as junior Carolyn Paletta scored an additional two goals on top of her already impressive first half hat trick.

Senior co-captain Emily Johnson scored three goals for the Cards as well and kept spirits high for the team, despite her double yellow cards.

Greenwich dominated the attack against Newtown but their defense was another story.

“We were really fired up in the beginning, I mean we don’t want this to be our last game obviously, so I think that momentum really got us going,” said Paletta. “I think a big part was we were really focused on our attack and we didn’t really balance with the defense in practice as much so now we have to focus on both sides.”

Newtown didn’t give up without a fight however, coming back from a six-point deficit. Keeping Greenwich at bay and fighting past the Cards defense, the Hawks came within two points but ultimately fell short, not achieving their season goal of winning States.

“We had a little bit of a slow start for us, we knew that they were a fast break team,” said Newtown head coach Maura Fletcher. “We practiced for it, we got ready for it and somehow in the first half we didn’t identify some of those fast players that they have in the midfield. We made some adjustments on defense and brought it back to a tie game.”

With the victory, Greenwich advances to the quarterfinal round and will play No. 5 seeded Cheshire High School, who upended South Windsor in their opening round game 10-5. That quarterfinal game will be played Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium.

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