Greenwich girls soccer unable to break through against Ludlowe, falls 2-0

Greenwich High School sophomore Emily Berzolla works the ball past a Trinity Catholic player during a game earlier this season. — John Ferris Robben photo

Greenwich High School sophomore Emily Berzolla works the ball past a Trinity Catholic player during a game earlier this season. — John Ferris Robben photo

Although the Greenwich High School girls soccer team gave Fairfield Ludlowe everything they had in the second half, it wasn’t enough to stop the surging Falcons Monday Night.

Scoring a goal midway through the first and in the final moment of the second half, Fairfield Ludlowe put an end to Big Red’s four-game unbeaten streak streak and came away with the 2-0 victory.

“Credit to Ludlowe today. The way they hustled and went after every ball for the whole 80 minutes was terrific,” Greenwich High School head coach Danny Simpson said. “They didn’t give us a chance to settle and didn’t give us a chance to get our rhythm of passing. Full credit to the coach and girls at Ludlowe. They played a fantastic first half and in the second half when we changed it up and put them under pressure, they withstood it.”

With 21:47 to play in the opening half, Fairfield senior Lindsay Zilling got the pass from fellow senior Ali Gorab and drilled the shot at GHS junior goalie Kylie Ginsberg. While attempting to clear the ball out of harm’s way, a Greenwich defender appeared to get a foot on the ball to tried to redirect it. However, the ball still found the way in the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

With 5:12 to play in the game, the Falcons padded its lead when senior Krissy Bradley unloaded a blast from nearly 30 yards out that beat the GHS goalie in the top right corner of the net for the 2-0 lead.

“It was a team effort and I’m definitely proud of the effort the girls gave,” Ludlowe head coach Kate Dawson said. “We knew this was going to be a pivotal week in our season, facing Greenwich and Warde, two very difficult opponents in the FCIAC. What I said to the girls before the game was that it was going to come down to focus and execution and finishing. Today we were able to put the ball in the net and win the 50-50 balls.”

As a team, Greenwich finished with 10 shots on goal, one more than Ludlowe. Big Red’s Ginsberg converted on five saves in the losing effort.

Although Greenwich started the game controlling the tempo, it was Fairfield that had the early scoring chances. Bradley had a chance at a goal with 31:07 to play in the opening half, but her corner kick sailed just past the GHS net.

Nearly 10 minutes later, Greenwich was able to get a shot on net, when junior Jamie Kockenmeister got the turnover at midfield and passed to junior Isabella Pehrson, however Pehrson’s shot went wide of the net.

After the Falcons stunned Big Red with the goal with 21:47 to play in the half, Greenwich tried to respond, as sophomore Emily Berzolla, sophomore Caroline Frey and senior Vitoria Galbier each had solid goal scoring opportunities that were saved by the FLHS goalie.

However, those were the only quality chances Big Red had in the half, as the Falcons were a step quicker.

“There were times where we were defending more than we were attacking and we had to stay even and stay composed,” Dawson said. “That makes all the difference. We had to rely on our senior leadership today and Krissy and Lindsay stepped up and scored the goals. In the back, Annie McNamara was a really solid leader.”

In the second half, the Lady Cardinals changed up its attack, were more aggressive to the ball and it showed. Greenwich was getting more quality scoring chances.

With 38:19 to play, sophomore Treloara Harrison got a foot on the ball and fired a shot at close range, but the ball hit the crossbar and bounced out of harm’s way. Five minutes later, sophomore Anna Giannuzzi was on a fast break to the net, however Ludlowe senior Alex Wykoff was able to catch up to Giannuzzi and deflect the ball at the last second.

Giannuzzi had another chance with 17:53 to play, as she got the ball, beat the FLHS defense and launched a shot at point-blank range, but it sailed just over the crossbar.

“We talked about at halftime about how we were second to the ball,” Simpson said. “The girls noticed it and changed it up by putting three in the middle and three up top and just go with more offense. It seemed to pay dividends. We created chances to score, but unfortunately we didn’t find the back of the net. It was pleasing to know that they created the chances and responded after the halftime talk and went out in the second half with more fire.”

With the loss, Greenwich ended its streak of four game without giving up a goal. Back on Sept. 19, Greenwich blitzed Trinity Catholic High School 8-0 and two days later beat Brien McMahon 4-0. After a 3-0 victory against Bridgeport Central, Big Red hosted Fairfield Warde High School on Thursday and drew a scoreless tie.

Overall, GHS sits at 3-3-1 on the season, while the Falcons improved to 4-4.

“When you lose, it’s always a good experience to learn from,” Simpson said. “I think the hustle that the Ludlowe girls showed today was what we showed against Warde. The great thing about the FCIAC league is that you can’t come on the field and expect to win. Today was a great example of that.”

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