Greenwich High girls lacrosse wins thriller with Fairfield Warde, 13-11

Greenwich High School's Carolyn Paletta charges down the field with the ball during Monday's game against Fairfield Warde High School — Paul Silverfarb photo

Greenwich High School’s Carolyn Paletta charges down the field with the ball during Monday’s game against Fairfield Warde High School — Paul Silverfarb photo

In a highly-competitive contest that wasn’t decided until the final minutes of the game, the Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team scored a late goal by one of its captains and held on for a 13-11 victory over Fairfield Warde High School earlier today.

“It’s huge and that’s what we wanted,” Greenwich High School head coach Caitlyn Keane said. “We wanted that momentum carried forward. We played a lot of non-conference games, but this was a conference game and this one counted. The last four games we played didn’t count. You need to get the win if you want to play in the FCIAC tournament.”

After trailing throughout most of the first half, Greenwich and Warde battled back-and-forth during the second. With 1:49 to play in the game, GHS senior Carolyn Paletta capped off her five-goal performance by getting the ball to the net off a free possession and burying the shot in the back of the net for the 12-11 lead.

Big Red added a goal as the final buzzer sounded to take the two-goal victory.

“We fought right down to the end,” Fairfield Warde head coach Tom Davis said. “Nobody thought we were going to be in the game. We played our hearts out and played a great game. It’s not that they played better than us. We stayed with them. People thought that when we beat Staples it was a fluke. Well it’s not a fluke any more. It’s for real.”

Greenwich was paced by Paletta’s five goals, but Maddy Graves added two. Anne Dunster, Hannah Koorbusch, Paige Mautner and Natalie Paletta rounded out the scoring.

For the Cardinals, they were able to keep the good times rolling. On Saturday, despite losing to perennial power Darien High School 17-15, Keane was thrilled with how her team battled toe-to-toe with the Blue Wave.

Big Red's Anne Dunster looks to attack the Fairfield Warde net during Monday afternoon's game. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Big Red’s Anne Dunster looks to attack the Fairfield Warde net during Monday afternoon’s game. — Paul Silverfarb photo

“We came off such a strong game on Saturday and then to come out here and drop our level of play is frustrating,” Keane said. “It’s the inconsistencies. In the second half I thought we were heading in the right direction again. We woke up a little bit. We were slow to start.”

Warde was paced by the trio of Sarah Reilly, Amanda Orvis and Courtney Scheetz, as they each picked up the hat trick. Hannah Dougherty and Meredith Nerreau added one goal each.

“At halftime they knew they were in trouble,” Davis said. “We had to come out with more intensity. They are bigger, stronger and faster. We did everything we could to compliment that with them and I think we did a good job. They shut Sarah (Reilly) down and that’s our firepower right there. Amanda came through and scored and so did Courtney.”

While the Lady Cardinals were victorious against the Mustangs, it didn’t come easy. In fact, Fairfield Warde dominated the early portion of the game and built a quick 2-0 lead when Orvis opened the scoring with two quick goals.

Although Big Red cut the deficit to 2-1 when Carolyn Paletta found the back of the net, Fairfield fired back and built a 5-2 lead, as Reilly, Scheetz and Nerreau attacked the net and beat Greenwich goalie Kylie Ginsburg.

Greenwich cut the halftime deficit to 6-4, as Carolyn Paletta and Dunster ended the half with goals. However in the second half, the Cardinals started the same way Fairfield did in the first half.

Firing on all cylinders, Natalie Paletta and Mautner scored 13 second apart to tie the game at 6-6.

From there both teams exchanged goals until Carolyn Paletta stepped up her game in the final 12 minutes. With the scored knotted at 9-9, Carolyn Paletta made her way through the FWHS defense and gave GHS the 11-9 lead with 8:43 to play.

During that time, Ginsburg stepped up her game for Greenwich between the pipes. With 4:32 to play, she stopped a 1-on-1 break from Orvis and again was able to get the ball out of harm’s way when Reilly was looking to tie the game.

“We switched it up for a little bit,” Keane said. “Kylie started off a little slow for us, but we went back to her and it was good. It gave Kylie a little boost.”

Despite Ginsburg’s heroics, the Mustangs wouldn’t back down. Scheetz tallied a goal with 6:41 to play and struck again three minutes later to force the Cards and Mustangs into the 11-11 tie.

“This is a big learning experience for us that we can play with the big teams,” Davis said. “New Canaan was the third game of the season and we were getting used to our offense and defense. We are getting better and better as the season moves along. Hopefully we can continue that.”

One of the reasons for Big Red’s success against the Mustangs is the way they were able to play defense and pressure its opposition.

“We did really well on marking up on the clears and then hustling to pick up ball,” Keane said. “We could have been better at causing those forced turnovers. We caused the ball to turn over, but they were able to come up with it. However I was happy with the way we marked up on the ball.”

With the victory, Greenwich upped its overall record to 5-4 on the season. The Mustangs lost for only the second time this season, falling to 7-2-1.

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