SOCCER Greenwich Academy beats Sacred Heart on late goal
It’s usually a back-and-forth, intense, drama-filled matchup whenever the Greenwich Academy and Sacred Heart Greenwich soccer teams play each other and Thursday was no different.
The early-season showdown between the Tigers and Gators seemed destined to end in a draw, but Taylor Lane had other plans.
The junior midfielder, who has a knack for scoring goals in big moments, tallied with just over two minutes remaining, lifting visiting Greenwich Academy to a well-earned 2-1 victory over Sacred Heart.
With the dramatic, comeback win, Greenwich Academy raised its record to 5-2.
Lane’s goal came off a cross from junior forward Katie Goldsmith, who sparked GA throughout. Goldsmith’s cross bounded off a Sacred Heart defender and went to Lane, who put a shot from deep in the box past Tigers goalie Athena Corroon, making it 2-1.
“Scoring that goal felt really good, we needed that win,” said Lane, who combined with Goldsmith to score the game-winning goal against Hopkins School in last season’s FAA Tournament final. “It’s always great playing Sacred Heart. They have a talented team with great players and they gave us a great game.”
Sacred Heart (4-3) entered halftime with a 1-0 lead. Tigers junior forward Amelia Sheehan sent a cross into the box that deflected off a Gators defender and found its way past GA goalie Ella Fugelsang, putting the home team in front, 1-0.
“Either team could have won this game, I’m proud of how competitive we made it,” Sacred Heart coach Stuart Smith said. “We started the second half really well with the lead, but we couldn’t capitalize on it. I told the team to keep their heads up, they put on a good show. They could only leave here impressed by their performance today.”
Goldsmith tallied the equalizer 22 minutes into the second half off a set piece. Junior forward Tessa Brooks’ corner kick found the foot of Goldsmith, who finished nicely with a volley, tying the score at 1-1.
“Tessa made a nice play on that goal and I think it changed the pace of the game,” Goldsmith said. “This is a significant win, because it’s a (NEPSAC) Class A win and it gives us momentum going forward. They are a big rival of ours, so this is a good starting point to our season.”
Said Lane: “We’re definitely making steps each game and we’re looking for a better second half of the season.”
Corroon made nine saves for Sacred Heart, which was paced defensively by seniors Claire Liddy and Laura Moore.
“We played really well and it was an evenly-matched game,” Moore said. “They got a really good goal at the end, but we played amazing. We had a lot of good chances, we just have to work on getting those shots in when it matters. This team is better than any team I’ve been on.”
Fugelsang made five saves for GA, which was led on the backline by sophomore Schuyler Sargent and junior Christina Maldonado.
“The fact that we were down 1-0, made us play our game and not play chaotically,” Maldonado said. “Even when we were down, we kept the tempo up and worked together well.”
Said GA coach Alistair Lonsdale: “That was a great display of work ethic. Our team always does a great job of coming back when they are down. The first half, we let the emotion get the best of us, but the second half we came back nicely.”