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Greenwich Boys Soccer Finally Tops Playoff Nemesis

Ethan Bradeen of Staples High, left, guards against Greenwich's Mateo Gowland during Friday's boys soccer conference quarterfinal. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron
Greenwich goalie Emmett Clarke, middle, and two other Cardinal defenders try to muscle out Staples striker Jose Alanis, far right, during Friday's boys soccer conference quarterfinal. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron

GREENWICH, Conn. – Four straight years of postseason frustration for the Greenwich High boys soccer team went out the window in a dominant 3-0 victory over Staples of Westport in the conference quarterfinals Friday.

Greenwich had revenge on its mind after being bounced from the conference tournament by the Wreckers for the past three years. The Cardinals came ready to play, authoring their best game of the season at just the right time.

“Last time against them we came out flat. Today we just hammered them,” Greenwich defenseman Will Gittings said. “We knew things were going well from the first minute.”

Gittings gave Greenwich all the offense it would need in the 23rd minute of the game. He drilled a free kick from 20 yards out into the upper-left corner of the net, and the Cardinals were off and running with a 1-0 halftime lead.

Staples pressed hard for an equalizer early in the second half, but the ball bounced Greenwich’s way all afternoon.

Jamie Kyle intercepted a Staples pass, just managing to keep the ball inbounds. His kick down the field barely stayed inbounds, where Matt Parron was waiting with only one surprised defender to beat. Parron then crossed to a wide-open Joao Galbier, who poked the ball in for a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals put the game out of reach less than five minutes later. Mateo Gowland raced to the net on a breakaway and just missed a goal with his shot glancing off the post. But Pieter Zenner was there to collect the rebound, driving the ball into the net for Greenwich’s third goal of the game.

“We came out with a vengeance today,” Zenner said. “I’ve never beaten Staples in the playoffs, so this is great. We kept focus and were able to close it out.”

Third-seeded Greenwich will take on second-ranked Ridgefield in the conference semifinals. The game is scheduled to take place at Fairfield Ludlowe on Monday at 5 p.m. Stay tuned to see whether the game will be affected by Hurricane Sandy.

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