The Greenwich High School girls soccer team fought through one of its toughest games of the season against Staples on Friday night and came out on the other side with a playoff berth. Both teams' defenses were on the top of their games for the first half until Greenwich caught Staples off guard halfway through the second half to win a nail-biter, 1-0.
"There's a pretty good rivalry between these two teams," Greenwich sophomore Naomi Leeds said. "It felt really good to win this one to clinch a spot in the FCIACs."
The Cardinals came out with a solid attack against the Wreckers but could not find the net. Shannon Colligan had the best chance when she aimed for the far post from 20 yards out on the left side, but it slid just wide right.
Greenwich caught its break in the second half when Staples brought too many players up into the offensive zone. Izzy Mackel cleared the ball to Colligan at midfield, creating a two-on-one advantage with Leeds. Colligan slipped the pass by the final Staples defender, and Leeds knocked it home for the game's only goal. Goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin made the save of the game for Greenwich with 12 minutes to play, diving for the ball and snatching it away from a Staples player who had a great look at the net.
"This was a fantastic performance by the girls. They worked hard for all 80 minutes," Greenwich head coach Danny Simpson said. "We've got two more games in the league, but hopefully, with the tournaments, we still have 15 or 16 to go."
Greenwich stands at 10-1-2 in the FCIAC, trailing Ridgefield by two points for the top spot in the tournament. The Cardinals will have another tough test Tuesday when they host a red-hot Westhill team.
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