The way the Greenwich High and the Westhill High girls soccer teams have played each other recently, it would have been a surprise if their FCIAC championship matchup had not gone into overtime. After tying their last two regular season meetings, something had to give.
Alex DiStefano sent a high, bending ball into the upper-right corner of the net in double overtime, the 94th minute of the match, to lift Greenwich to a 1-0 win. It was Greenwich's second-ever FCIAC championship and first since 2007.
"I watched from the bench as a freshman when we won back in '07. I've been aspiring to get back ever since," DiStefano said. "When you dream big, you go big. In the last 10 minutes, it's all about who believes in their team the most and who capitalizes on those opportunities."
After an indecisive 80 minutes of regulation with the ball largely in the midfield, both teams saw offensive opportunities in overtime. Greenwich had fewer shots on goal but made the ones they had count. Senior Shannon Colligan was in perfect position to stop a Westhill goal kick near midfield and fed it to DiStefano, who nailed her game-winner from 20 yards out.
While DiStefano grabbed the headlines, it would not have been possible if not for Greenwich's incredible defensive effort. Greenwich did not allow a goal in the entire FCIAC tournament and has not let up a goal since Oct. 26 (to Westhill). Sophomore goalie Taylor Bucklin made eight saves, and Sara Rosenbrand resembled a stone wall on the field, blocking and deflecting Westhill shots.
"We knew that it was going to come down to the wire and maybe overtime," Colligan said. "It all came down to heart today and now we're going in with huge momentum. We're on top of the world right now."
Greenwich is likely to be the No. 2 seed in the state tournament, which begins Saturday.
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