Greenwich junior midfielder Marino Patrk was forced to sit on the sidelines and endure his team's excruciating 1-0 double overtime loss to Wilton in the FCIAC boys soccer quarterfinals last week. Hampered by ankle issues all year, Patrk was determined to not only play in the first round state tournament match, but also to make an impact. Patrk scored two huge goals in the second half, lifting Greenwich to a 3-1 victory over South Windsor.
"It feels good to come back and help my team after not being able to play in FCIACs," Patrk said. "It's good to get on the right foot and come out strong in the first round of this tournament. We've got a good lineup, and we're finally fit to make a run."
For a while it appeared Greenwich would succumb to the late-in-the-half mental lapses that have plagued the team much of the season. Senior forward Phil Collins gave Greenwich an early lead, one-timing a nice pass from Pieter Zenner. The defense got sloppy, however, and South Windsor scored the equalizer in the 35th minute. After a fiery halftime speech by head coach Kurt Putnam, Patrk knew it was time to step up.
Just two minutes into the second half, Frankie Agrest set up a corner kick that freshman Will Gittings got a foot on it. It sailed in the air and Patrk made a solid header that baffled South Windsor's goalie, giving his team the go-ahead. Patrk added his second goal 15 minutes later, sliding past South Windsor defenders and knocking home a deflected kick.
"Coach was proud of how we played today. We were more intent on finishing our shots," Collins said. "Everyone wants to win the FCIACs, but states are better. I think we can go to the finals if we play like we did today."
Greenwich will try to reach the state tournament quarterfinals for the first time in more than a decade when it plays its second round game Thursday against the winner of Norwich Free Academy and Cheshire.
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