Finishing was an issue for the Greenwich High School girls soccer team, which struggled to register goals during its first seven games of the season. Yet the past two outings have seen the Cardinals click offensively and light the scoreboard, while playing its usual solid defense.
As a result, Greenwich has posted two straight victories, one of which came Saturday when it defeated Norwalk, 6-0, at Cardinal Stadium.
Sophomore Sophia Bastek tallied twice, while Sam Sias, Nadine Anderson, Kelly Martyanov and Carly O’Brien each added one goal apiece for Greenwich (0-6-1).
The Cardinals went into halftime with a 3-0 advantage.
“Up front we’ve been working on ways to finish the ball, we’ve been focusing on that in practice,” said Greenwich senior tri-captain Sophia Ruelle, who along with Nicole Huber and senior tri-captain Sofia Zajec helped spark the squad’s strong defensive effort. “Today, it definitely showed how much we have been working on it. We got creative up front.”
Bastek, who scored both goals in Greenwich’s 2-0 win against Stamford on Thursday, notched the game’s first goal in the sixth minute. Senior Naomi Kostman assisted on the goal.
“She started the season as an attacking midfielder, then we moved her up top,” GHS coach Simon Rumbold said of Bastek. “She’s nimble, quick and she has done a great job of creating.”
Anderson headed in a corner kick from junior midfielder JoJo Moses, giving Greenwich a 2-0 lead late in the opening half. Receiving a pass from Eduarda Da Silva, Martyanov put a shot past Norwalk senior goalie Sabrina Bailon late in the first half putting GHS on top, 3-0. Ruelle converted a free kick, going top shelf, but time expired just before she put her shot in and Greenwich still held a 3-0 lead.
Sias lofted a shot from 20 yards out that found its way into the goal with 32:08 remaining, making it 4-0. Moses assisted on the goal.
“The energy on the field was something that helped everyone pick up the pace and keep it at a high level,” said Sias, a senior tri-captain. “If we play the way we just played with other teams we can come out with scores and results like that.”
Bailon made nine saves in goal for Norwalk (2-6), while Clay Garrett and Katie Large combined for three saves for the victors. Bastek and O’Brien added second-half goals for Greenwich (2-6-1) which kept a positive attitude despite its slow start to the season.
“Like last year, our schedule was very frontloaded (with) a lot of tough games at the beginning of the season,” Zajec said. “We knew it was very important that we stayed positive and kept focused on how we were playing. We beat Stamford the other day, but we knew we could (have) done better and we focused on improving upon that performance.”
Said Ruelle: “We wanted to prove to ourselves that we were better than that and we did that.”
Greenwich hosts Trumbull Monday at 4:30 p.m.
“It’s a game that could go either way,” Rumbold said. “We had a couple of tough weeks, but we got through it, now hopefully, we’ll continue to play well.”