GREENWICH — An early season tie had the Greenwich Academy and Choate Rosemary Hall soccer teams leaving the field feeling satisfied on Wednesday — and for good reason.
Sure, GA and Choate each avoided defeats, but they knew they displayed several positive signs against opponents that should compile a significant amount of victories this season.
Katie Goldsmith and Taylor Lane each tallied, while Choate received goals from Samantha Brown and Erin Martin in a well-played 2-2 draw at Greenwich Academy.
“They are one of the top teams in the league,” said Greenwich Academy coach Alistair Lonsdale said of Choate. “Tying them is a huge thing for us.”
Said Choate Rosemary Hall coach Rick Koczak: “We know it’s always going to be a great game between us, because both teams have quality players. We missed some chances that we should have had, but GA is a very good side and very organized.”
Trailing 2-1, Choate knotted the score with 14:35 remaining in the second half. Receiving a pass on the left side outside the box, Martin created a bit of space for herself by making a move and deposited a left-footed shot inside the right post, making it 2-2.
“It was kind of frustrating and the pressure was really high, so it was really nerve-wracking out there,” said Martin, a senior, who will play soccer at Georgetown next season. “It seemed like they had more people back then we forward. We got a little unlucky today, but we lost here two years ago.”
Down 1-0, the Gators knotted the score courtesy of seniors Tessa Brooks and Goldsmith. Brooks sent a corner kick into the box and Goldsmith rose up and headed the ball past senior goalie Taylor Vecchione in the 44th minute.
“It was a great ball from Tessa off the corner and I was able to finish with a header back post,” Goldsmith said. “It was nice to tie it up, because we knew we were still in the game and could go ahead, since that fueled the momentum. Choate is a good NEPSAC Class A team, so we’re happy about the tie.”
Greenwich Academy took its first lead of the game in the 57th minute. Brooks sent an arcing shot near the left post and Goldsmith got her foot on the ball, crossing it to Lane, who finished in front, giving the home team a 2-1 edge.
“That was a gritty play,” said Lane, a senior co-captain. “Credit to my teammates, because they worked so hard for it. I was just there to pass it in.”
The opening half was pretty even, with the visitors taking a 1-0 lead with 2:16 remaining before halftime. Martin’s corner kick was headed into the goal by Brown, a senior, putting Choate on top.
Greenwich Academy junior goalie Ella Fugelsang made eight first-half saves and finished the game with 12 to pace the Gators, who were led defensively by senior co-captain Christina Maldonado and junior Schuyler Sargent. Fugelsang also made several key stops during the second half.
Vecchione registered six saves in goal for Choate, which was sparked by Martin and seniors Abbie Adler and CiCi Curran throughout.
“This is really good for us, we needed a game like this,” Koczak said. “These are the type of games you need for when you play tough games in the playoffs down the stretch.”
Said Lonsdale, whose teams midfield play was also paced by junior Paige Lipman and Chloe Burraway: “I was happy to get to halftime 1-nill. We gave a huge effort.”
“Sophomore year, we beat them on our home field, so it feels good to get a tie this year, after they beat us last year,” Lane said. “I love how we have started the season.”
Said Brooks: “One of our goals was to beat Choate, even though we didn’t win, it was a good result.”