GREENWICH — The last time the Greenwich girls lacrosse team was on the field for a game was May 28, 2019 in the CIAC Class LL First Round.
Not only did the Cardinals miss the entire 2020 season like every other team in the state, but have not been able to get on the field this season after going into quarantine prior to their first scrimmage two weeks ago.
It was a long time coming, but Greenwich made the most of its return, rallying for an 11-10 win over Staples at Cardinal Stadium on a goal by Cece Tauber with 1:24 left.
— Scott Ericson (@EricsonSports) April 23, 2021
“I think we calculated it and it’s been 695 days since our last game,” Greenwich senior Delaney Roth said. “We had all the odds against us with that two-week quarantine but we gave it our all, fought for each other and pulled out an awesome win.”
The win was also the first for Greenwich coach Tara Clough who was hired in September of 2019 but had not coached a game for the Cardinals until Thursday.
The first win is certainly etched in stone in her mind.
“I will never forget this. I’m blown away I can’t believe it,” Clough said. “It was such an exciting game. So competitive. Staples is an amazing team and I knew it was going to be tough coming out here. We had players step up, we had a freshman coming up with possessions and finding the openings. Great way to start the season for a team that has been sidelined for two weeks.”
Clough said not being able to start on time was obviously not ideal, but her players were ready when given the opportunity.
“There was no expectation. We have a young team and we are here with a lot of sophomores but they did everything they could to prepare,” Clough said. “It was awesome to see all these great moments in the game. It’s a great day for Greenwich.”
Emma Abbazia led the way with four goals and an assist; Grace Collier added a hat trick and Tauber, Roth, Sophia Neitzell and Noey Johnson scored one goal apiece.
Staples (2-1) jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, but by halftime Greenwich was leading 8-6.
The teams traded goals in the second half with Staples tying the game at 10-10 with 3:10 to play on a goal by Charlotte Barnes.
Staples was paced by four goals from Shira Parower and three from Emma Ashe.
“I think we got completely out-hustled by Greenwich,” Staples coach Nicole Gerosa said. “They beat us on both ends of the field the majority of the time but mostly in the second half. We were out-hustled to groundballs, especially on the draw.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Emma Abbazia, Greenwich: The freshman got Greenwich’s first goal as part of her four and helped control the ball in the offensive end for the Cardinals for long stretches.
“Second half we were really locked down on defense and playing as a team and making sure we were on our cutters and having quick slides on the drives,” Roth said. “Offensively we were playing composed with the ball and making sure we got the best looks and we got the goal when we needed to.”