GREENWICH — After struggling mightily out of the gate, not posting a win in its first seven games, the Greenwich girls soccer team feels like it is turning a corner as the season hits the halfway point.
Friday afternoon at Cardinal Stadium, the team may have posted its signature win of the season, defeating Westhill 4-3 after trailing by a goal twice in the contest.
It was the third win in four games for the Cardinals (3-7-1).
The game featured a tremendous amount of back-and-forth action, highlighted by a three-goal outburst covering just over two minutes of game action in the second half.
“Hard work today but we got there in the end. Great game,” Greenwich coach Simon Rumbold said. “They have two really good players (Corinne Dente and Claudia Benz) and we aimed to try and get tighter to them in the second half. I felt like if we trusted in what we were doing on the attack that eventually there would be great chances and luckily it worked out.”
Westhill (4-5-1) got the scoring going early on when Dente looped a shot in from 20 yards out on the right side.
Greenwich would one-up that with Jordan Moses hitting a ball from 40 yards away and chipping it right over the keeper’s head, tying the game.
Dente would tally again before the half, again from the right side from distance.
Greenwich would tie the game 12 minutes into the second half on a header by Melanie Murphy off a corner kick from Sophia Ruelle.
The Cards would take their first lead with 16:20 remaining when Megan Murphy flicked one over the keeper’s head from roughly 30 yards away. Fifteen seconds later, Benz tied it up again with a goal.
Keeping the frantic pace going, Kim Kockenmeister found the back of the net with 14:09 to go.
Westhill coach Dave Flower said it was pretty simple why Greenwich walked off the field victorious.
“They played better than us and were the better team and outplayed us” Flower said. “Simon (Rumbold) is just coming in as a coach and is imprinting his style of play and they are starting to understand it. They outplayed us, there are no two ways about it.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kim Kockenmeister, Greenwich. Kockenmeister scored the winning goal. The senior striker was upfront creating scoring chances all afternoon before sending home the game-winner.
“I don’t have words for how happy we are to get this win,” Kockenmeister said. “We needed this win. This whole season we have been trying to prove ourselves and this game really marks the point in our season where we know we can compete with anyone in the FCIAC. We have reached the second half of our season and this is where we are going to start shooting for FCIACs and start shooting for states. This game was really important for that.”
Westhill had a corner kick with under a minute to play and a direct kick from just outside the 18 with 22 seconds remaining but could not get the equalizer, being turned away several times by the Cardinals defense at close range.
GREENWICH 4, WESTHILL 3
WESTHILL 2 1—3
GREENWICH 1 3—4
Records: W—4-5-1; G—3-7-1
Goals: W—Corrine Dente 2, Claudia Benz 1. G— Jordan Moses, Melanie Murphy, Megan Murphy, Kim Kockenmeister. Assists: G—Sophia Ruelle. Goalies: W—Molly Herkis 14 saves; G—Katherine Large 5 saves