GREENWICH — Focusing on the little things, the small details, usually results in big moments for teams in any sport.
That’s been the case for the Greenwich field hockey team two games into its season.
Greenwich, which opened its season with a two-goal victory against Brien McMahon last week, produced an identical result when Fairfield Warde visited Cardinal Stadium on Tuesday.
A goal from sophomore Justine Liguori and a tally from junior Kathryn O’Donnell lifted the Cardinals to a 2-0 win over Warde in an early-season FCIAC matchup.
“We were focusing on doing a lot of the little things, our goal is to improve day-by-day,” GHS first-year coach Megan Wax said. “There was a lot we were able to do today, especially spacing out our forwards. There’s always room for improvement, we have to solidify things that we aren’t 100 percent on yet. But I like what I am seeing from the team.”
Warde coach Torey Strauser, a Greenwich High graduate, was also pleased with her team’s performance. Junior Sidney Falterer helped keep the Mustangs close throughout, making 16 saves. A number of Fatlerer’s saves came off penalty corners and scramble situations in front of the cage.
“She did an amazing job,” Strauser said of Falterer. “Everyone out there on the field for us did really well. Greenwich is always a tough team — a team to beat. So playing them to a 2-1 score — I’m really proud of our team.”
Greenwich took a 1-0 lead with just over 16 minutes remaining in the first half. On a 3-on-1 breakaway, senior forward Demi Janis passed the ball to sophomore forward Justine Liguori. Possessing the ball from close in, Liguori put a short shot past Falterer, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Senior Violet Mikalopas also applied pressure on the play for the Cardinals.
The Cards held the possession edge in the first half, as Mikalopas, Janis, midfielder Zita Cohen and midfielder Isabella Lattuada effectivley moved the ball.
“We were explosive, people were ready to step up to the ball and we had lots of energy and intensity,” Janis said. “They had a really strong defense and they did a good job of clearing it wide, but we were able to step up and bring it back in.”
Greenwich seized a 2-0 edge with 26:06 to go in the second half. Janis carried the ball down field and sent a cross ball to O’Donnell and she finished, giving the home team a two-goal lead.
Warde closed to within 2-1, tallying off a counter attack. Junior Alex DiPierro got loose on a breakaway and set up junior Kerry McKeon, who was cutting to the cage, for the tally, making it 2-1 with 17:33 still remaining.
Both teams had their chances thereafter, but Greenwich kept its lead, thanks to solid play from defenders Guadalupe Balaguer and Katie Piotrzkowski.
“Katie, our center midfielder was holding her ground and helping us distribute the ball when we needed it and Guadalupe had a great game defensively,” Wax said.
Junior Matea Sucic made one save in the victory for GHS (2-0).
“We were always open for each other and always communicating with each other,” Lattuada said. “Every time there was a breakaway, we were there for each other. When the game was close at the end, we focused on keeping the pressure up, managing the time and keeping possession of the ball.”
Said Janis: “We have a very young team, which is a good thing. Everyone is excited and hungry to play.”
Greenwich visits St. Joseph on Friday at 4:15 p.m., while Warde travels to Brien McMahon Saturday for a matchup at 1:30 p.m.