Greenwich found itself in unfamiliar territory late in the first half of Wednesday’s game against boys soccer rival Darien, as it trailed by a goal — the first deficit it faced this season.
Yet the Cardinals soon showed their penchant for being a quick-striking squad.
Scoring three goals during a six-minute span, Greenwich topped host Darien, 3-1, in an FCIAC West Region game, running its record to 5-0.
The Blue Wave (4-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute. On a strong run down the left side, Darien sophomore forward Trevor Pegg converted a shot from approximately 15 yards out, giving the home team a 1-0 advantage. Darien nearly scored in the 18th minute, with junior Chase Caruso applying pressure.
“Kudos to Darien, it was a really nice strike,” Greenwich coach Kurt Putnam said of the game’s opening goal. “But I thought we responded well to that initial goal.”
Senior midfielder Tadeo Mendive lofted a shot from approximately 35 yards out that went over the head of Darien sophomore goalie Tommy Branca and settled inside the right post, evening the score at 1-1 with 13:10 remaining in the first half.
The visiting Cardinals went ahead for good with 10:42 to go in the opening half. Shortly after a corner kick, junior Jake Hugh Jones sent a long pass into the box and senior midfielder Matias Lew finished the play with a header, putting the Cards on top, 2-1.
Greenwich kept the momentum, courtesy of senior George Younes, who tallied off an impressive run, off an assist from junior Alejandro Rodriguez with 7:55 left in the first half.
“Coming back after going one-nil down and scoring three goals showed incredible character for the team,” Putnam said. “We have a lot of offensive options.”
Senior William Flynn hit the right post with a shot in the second half for Greenwich, while Pegg and Caruso generated scoring chances in the second half for Darien.
“I told the boys at halftime that in the first half we turned the ball over too much,” Darien coach Jon Bradley said. “In that first half, essentially three mistakes were three goals. They’re a good team, so you can’t give away possession like we did in the first half.”
Branca made 10 saves in goal for Darien.
“The second half, we were unlucky, we could have scored,” Bradley said. “It was a decent game and I look forward to playing them again. They’ll be tweaking some things and we’ll be tweaking some things and we’ll play them again at the end of the month.”
Junior Julian Colin made four saves for Greenwich. Sophomore Aidan Bucaria also saw some action in goal for the Cards.
Greenwich visits New Canaan Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
GREENWICH GIRLS SOCCER
Greenwich was edged by undefeated Darien, 3-2, in a tight FCIAC West Region matchup held on Tuesday.
After Darien (4-0) entered halftime with a 1-0 lead, Greenwich tied the score at 1-1 on a goal from sophomore midfielder Ali Pennella with 33:25 left in the second half. Pennella’s tally came off a direct kick.
“That was one of the best free kicks I have seen so far, it went in the left corner of the goal,” GHS coach Simon Rumbold said. “Darien is always very strong, physical and athletic. At the end they broke through and scored on a counter attack, making it 2-1. We did well, we got the ball down and we moved it well and created some scoring opportunities.”
Facing a 3-1 deficit, the Cardinals closed to within a goal when senior midfielder Kristen Berzolla tallied on a header off a pass from freshman forward Julia Acosta with 2:47 left in the second half.
Cardinals sophomore goalie Isabella Gega made more than 10 saves, one of which came on a penalty kick at the 29:06 mark of the first half.
Greenwich (2-2) hosts New Canaan on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
“The league is shaping up quite nicely, there are some competitive games,” Rumbold said. “Our team is showing a lot of positive signs going. The next step is we have to turn good performances like this into wins.”
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