Eagles edged in FCIACs
The Trumbull High girls soccer team lost a 1-0 decision to Greenwich High in the FCIAC semifinals at Testa Field in Norwalk on Tuesday night.
Greenwich (11-1-6) will share the conference championship with St. Joseph, which defeated Ridgefield High, 1-0, in the first semi.
Due to Hurricane Sandy, the conference tournaments were shortened to quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, with the final two teams standing sharing the title.
“Give credit to Greenwich, they defended well, are well organized, and play to their strength,” Uhrlass said after his top-seeded team dipped to 13-2-3.
With the victory, coach Danny Simpson’s fifth-seeded Cards won in the FCIAC final for the third straight season.
“This is the fourth time [in FCIACs] where we’ve won one-nil,” Simpson said. “We knew the first goal would be big.
“Kylie Ginsberg is our third goalie in three seasons and she stepped right in and only allowed eleven goals in eighteen games.”
The Cards’ Caroline Markowitz went up high with a header to put the ball in the back of the net, after a well-placed corner from Emma Christie with 4:20 remaining in the first half.
“We knew Greenwich was dangerous on set pieces and they took advantage,” Uhrlass said.
Greenwich, after losing its season opener, won out with six ties behind its defense.
Trumbull’s best chance to score in the first half came in the 16th minute.
Kendall Szulimowski grounded a pass to Ana Tantum, who rocketed a shot at Ginsberg from distance, that the sophomore keeper punched wide of the near post.
Off the corner by Katie Sullivan, Marissa Piccolo had her shot blocked by Greenwich’s Liz Warner.
Sullivan collected the rebound, but her shot from in close was deflected by Emily Johnson.
Trumbull’s back four of Emily Doris in net with Gaby Reggiano, Taylor Pratcher, Julia Lisi and Katie Foley on defense was steadfast.
Greenwich had the edge in height at every position, but the Eagles’ midfield, led by Nicole Schwartz, Piccolo, Lauren Hyde, Caroline Crosley and Rowan Moran, matched its physical play every step of the way.
It was on offense where Trumbull had trouble finding Tantum, Alyka Lara and Szulimowski.
“I think we passed the ball poorly tonight,” Uhrlass said. “We pride ourselves on being a good passing team and I though our decision making and our sharpness was not there. It was a frustrating night.”
The Eagles looked to draw even and held possession for a four-minute stretch from the 68th to 72nd minute.
With Reggiano, Lisi and Foley back to keep the Cards’ dangerous Naomi Leeds in check, Pratcher, with Lauren Coty pitching in here as well, took every opportunity to advance the ball to jump start the attack.
Schwartz free kick from midfield found Caroline Crosley, who sent it to Piccolo. Her pass to Sullivan saw Greenwich’s Margaret Parker block the shot.
On the clearing attempt, Pratcher sent it up the sideline to Tantum, who made a contested cross to Hyde, whose shot was just wide of the near post with 11:11 remaining.
After Doris (six saves) went up to catch a corner in traffic, Greenwich pinned Trumbull in its end for the final 5:36,
Trumbull had a peculiar chance to tie the game in the 37th minute after the Cards’ Sara Mischanti, who would win tourney MVP honors, went down on the field.
Time stopped and Emily Berzolla came in for Mischanti.
As is customary in a sign of sportsmanship, on the whistle Trumbull’s Szulimowski sent the ball on net to Ginsberg for a give-away goal kick.
Somehow the ball eluded the Greenwich keeper, and kicked off the post.