Gators claim third straight crown
GREENWICH — One goal resulted in one hardfought win and one more FAA Tournament title for the Greenwich Academy soccer team on Friday.
Overcoming injuries and adversity, it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Gators added to their collection of conference titles.
Freshman Taylor Glanville’s goal late in the first half stood up for secondseeded Greenwich Academy, which recorded a wellearned 1-0 win over a tough fourth-seeded Greens Farms Academy squad in Friday’s rainy FAA final.
The triumph gave Greenwich Academy its third consecutive FAA Tournament 1 0 championship — it defeated Hopkins School for the conference title the previous two seasons.
The matchup marked the third game in five days for the Gators and Dragons and it showed, as both squads were a bit worn down at times after playing so much soccer.
“They gutted it out,” GA coach Alistair Lonsdale said of his squad. “It was so tough to play again, after playing two games in a short period of time. But we grinded it out. We played so well on Wednesday in our win in the semifinals against Sacred Heart and today, we managed to make it happen.”
Glanville made the championship postgame celebration happen, converting a shot from just outside the box late in the opening half, giving GA a 1-0 edge.
“All I remember is the ball came in, I turned and shot it, not even looking where it went and it went in,” Glanville said. “It feels amazing to get this win. We just had to work together to get this win.”
Not satisfied with a tenuous 1-0 haltime lead against a Greens Farms Academy team that knocked off topseeded St. Luke’s School, the Gators knew they had to step up their play in the second half.
“We just decided that we needed to work harder, fight harder,” said GA junior forward Tessa Brooks, who along with junior Taylor Lane and Glanville helped create chances for the Gators. One of our main goals of the season was to win the FAA title, so it feels great.”
Brooks nearly gave the Gators a two-goal advantage, but Greens Farms freshman goalie Lane Murphy leaped and deflected Brooks’ shot with her left hand late in the second half. Murphy made eight saves for GFA, which played GA to a 1-1 draw during the regular season.
“She was alert and smart in goal,” Greens Farms coach Andrew Henry said of Murphy. “We’ve had a lot of games lately, but no excuses, we didn’t play well enough today. We didn’t play our best soccer, but some days it’s like that. Greenwich is a good team and they play tough.”
Kelly Van Hoesen, one of the Dragons’ seniors helped pace her team’s defensive effort.
“Our seniors were great, without our seniors, we don’t get here,” Henry said. “Their leadership, the way they kept everyone up and playing the way they play, was great. They will be missed.”