Girls lacrosse: Greco's seventh goal sends Wilton to OT win over Greenwich
Whenever the Wilton and Greenwich girls lacrosse teams face off, you know what to expect — something exactly like Friday’s game at Greenwich.
The Cardinals erased a four-goal deficit in the final nine minutes of regulation to force overtime, only to see the Warriors prevail, 12-11, when Eva Greco scored her seventh goal of the game with 44 seconds left in overtime.
It was the fourth one-goal decision, and second overtime game, between the two teams in their last four regular-season games.
“The game could have gone either way. We’re two very evenly matched teams,” said Wilton head coach Meredith Meyran. “Greenwich is alway very dangerous. They did a great job on the draw, so we had to keep adjusting.”
It was the sixth straight win for the Warriors, who are now 7-1. Greenwich, which had won seven games in a row, dropped to 7-2.
Wilton trailed a good deal of the first half, but had taken a 7-6 halftime lead with a 3-0 run to end the first half. After Greenwich tied things up early in the second half, the Warriors scored four unanswered goals in the next 11-plus minutes to build an 11-7 lead with 9:04 left.
The Wilton defense — anchored by Emmy Goodwin, Zoe Lash, Olivia Roman, Meghan Lane, Olivia Gladstein, Carly Sullivan and Eagan — hadn’t allowed more than six goals in any game this season, but had surrendered six goals in the first half.
In the second half, they reverted to form, holding Greenwich to a single goal for the first 16-plus minutes of the half.
But the Cardinals clawed their back in behind the face-off prowess of Genevieve DeWinter, as they scored three times in a span of two and a half minutes to cut the lead to 11-10 with 6:07 left.
The Cardinals had two chances to tie, with Wilton goalie Bridget Wall making a save on a low free-position shot, and a shot by Maggie O’Gorman being partially deflected by Gladstein into Wall’s stick.
But after a Wilton turnover, the Cardinals tied the game with 2:07 left as DeWinter charged down the middle to the goal but lost the ball, which was picked up in front by Paige Finneran and deposited into the cage.
Wilton got the ball off the ensuing draw and ran the clock down for a potential game-winning shot, but Greenwich goalie Sloane Loveless stuffed Sophia Sudano at the left post with 10 seconds left in regulation, after Sudano made a move to come from behind the net.
Greenwich came up with the ball off the draw to start overtime, but after moving the ball around the perimeter for about two minutes turned it over after a good check by Wilton’s Sullivan. The Warriors, however, threw the ball away, giving the Cardinals another chance for a sudden victory.
In what was the key sequence of the game, Greenwich got off a point-black shot that was turned away by Wall, who then immediately made another clutch save on the rebound attempt.
The Warriors took the ball the other way and were rewarded a free position to the right of the Greenwich goal. On the restart, Paisley Eagan made a pass over the crease to Greco, who cut to the middle and scored with a high shot to win the game.
“I think we showed a lot of guts and a lot of resiliency. Even though we had some breakdowns and made some mistakes, we were able to recover,” said Meyran. “I think what the team showed was their support for one another. When a mistake was made on the offensive end, the defense backed it up and kept us in the game, and that was just huge. I’m very proud of them.”
Of the two huge saves in overtime by Wall, she said, “it was a pretty incredible effort on her part.”
Greenwich had jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in the first half until the final seconds. The lead was 6-4 with 4:50 left in the half when Jordan Stefanowicz scored on a free position.
The Warriors answered just 28 seconds later on a goal by Sudano, and tied the game with 1:45 left in the first half when Eagan, who made her presence known on both ends of the field, wove her way through the defense to score in front.
Wilton first-half goalie Paige Brown made a big save with under 30 seconds left in the half to keep it tied, and the Warriors were able to get the ball down the field and convert, with Greco scoring off a feed from Julia Skillin with six seconds left in the half for a 7-6 lead.
Finneran tied things up about four minutes into the second half, but Greco made it 8-7 with 19:41 left with a run on goal from midfield, after a Greenwich turnover. Sudano scored on a free position about a minute later, and Greco’s goal, off an Eagan assist from behind the net, made it 10-7 with 14:29 left.
Greco’s sixth goal, off a Sullivan assist, put the Warriors up 11-7 with 9:04 left.
In addition to Greco’s seven goals, the Warriors got two goals and four assists from Eagan, and two goals from Sudano.
Taylor LaMantia also scored, while Lash, Sullivan and Skillin each had one assist.
Eagan and Sudano each had a team-high four groundballs, while Lash had three groundballs and Greco, Emmy Goodwin and Julia Bonnist each had two groundballs.
Eagan also had a team-high two caused turnovers with one each by Sullivan, Goodwin and Callie Drake. Lash and Lane each had an interception.
Brown and Wall each made seven saves in goal for Wilton.
For Greenwich Grace Fahey had three goals and Finneran, DeWinter and O’Gorman each had two goals. Olivia Caan and Stefanowicz also scored.