Greenwich blanks Wilton girls soccer team

After starting the season with a 4-0 road triumph over Bridgeport Central on Wednesday — a victory that gave new head coach Freya Coombe a win in her first game — the Wilton High girls soccer team was shut out, 2-0, by the visiting Greenwich Cardinals on Friday afternoon at Kristine Lilly Field.

Neither team put forth sustained offensive pressure, but the Cardinals scored on two bang-bang plays in the first half to come away with the win.

Off a corner kick in the seventh minute, Greenwich’s Jessica Bartholomew blasted a high ball to the far post that found an unmarked Emily Berzolla. Berzolla played the ball to her foot and then into the back of the Wilton net for a 1-0 lead.

Greenwich made it 2-0 in the 28th minute. Kathryn Hanford stepped in front of a Wilton player to intercept a goal kick and then passed to Kim Kockenmeister, who sent a shot over the head of on-rushing Warrior goalie Hana Previte.

On attack, the Warriors tried several times to pull the ball backwards to change fields and open the Greenwich defense, but the visitors were quick to react and close down the Wilton attack. The Cardinals kept the Warrior offense out past the 18-yard line, forcing Wilton to take long shots on net.

Wilton got good all-around play from senior defenders Jillian Lauricella and Bridgette Dwyer. But the Warriors' passes through the midfield area were slow to reach their mark, giving Greenwich time to step in front of or slow down the hosts' rush up the field.

In the 18th minute, Dwyer sent a long free kick into the box but couldn’t connect with a teammate for a shot. And in the 61st minute, Dwyer pushed forward and was in prefect position to receive a corner kick, but her header sailed high.

Coombe, who entered the season knowing the Warriors were lacking proven scorers and experience, was mostly pleased with her team's overall performance.

“We clearly were second to the 50/50 balls, but overall our team worked hard, moved the ball well, and showed good shape,” said Coombe. “The backline gave me solid play. But today’s loss shows us that there are several areas that we need to improve on. The hard thing is that we don’t have several days to practice to work them out as we are back on the field Monday against [FCIAC favorite] St. Joe's.”