Greenwich beats Norwalk to remain unbeaten
By Emery Filmer
Published 9:24 pm, Wednesday, October 5, 2016
NORWALK — Playing two boys soccer games in 24 hours on the road is not easy. It can be a bit harder when the first opponent is the state’s fourth-ranked team and the second game is against a .500 team. Such a scenario raises the potential of a letdown.
This was the dilemma facing undefeated and second-ranked Greenwich Wednesday night. And sure enough the slow-moving Cardinals fell behind Norwalk in the 28th minute, but that goal might have been the best thing to happen to Greenwich.
In the next 3½ minutes Greenwich scored twice to take control of the game. After battling undefeated Trumbull to a scoreless tie the night before, there would be no letdown against a now 4-5 Norwalk squad as Greenwich posted a 4-2 FCIAC victory at Testa Field.
“This team has character,” GHS coach Kurt Putnam said. “I don’t think Norwalk thought they’d go up on us and we didn’t either, but I was happy with our response.”
Sebastian Echeverri gave Norwalk a 1-0 lead on a beautiful header off a corner kick with his back to GHS goalkeeper James Johnson (three saves). But that goal seemed to ignite the Cardinals (8-0-2), who are ranked second in the state behind Hall in the most recent coaches poll.
Just 2:25 after Echeverri’s tally, the Cardinals put pressure on the Norwalk goal. Then a Cardinal went down and a penalty kick was awarded. Greenwich’s Alejandro MacLean took the PK and went right for the center of the goal as Norwalk goalie Gianluca Trofa (4 saves) went to his right to pull the Cardinals even.
And then, a mere 80 seconds later, Greenwich took the lead when Federico Irigoyen gained control of the ball about 10 yards in front of thethe Norwalk goal and safely tapped it into the left corner.
“I think those two goals knocked the stuffing out of (Norwalk),” Putnam said. “We really reacted well.”
Now with a lead to protect, the fear of any sort of Greenwich letdown dissipated. And it was gone completely when the Cardinals executed a beautiful play in the 10th minute of the second half to take a two-goal lead.
Shoki Araki made a perfect cross to Sebastian Hernandez, who was in the middle of the field and about 15 yards in front of the Norwalk goal. Hernandez took the pass and booted it past Trofa and Greenwich was ahead 3-1.
Greenwich’s second-half domination continued when MacLean scored his second goal on a 15-yard boot from a difficult angle with 22 minutes remaining.
Echeverri then capped the scoring for Norwalk following a tremendous individual effort with four seconds left on the clock.
GREENWICH 4, NORWALK 2
GREENWICH 2 2 4
NORWALK 1 1 2
Goals: G — Alejandro MacLean 2, Federico Irigoyen, Debastian Hernandez; N — Sebastian Echeverri 2. Assists: G — Shoki Araki; N — . Goalie saves: G James Johnson (3); N Gianluca Trofa (4). Records: G 8-0-2, 8-0-2 FCIAC; N 4-5, 4-5.