Lady Tomahawks playing with heart

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Oct. 3, 2013
Glastonbury senior Danielle Giest gathers in a bouncing ball in the Tomahawks' 5-0 win over Wethersfield on Oct. 1. Photos by Steve Smith.
Glastonbury senior Danielle Giest gathers in a bouncing ball in the Tomahawks' 5-0 win over Wethersfield on Oct. 1. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Glastonbury High School girls' varsity soccer team boasts a 7-0-1 record after opening October with a handling of cross-river rival Wethersfield, 5-0. Coach Joe Finochiarro said that about halfway through the season, his younger team has formed an identity. After graduating several superstars over the past few years, this year's starters are getting the job done as a collaborative effort.

Finochiarro said the team has firmed up its rotation and depth chart, and seven senior starters anchor the squad. He added that the team could easily start seniors at all 11 spots. That sort of depth is evident on both sides of the ball.

Defensively, the team has given up just two goals in the first half of the season and dominates possession in every game. An example of the offense is that five different players scored the Tomahawks' goals vs. Wethersfield.

Finochiarro said there is no magic to the program's ability to post similar numbers season after season. It's simply that the players are that dedicated.

“For a lot of these kids, soccer is their main sport,” he said. “They do play all year-round, which makes it easier for me, and we work on those things in practice – trying to keep the ball, working the ball side to side, and things like that. We have the luxury of having so many kids try out. Even our JV teams are solid.”

Despite a history of going deep into the state tournament (reaching the Class LL finals three of the past four years), Finochiarro said he and his players still take a one-game-at-a-time approach. “Right now, we're getting ready for Friday [vs. Northwest Catholic],” Finochiarro said after the Wethersfield win. “That's it. We're not looking past Friday.”

The players may have extra motivation this season, as teammate Morgan Bjarno is undergoing treatments for leukemia. Bjarno has joined the team for some early games, including vs. Windsor on Sept. 13. The Tomahawks presented Bjarno with flowers, made her an honorary starter, and wore orange ribbons in their hair, as well as orange vests.

“A lot of the kids wanted to make sure she is on our roster,” he said, adding that the team talks about her every day, and the girls are eagerly anticipating her expected return to the sidelines as the team manager.

“They are absolutely playing for Morgan. They did this by themselves, and they are waiting for her to come back. She's absolutely the heart of this team,” said Finochiarro.

The Tomahawks host Northwest Catholic on Oct. 4 and visit Windsor on Oct. 7. For a complete schedule, visit www.ciacsports.com.


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