Glastonbury's Lady Tomahawks start tourneys strong
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Nov. 8, 2013
The Glastonbury High School girls' soccer team escaped its first tournament game with a 1-0 win over Fairfield Warde on Nov. 6. Glastonbury was the second seed in the CIAC Class LL tourney and had earned a first-round bye. The second-round match was scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute extra periods.
Glastonbury’s senior goalie, Ciara Boucher, blocked the first penalty kick from Fairfield’s Virginie Larouche, and then Glastonbury junior Madeline Gray buried her shot. Fairfield’s Jenny Pullen and Glastonbury’s Ariana Fluet each made their attempts. Both teams missed their third attempt, with Megan Overby of Fairfield hitting the cross bar and Glastonbury’s Madeline Riggot’s shot being blocked.
Boucher made another great save on Fairfield’s fourth kick, then Glastonbury senior Danielle Geist, who is not usually a penalty-kicker, drove home the winning goal.
Glastonbury coach Joe Finochiarro said that Geist was subbing for teammate Eren Cosgel, who was injured earlier in the game. “Dani stepped in,” he said. “They [the team] made the call. We knew she was hitting them pretty well in practice.”
He added that Boucher has been great at stopping PKs in practice, and that work paid off in the game. “She’s been tough on us, stopping all of these guys in practice, so it really isn’t surprising,” he said.
Boucher said she was nervous before the penalty kicks began, but was able to settle herself. “I had to try to relax and focus on breathing in and out,” she said, “and then focus on one penalty kick at a time.” She said she “definitely, no doubt” got a boost of confidence after stopping the first shot.
Boucher said she watches opponents’ hips to help her determine where the shot will go, but admits it’s also largely guess work.
Finochiarro said Fairfield Warde was one of the best teams the Tomahawks had faced all year, hence the game going to tie-breakers.
“They had a great defense, and they had seven returning players from last year,” he said. “They are a senior-heavy group. We knew they would be tough.”
Finochiarro said that before facing their next opponent (South Windsor on Nov. 8), they would have to recover from the long outing, and get mentally prepared.
The Tomahawks’ field hockey squad also notched itself a first-round tourney win, with a 2-1 outing over New Milford. Glastonbury, a five seed, possessed the ball well, and just missed connecting a few passes and shots in the scoreless first half that would have put the game away early. New Milford, a 12 seed, scored with just a few minutes left, and tried to rally for a second point, but the Tomahawks tightened up and held on for the win.
Coach Maureen Perkins said her young team was tested. “They [New Milford] played hard and aggressive the whole time,” she said. “It took us a while to adjust and figure it out. I think we played much better in the second half, and took advantage of our opportunities, and that was the difference.”
Having lost several offensive starters to graduation, Perkins said her team is very young, including one freshmen and two sophomores, out of four attackers. Before the team’s next game (vs. Simsbury on Nov. 8), they would be mostly just fine-tuning, literally.
“Sometimes it’s just an inch one way or another,” she said. “It’s having your stick down versus having it slightly up, or having your feet adjusted one way or another, that can make all the difference. You can approach a ball a little better or read things.”
For complete tournament results and bracket, visit www.ciacsports.com.