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Connetquot Girls conquer Sayville and Hauppauge

Posted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 by Coach Cavanagh

 

    In a thrilling three days the Lady T-Birds have improved their record to an impressive 3-0. On Monday Connetquot took on the Small School County Runner-Up a year ago the Sayville Golden Flashes. The T-Birds got off to a slow start as Sayville seized the early lead and went up 1-0 not even two minutes into the game. The girls settled down and pummeled the Sayville goal with 10 shots in the first half. Unfortunately the posts and crossbar became our worst enemies. The first half ended with the Golden Flashed up 1-0.

    The second half begun and the girls took the action right to Sayville. Every 50/50 ball seemed to go our way. And thanks to strong play by our stopper Michelle Murino the ball stayed in Sayville's end for the majority of the time. After intense pressure Connetquot forced Sayville into a corner kick and Deanna Murino was able to bend a ball in off the far post to score her first goal of the season. With the score tied at 1 The T-Birds knew it was only a matter of time before they would get their hands on the lead.

     Unfortunately the Golden Flashes had other plans as their star midfielder took the ball down the left side of the field and took on two Connetquot defenders and blasted a ball just inside the crossbar and our keeper's hands. It was certainly a shock to the system to be down again, this time 2-1. After a few adjustments up front junior forward Nicole Stanko drove the ball down the sideline and hit an absolute seed over the outstretched hands of the opposing goalie and netted her first varsity goal. The score was now 2-2 and again the girls felt very confident that this was our game. Some incredible minutes were logged by midfielder Toni Diesel to help turn the tide back in Connetquot's favor. 

    The final 15 minutes were played in Sayville's end and the ball just kept being put in good places. And with the talent that we have up front it was only a matter of time before the third goal was scored. As the clock ticked down to under a minute Nora Connolly was able to gain position just outside the 18 and lofted a shot over the goalie and into the net. Nora had played a remarkable game and it was very fitting that she put the game winner in the net. 3-2 was the final and the T-Birds were 2-0 with a victory of last year's fourth ranked team in the county.

    As I was walking off the field a parent said that this was a building block win for our program. I couldn't have agreed with him more. Connetquot took another step on Monday the 8th to establishing themselves as a real contender.

    Trying to build on the success of the Sayville game the girls took the field on Wednesday the 10th against last year's playoff opponent Hauppauge. Last year's game was a very feisty one that saw a key player on Hauppauge get red carded and thrown out of the game. That game finished 2-1 in our favor; we had hopes of repeating that performance.

     The first twenty minutes were played back and fourth with both teams banging into each other and exchanging some friendly words. Connetquot obviously was not playing at their best early on, as keeper Chelsea McGowan made some nice stops to keep the girls in the game. Connetquot received a scare ten minutes into the game as Senior standout Danielle Murino took a punch to the nose as she an a Hauppauge defender were going up for a 50/50 ball. Danielle came out and tended to her injury while the rest of the girls held the fort. Danielle was ready to return and boy, did she receive a welcome back gift from her midfielder Rachel Diver. Diver sent and absolute perfect through ball to Danielle who very nicely deposited it into the back of the net. The T-Birds were up 1-0 nothing and could only hope to add the necessary tack on goals that have been missing in their previous games, to put this one away early.

    The second half arrived like a blur as both teams came out forcing the issue on offense. Connetquot was getting away from their possession game and playing a little of last year's soccer "dump and chase." This did open up opportunities for our talented forwards. Danielle Murino was being played tight by Hauppauge's marking stopper and Danielle continued to gain possession and take the ball to the outside and down the line. With ten minutes gone by in the second half a similar play occurred and Danielle was 1v2 in the penalty area. After spinning one of the defenders and flying by another she was tripped. The Ref immediately signaled a PK and Danielle made quick work of it. After the PK the score was 2-0 Connetquot. However, the game was not over. Hauppauge continued to fight and send the ball wide for their talented forwards who definitely posed a threat to our highly regarded defense. During one chance, Hauppauge ended up with a girl inside the penalty area and the ref believed that she was tripped down in the box. As much as I disagreed with the call, the PK was called. Stacey Rao made a valiant effort to prevent the shot from going in, but nonetheless it was in and the score was 2-1 with plenty of time remaining. 

   What would transpire over the final 20 minutes of the game is exactly what I feel separates this year's team from last year's team. The ability to compose themselves, after a bad break and get right back into the ring makes us who we are today.  Well we did, and one of the heroes from Monday shinned bright again. Nicole Stanko a former JV2 player and JV player is having no trouble stamping her name right into the thick of things. With the clock ticking Nicole took a ball down the right side of the field and gained space for herself. The inside defender of Hauppauge had to leave the middle to cover for her teammate, a beaten outside defender to keep Nicole from gaining the 18. Nicole however battled for position and managed to hit a perfect cross to you guessed it, Danielle Murino for the hat trick.  Nicole Stanko's heart, determination and skill helped Connetquot to regain their 2 goal edge.
 
    Hauppauge began to play dump and chase and they began to bring many more people up to the front. The T-Birds countered this move by bringing in star defender Laura Fenster at halfback to help out the defense. The girls were down one key player due to foul trouble and needed as much help as they could get. The onslaught would not bold good results for our girls. A Hauppauge midfielder sent a high ball into the penalty area that grazed off a T-Birds head right into trouble as the ball found a Hauppauge player and she placed the ball passed Stacey for a goal. So once again in typical Cardiac Kid style the T-Birds were up by 1 with fewer than ten to play. 

      Well the T-Birds needed to play possession ball and try to catch their opponents sneaking up if they were going to pull this one out.  The clock ticked down to under three when Connetquot received a corner kick. Deanna Murino placed a terrific ball that hit the goalie, and then that defensive replacement Laura Fenster that I told you about also found the goalie and the ball was wrestled free and put in the net for the game's final tally.  Connetquot is now 3-0 and ready for their next opponent Bellport before league action begins next Tuesday.

    Many standout players in the Hauppauge game and I have to take the time out to thank all of our team's stellar defenders. Nicole Sinacori, Alyssa Miller, Amber Kupres, Laura Fenster, Michelle Murino and Joanne Murino have all logged long hard minutes and have kept the T-Birds undefeated.
 
Check Newsday.com for scoring updates. Northport lost to Massapequa 2-1 are just some of the highlights.

See you all on Thursday for our final non-league game against Bellport

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