Youth Soccer Roundup: Weekend Wins for U9 and U14 Girls Red Teams, U9 Boys White

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New Canaan U9 Girls ‘Big Red Wrecking Ball’ Swings Again (this write-up from Jon Gizzie)

Paige Place waiting for her perfectly placed ball to drop just under the crossbar and out of reach. Contributed

Paige Place waiting for her perfectly placed ball to drop just under the crossbar and out of reach. Contributed

Every once in a while, a sporting match comes along that transcends the mere semblance of a strong competition and elevates itself into a hallowed place in the collectively memories of players, parents and coaches. Such was the exhibition put on by New Canaan’s U9G ‘Big Red Wrecking Ball’ this past Sunday.

It is not enough to describe the back-and-forth of play after play in exhaustive prose for to do so would diminish the spectacle of witnessing an entire team come together, all working in unison, all driving themselves toward collective achievement and the chance to snatch victory back from possible defeat.

It is not enough to describe the focused strength of Payton DeCamillo, the explosive offense of Nikki “Ferrari” Ferraro, the unshakeable poise of Lila Gizzie, the fortress defense of Parker Hanson, the indomitable focus of Madison Hartnett, the lightning speed of Julia McPhillips, the sinuous footwork of Sydney Patten, the confident control of Cecilia Patterson, the energetic attack of Kallie Patterson, the unstoppable tenacity of Paige Place, the precise passing of Reese Quinn or the surgical striking of Madeline Tully when, taken together, the synergistic dynamism of this team becomes a wonder to watch and a terror for any team to face.

Newtown learned firsthand what it meant to come to the ‘House of Wrecking’ and throw down the gauntlet of challenge. They left defeated but better for having facing such a team and knowing, as we all do, what exceptional truly looks like.


New Canaan U14 Girls Red Travel Soccer Team Notch Season Opener Win over Wilton, 4-0

New Canaan’s (NC) Division-A U14 girls travel soccer team won their season opener 4-0 over Wilton Blue on a picturesque Sunday afternoon at home on Connor Field. NC’s Katie Dunn found the back of the net early at 8 minutes into the match putting NC up 1-0.

Six minutes later, NC’s Riana Afshar’s extra efforts paid off when she kept the ball from going out the back end of the field and then centered it to a lurking Emma Achille who easily toe tapped it into the goal putting NC up, 2-0.

At the 17-minute mark, Wilton had its best chance of getting on the scoreboard with a blistering strike that only rang the crossbar.

Similarly, NC’s Taylor Frame squarely rattled the crossbar at 33 minutes into the match. Three minutes later, NC’s hustling Sophie Curcio knotted up Wilton’s right defensive player from clearing the ball and Curcio was able to connect with NC’ Katherine Lisecky who stroked it perfectly into the top right corner of the goal over the helpless Wilton goal keeper ending the first half, 3-0.

NC kept up the high tempo in the second half as NC’s Jane Charlton scored at the 60-minute mark when she laced a strike that kept curving away from the Wilton keeper sneaking into the goal just inside the bottom left post.

NC’s attacking midfielders (Riana Afshar, Kearney McKiernan and Maddie Otero) kept their feet on the gas as each took turns peppering the Wilton keeper until the final whistle.

On the flip side of the pitch, NC’s tenacious and nearly impenetrable revolving defensive back line (Jane Charlton, Elizabeth DeMarino, Natalie Lopez, Sophie Potter, Sophie Smith and Caroline Wilson) made it a very light day at the office for NC goal keeper Michelle LaBadie as they posted their first shut out of the year. NC’s collective defense is hopefully on the road to breaking their season high record of 8 shutouts that they posted last season.


U9 Boys White Team Bests Fairfield 7-4

Alex Russey and Gregory Martin taking advantage of a breakaway. Contributed

Alex Russey and Gregory Martin taking advantage of a breakaway. Contributed

In a bounce back from last week’s disappointing lost against Fairfield, U9 Boys White played hard and beat Fairfield Blue Thunder 7-4.

The first half started with full teams on both sides. After equal time at our goal and Fairfield’s goal, Brooks Thompson took the ball down the field and scored for a 1-0 lead. Alex Russey, in the goal, made some nice saves as Fairfield kept pressure on our end. Sajan Shah scored a beautiful goal, dribbling past 2 Fairfield players and scored with a solid shot bringing the score to 2-0. Fairfield picked up the pace and scored two quick goals. Thompson ended the first half with another great goal bringing the score to 3-2.

New Canaan dominated the second half with constant pressure on Fairfield. Thompson kept up his momentum and scored three goals in a row bringing the score to 6-2. Four great saves were made by Finn Arrix in our goal. Then with an assist from Simon Tcharakov, Charles Cushman scored a beautiful goal bringing the score to 7-2. Not giving up, Fairfield then scored two more goals bringing the final score to 7-4.

Sunday’s game exemplified good team work, communication and determination. A well deserved win for U9 White!


New Canaan Girls U10 Red chalk up a win against Darien and a tie against Bridgeport

Kathryn Norton commanding the ball during Sunday’s game against Bridgeport. Contributed

Kathryn Norton commanding the ball during Sunday’s game against Bridgeport. Contributed

The Girls U10 Red welcomed back Coach Alan O’Keeffe last Thursday for their spring season. And his return couldn’t come soon enough as they faced two tough opponents this past weekend.

First up was an away game against archrival Darien on Saturday morning. The Red got started early with back-to-back goals by Kelly Polacek and Lexie Tully. Darien wasn’t about to give up and quickly responded to cut the deficit in half. However New Canaan first half goalie Lila Volpe settled in and made several key saves to keep the score 2-1 at the break. The action picked up again in the second half as Tema Wagner delivered a one-timer past the keeper. Darien once again answered quickly in an attempt to come back, but it would be their last. The combination of Devon Russell on defense and Maggie Murphy in goal shut down four consecutive scoring chances and turned the momentum back in the Red’s favor. New Canaan’s offense took over and made the most of their time in Darien’s end. Polacek, Tully and Fiona Mueller all found the net to close out a 5-2 win.

New Canaan was on the road again Sunday for their first ever match against Bridgeport. The play was pretty evenly matched in the beginning, as the Red took on a very physical – and in some cases much larger – opponent. Bridgeport managed to score a lucky goal on a far out shot that got caught up in the wind, but which also sparked New Canaan’s offense. Kathryn Norton, Izzy Cavanagh and Charlotte Walter pressed deep into Bridgeport’s end dominating the ball and firing multiple shots on goal. New Canaan was not able to find the net in the first half, but that changed in the second. The Red was given a free kick just outside the box which Ava Pertusiello was able to convert to even the score. Moments later Tully beat the goalie on a close range shot and New Canaan had their first lead of the game. The teams alternated scoring opportunities as the game wound down, but it was Bridgeport that was able to notch one more for a 2-2 tie.

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