Rams girls boot hatters, shoot for more goals
DANBURY -- The New Canaan High School girls soccer team earned yet another shutout, blanking Danbury on the road -- and in the rain -- 2-0 on Monday afternoon.
Senior captains Jana Persky and Caroline Murray scored goals to help the Rams improve to 7-0. New Canaan outscored opponents 18-0 heading into Wednesday's scheduled home clash with Fairfield Warde (after press time).
"I think we played the ball and moved the ball nicely," New Canaan coach Kirk Bamford said. "It's hard on this field tonight with it being very slick and skiddy."
Bamford added that his players had to be sharp with their technical skills to compensate for the wet conditions caused by a consistent rain that was heavy at times.
"We handled that and we got more and more into it as the game went on," the coach said.
Persky's first-half goal, assisted by Murray, was the only net-finder until the final minutes of the contest, as several New Canaan chances to build the lead proved fruitless. Alyssa DeCosmo narrowly missed scoring on a header, and Anna Borrea was denied a score on a well-placed free kick from almost 30 yards out. Danbury goalkeeper Taylor Gartner jumped and deflected Borrea's shot off the cross bar.
There wasn't anything the Rams could do about that but Bamford wanted his forwards to attack more aggressively for the rebound and thought the one thing the team lacked in this game was sufficient scoring.
The Rams finally extended their lead when, with 5:44 to play, Persky and Sarah Mannelly worked together to set up Murray's goal. Murray got behind the Danbury defense and placed a shot into the lower right corner of the net to basically seal the win.
"It was definitely good to score a second goal to make more breathing room," Murray said. "We really struggled finishing our chances so that's something we hope to improve on for Wednesday."
Bamford said: "Obviously, a win's a win. They worked hard. I think they did their jobs well and maintained control of the game, you know. You just want them to give themselves a little more of a buffer if you will. They dominated the game. When you dominate the game it's important you capitalize."
The Rams out-shot the host Hatters 15-4, rarely allowing the opponents to get past the midfield and making things pretty easy for keeper Holly Burwick.
"The midfield players we've got at the moment are very consistent with the game, maintaining the tempo and the certain-ness with regards to keeping the ball in the right parts of the field," said Bamford, listing Persky, DeCosmo, Borrea, and Kendall Danforth as the key midfielders who kept the ball from getting past them for most of the game.
The Rams know they need to produce more goals, but finding things to improve on in a 2-0 sure beats trying to find ways to overcome losses and win.
"Any win's a good win. We just want to keep it going. We wish we could have won it a little more comfortably but we'll take the win. We didn't give up any goals which is always the goal," Persky said. "Defensively, we played pretty well. Offensively, we just need to put a few more balls into the net."
Following the Warde game on Wednesday, the Rams are scheduled to visit Norwalk on Friday, Oct. 1. They return home for games with Stamford and Westhill of Stamford Oct. 5 and 7 at 4 and 7 p.m., respectively.