Stamford boys soccer beats New Canaan
STAMFORD -- After getting one victory in their last five games with the boys soccer postseason looming, and then getting outplayed in the first half Thursday by a three-win team, it was time for someone on the Stamford High Black Knights to reverse the trend.
Enter Joe Schinella.
Schinella broke up a scoreless tie nine minutes into the second half and added a second goal later on to lift the Knights to a much-needed 3-1 FCIAC victory.
"We really needed this one," said Stamford assistant coach Todd Parness, who was filling in for head coach Mario Caminiti, who received a yellow card in Stamford's previous game. "It was a must-win situation for us and Joe came through. He's dangerous from anywhere on the field."
Schinella scored the game's first goal with a strong boot into the upper right corner of the goal from the center of the field, about 25 yards out. Later, he made it 2-0 with a kick from a similar distance from the left side, also into the right corner.
"That's how I get most of my goals," the junior midfielder said. "We've been playing decently but lately we just can't get the ball across the (goal) line. I knew I'd get some chances today."
New Canaan (3-9-2) outplayed the Knights (8-3-3) in the first half, outshooting Stamford 8-4. At halftime Parness just told is team it was time to pick it up, and that's exactly what the Knights did.
"New Canaan is a good team and we got lucky that they didn't score in the first half," Parness said. "In the second half we positioned ourselves better and created more scoring opportunities for ourselves."
Stamford outshot NC 7-4 in the second half and the victory moved them into the mix for a first-round home playoff game when the FCIAC quarterfinals begin next Friday. Stamford wraps up the regular season against first-place Greenwich and then McMahon.
Meanwhile, the game was quite important for New Canaan as well. The Rams needed to win their final three games to qualify for the state tournament in head coach Richard Sutherland's first year.
"We've been very unlucky this season, but unlucky really doesn't cut it," Sutherland said. "We were the better team in the first half but didn't do enough to test (Stamford goalkeeper Nicolas Romero). In the second half I think we just ran out of steam. But Stamford is the first team to beat us by more than one goal, so overall we've been playing well."
But the Knights pushed the margin back to two when the referee awarded a penalty kick with one second left. Marc Guirand slipped the ball past Rams goalie Griffin Paterson (five saves) to complete the scoring.
Stamford 3, New Canaan 1
NEW CANAAN 0 1--1
STAMFORD 0 3--3
Records: New Canaan 3-9-2, 3-9-2 FCIAC; Stamford 8-3-3, 8-3-3. Goals: NC--Brett Capone; S--Joe Schinella 2, Marc Guirand. Assists: NC--Hugo Potter.Goalies: NC--Griffin Paterson (5 saves); S--Nicolas Romero (9). Shots: NC--12; S--11.