Westhill, New Canaan battle to scoreless tie in girls soccer
NEW CANAAN -- Each coach hesitated in blaming their respective teams for Thursday's lackluster girls soccer game between Westhill High and New Canaan. They were probably right. There were other factors that contributed to the 0-0 tie at Dunning Field.
Start with the severe game-time thunderstorm that delayed the start for 45 minutes. Then put the teams on a slick, slippery field. Then watch as the fog rolls in on what was a hot, humid evening.
"The delay was a factor," New Canaan coach Kirk Bamford said. "Both teams couldn't prepare like they normally do. And then there were very skiddy conditions. That impacted the game."
"It was a poorly played game," Westhill coach Dave Flower added. "I don't know if it was the long break before the game or the wet field or the fog. But we'll take a point (in the standings) on the road on a foggy night."
Westhill (4-2-2) outshot the Rams by an 11-4 margin but the real scoring chances were limited to one for each team. Solid play by each goalkeeper -- Westhill's Zhenna Stewart and NC's Alexandra Yuditski -- was also a factor.
Westhill's super sophomore Jess Laszlo was frustrated all evening and had one golden chance to break the scoreless duel with 12:35 remaining in the contest. She gained control of the ball about 12 yards in front of Yuditski (11 saves) but shot the ball right into the goalie's mid-section.
Earlier in the second half, New Canaan (5-1-2) had its best chance. Kyla Persky had a similar opportunity as Laszlo, but her point blank shot from about 10 yards out went right into the arms of Stewart (four saves).
"This was the fourth game (Stewart) did not allow a goal," Flower said. "I was as happy with her as I was with anyone on our team."
Yuditski was obviously the busier of the two goalies and, combined with the NC defense, kept Laszlo, one of the top scoring forwards in the FCIAC, in check.
"(Yuditski) was just as good as their goalie, but the key for us was that (Laszlo) didn't have a lot of free room," Bamford said.
New Canaan entered play Thursday third in the FCIAC behind Fairfield Warde and Greenwich. Westhill was seventh.
"I'm not quite sure our girls think they can play with New Canaan," Flower said. "New Canaan has a great reputation. Certainly we couldn't do it against them in the past. So, we're happy with the tie."
New Canaan 0, Westhill 0
WESTHILL 0 0--0
NEW CANAAN 0 0--0
Records: Westhill 4-2-2, New Canaan 5-1-2.
Goals: none. Assists: none. Goalie saves: W--Zhenna Stewart 4; NC--Alexandra Yuditski 11.