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Southern Connecticut Conference All-Quinnipiac Division Team
First row: West Haven's Gabi Prisco (20) and Lauren Lewis (23)
Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Gilmore rallies Westies to Tie
Two second half goals ties Law on Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
(October 26, 2015) - Trailing by a pair of goals with one half remaining in the season, freshman Kelsey Gilmore made sure her teammates, the seniors in particular, did not close the campaign with a loss.
Scoring twice in the final 14 minutes, 30 seconds, Gilmore propelled the Westies to a 2-2 tie with Jonathan Law on Senior Night at Ken Strong Stadium Monday evening.
With the late rally, West Haven closed the season with a 3-9-4 record, including a stretch which ended the campaign at 0-5-2.
West Haven seniors on Senior Night prior to game against Jonathan Law, October 26, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Law outplayed us in the first half and we dug ourselves into a hole," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "The second half was much better. We took it to them and tied it up. The girls showed a lot of heart and worked hard to get the tie."
The game did not start exactly the Westies would have liked as Law scored twice in the final 13 minutes to take a 2-0 lead to the half.
Samara Thackerm was at the center of attention for both goals as she found a way to beat West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana twice.
After Law contained the West Haven offense in the first 25 minutes of the game, not allowing a quality shot on goal, Thackem secured a loose ball in front and found the back of the net with 12:08 remaining in he half.
Thackem was not done as she seemed to give Law all the momentum entering the second half when she got by the West Haven defense and lofted a shot over Magana for a 2-0 advantage with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
MacKenzie Holy (15) against Jonathan Law, October 26, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven came out a different team in the second half, putting on the pressure. After failing to score early, the Westies controlled the final 15 minutes.
Keegan Riccio and junior captain Gabi Prisco helped set up Gilmore's first goal, before Prisco was at it again in the final five minutes. Combining with Precious Szostek, the pair played to set up Gilmore, who scored the equalizer with four minutes remaining in the contest.
Betsy Magana, who made three saves in the tie for West Haven, finished the campaign stopping 107 of 136 shots for a 79% save percentage.
Prisco finished the season as the team's leading scorer with a team-leading 12 goals. The junior was tied at the top with four assists to lead the team with 28 points.
Riccio, a freshman, showed there is plenty of promise in the years to come as she was second on the team with three goals, tied Prisco with the team lead with four assists and was second on the team with 10 points.
Gilmore, another freshman, finished the season third on the team with two goals, third on the team with two assists, and third on the team in points with six.
Sophomore MacKenzie Holy, junior captain Lauren Lewis and senior captain Precious Szostek also scored for the Westies this season.
Westies play to Draw
Sacred Heart Academy and Westies are scoreless
By MIKE MADERA
(October 23, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team knows it will not be playing in the postseason. That did not stop the Westies from playing hard Friday evening.
In what was a battle from the start, West Haven and Sacred Heart Academy played to a scoreless tie at Ken Strong Stadium.
Lauren Lewis and the Westies played to a scoreless tie against Sacred Heart Academy, October 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We played a strong game against a very strong team," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said after his team moved to 3-9-3. "We controlled the tempo of the game at times and played well out of the box. It was a good result."
The contest was an even match, with each team having better play and moments, but neither was able to score.
West Haven's Keegan Riccio (17) makes a play against Sacred Heart Academy, October 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Each team finished with six shots on goal, with West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana making six saves.
Postseason Dreams Over
Westies fall to EH to drop out of playoff contention
By MIKE MADERA
(October 21, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team knew it was in for a challenge Wednesday evening. Traveling to East Haven to play a tough Yellowjackets squad which featured ultra-talented Megan Kikosicki, the Westies had to play a near perfect contest to pull off the upset.
While the Westies were close to perfect, it still was not enough as Kikosicki scored the only goal of the game 14 minutes, 33 seconds into the second half in a 1-0 East Haven victory.
The West Haven soccer team, seen here earlier in the season, fell to East Haven, October 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We outplayed them," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "It took a moment of brilliance from one of the top forwards in the state to beat us tonight. We fought until the very end. We just couldn't break them down."
With the loss, the Westies fell to 3-9-2 and were eliminated from postseason contention.
The Westies played a tight defensive game as East Haven had just two shots on goal. One of those shots by Kikosicki was enough to send East Haven to the victory.
Betsy Magana made one save in the loss for the Westies.
Hamden nips Westies
Prisco nets only goal in 2-1 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(October 19, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team needs wins if it hopes to play in the postseason.
Those playoff aspirations took a big hit Monday evening when the Westies fell on the road to Hamden by a 2-1 score. The loss drops West Haven to 3-8-2 on the season.
"It is a tough loss," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "We really needed that one. Hamden played hard and took it to us at the end."
Junior Gabi Prisco continued her stellar season, scoring her 12th goal of the year, but it was not enough as Hamden got a pair of goals from Katie Vita in the second half to give the Green Dragons the victory.
Gabi Prisco, seen here earlier in the season against Lyman Hall, scored West Haven's lone goal against Hamden, October 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
MacKenzie Holy assisted on the goal by Prisco. Betsy Magana made six saves in the loss for the Westies.
Westies fall to Lauralton
Crusaders post 3-1 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(October 18, 2015) - West Haven girls soccer coach Pete Trenchard was in a bind before his team even faced Lauralton Hall Saturday evening. With a pair of goalkeepers, including starter Betsy Mangana, out with an injury, the Westies turned to freshman Erin Smith.
While Smith played well in goal, it was not enough as the Westies were defeated by the Crusaders 3-1 at Ken Strong Stadium. With the loss, West Haven's third in a row, the Westies fell to 3-7-2 on the season.
2015 West Haven team photo. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We played a hard game against one of the top teams in the SCC," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "Erin Smith played a great game in goal for us when we were in a tight spot with our goalies both out injured. MacKenzie Holy and Kelsey Gilmore have improved a lot this year and really shined tonight."
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Molly Rotondo scored 13 minutes in. That lead held for over 20 minutes before Lauralton increased the margin to 2-0 22:29 later when Caroline Monahan tallied.
Trailing 2-0, the Westies made a game of it when junior Gabi Prisco scored her team-leading eleventh goal of the season off an assist from Kelsey Gilmore with 1:10 remaining in the opening half.
"Gabi scored a great goal off a nice pass from Kelsey and we kept a lot of pressure on Lauralton," Trenchard said. "If we play this well down the stretch, we will be okay."
Monahan put the Crusaders on top by two goals when she scored 18 minutes into the second half.
Smith finished with six saves in the loss for West Haven.
Westies blanked by Mercy
WH falls to 3-6-2 with loss
By MIKE MADERA
(October 13, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team has struggled with its offense at time this season. Playing a tough Mercy squad on the road Wednesday afternoon, the Westies knew they would need to play a solid defensive game.
While the defense did its part, Mercy was able to score twice in the second half as West Haven fell short in a 2-0 decision. With the loss, West Haven fell to 3-6-2 on the year.
"We played well," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "We just went up against a very good team on the field. We held out against some skilled attackers until about 14 minutes left, and they got a second goal late in the game as we were pushing for a tying goal. I am proud of how hard the girls played and how they fought until the very end."
Sophia Valaitas and West Haven fell to Mercy, October 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After a scoreless first half, Mercy took control in the final 40 minutes. A pair of goals by Kristen Dean proved to be the difference in the contest.
Dean's first goal came with 14 minutes, 22 seconds to go in the game and the second came with 9:57 remaining to seal the victory.
West Haven, which lost its second straight contest, managed only four shots in the contest. Betsy Magana made three saves in the loss for the Westies.
Westies fall to Sheehan
Late goal sinks Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(October 8, 2015) - Sheehan sophomore Kelsey Burr has a knack for making the big play. Just ask the West Haven girls soccer team.
Having defeated the Westies the last time the two teams met in the season opener on a penalty kick goal by Burr in the final ten minutes, Sheehan was looking to sweep the season series.
Burr again made sure the sweep was complete. Scoring twice, including the go-ahead goal with 4 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the game, Burr helped the Titans defeat West Haven 3-1 at Ken Strong Stadium Thursday evening.
"We all worked so hard tonight to score," Burr said after her team improved to 7-2-1. "It was a team effort. We all worked really hard and we were able to go ahead in the final third. We had a great effort."
With the game even at one after both teams traded goals in the first half, Sheehan controlled play in the final 40 minutes. Despite dominating time of possession, the Titans found it hard to get a shot past West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana.
For Burr and the Titans, it took a nice bounce to take the lead. Off a corner , Burr bent a ball into the box, where it deflected off West Haven's Madison Barbieri past Magana for the 2-1 lead.
Betsy Magana made six saves in a loss to Sheehan, October 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"She is a great player," Sheehan coach Rob Huelsman said of Burr. "She has a lot of talent and she has a good vision for the game. She sees the game well. She utilizes the space she has to create better opportunities."
With the Titans in front, West Haven could not put any pressure on Sheehan goalkeeper Kaitlin Lagase to get the equalizer. When Caitlin Jagoda fed Abbie Jagoda for a run up the left side, Abbie Jagoda buried a shot with 38.8 seconds remaining in the game for the 3-1 final.
"This is a very disappointing loss," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said after his team fell to 3-5-2. "Their pressure became too much for us, especially the corner kicks. They are very dangerous when the ball is in the air. When you give them corner kicks, it is just a matter of time."
West Haven took a 1-0 lead early in the contest with one of its few scoring opportunities. Sophomore Kaylee Pliszka ripped a shot on goal which Lagase stopped. The rebound went right to West Haven junior Gabi Prisco, who made a nice move around the defense and beat Lagase for a 1-0 lead 11:56 into the contest.
West Haven's Gabi Prisco (20), seen here against Lyman Hall, scored West Haven's only goal against Sheehan, October 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Prisco's tally, her tenth of the year, was one of a handful of opportunities in the opening half for the Westies as Sheehan started to control play shortly after.
Burr evened the game with 14:44 left in the first half as she beat Magana from a sharp angle 15 yards out.
Sheehan dominated time of possession in the second half as well and only the play of Magana kept Sheehan from taking the lead earlier. Magana stopped Caitlin Jagoda in front from 25 yards out and punched a rocket off the foot of Burr from 20 yards out over the crossbar with 21:25 left.
"In every game, she (Magana) has kept us in it," Trenchard said of Magana. "She has made some tough saves.. She is very comfortable back there."
Lagase finished with four saves in the win for the Titans, while Magana made six saves in the loss.
Prisco leads Westies
Junior scores 3 times in 6-1 win
By MIKE MADERA
(October 7, 2015) - Looking to set the tone of its home contest Wednesday evening, the West Haven girls soccer team knew who to turn to.
Junior Gabi Prisco obliged, scoring three times for her team-leading ninth goals of the season, as the Westies defeated Lyman Hall 6-1 at Ken Strong Stadium.
Gabi Prisco scored three times as the Westies defeated Lyman Hall, October 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The win allowed the Westies to rebound from a tie against the Trojans two days earlier. With the victory, West Haven improved to 3-4-2 on the year.
"We played a complete game tonight," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "Defensively, we were solid. Offensively, we took our chances and did a good job keeping possession of the ball."
West Haven struck first in the game when Lauren Lewis scored at the 15 minute mark. The Trojans evened the contest 6:20 later on a Mallory Struble goal, but Prisco was just beginning her night.
Lauren Lewis and the Westies defeated Lyman Hall, October 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Just 4:01 after Lyman Hall evened the game, Prisco's unassisted tally gave the Westies the lead for good. West Haven scored the biggest goal of the game with four seconds left in the first half as Carlie Tammaro set up MacKenzie Holy for a 3-1 advantage.
Prisco then took over as she scored off an assist from Madison Barbieri 2:17 into the second half for a 4-1 lead and scored another 4:40 later. When Prisco set up Keegan Riccio's third goal of the season with 13:56 left, West Haven had a 6-1 cushion.
Betsy Magana made six saves in the win for West Haven.
GIRLS SOCCER 2015
THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
Westies tie Lyman Hall
Riccio scores lone goal for WH
By MIKE MADERA
(October 5, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team is looking to get on a roll. Trying for their second win in a row, the Westies were unable to do so, playing to a 1-1 tie against Lyman Hall in Wallingford Monday afternoon. With the tie, West Haven moved to 2-4-2 on the season.
Keegan Riccio (17) scored West Haven's only goal against Lyman Hall, October 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We did a good job to pull ourselves out of a hole and earn a point," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "We deserved more. We will have to go at them (Wednesday) night."
Freshman Keegan Riccio scored the lone goal of the game for the Westies, producing the equalizer in the second half. The goal was Riccio's second of the season.
West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana (in red) makes a save against Lyman Hall, October 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana made five saves in the loss.
Westies blank Law
Prisco, Magana lead WH to 2-0
By MIKE MADERA
(October 2, 2015) - West Haven junior Gabi Prisco has a keen awareness of what is going on around her on the field. With her team having lost two games in a row and being outscored 7-1 in the contests, Prisco knew her team needed to right the ship.
The Westie sniper made sure the Westies got back on the winning track, scoring twice in the first half to lead West Haven to a 2-0 victory over Jonathan Law in Milford Friday afternoon.
West Haven's Gabi Prisco (20) scored twice against Jonathan Law, October 2, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The win by the Westies improves their record to 2-4-1 on the season.
"We played very well as a team," Trenchard said. "The weather was very tough, but we were able to overcome it through solid team work and good team defense."
Prisco, who now has six goals on the season, gave West Haven a 1-0 lead just 11 minutes, 56 seconds into the first half with an unassisted goal, then increased the margin to two goals with a goal off an assist from Erin Smith with 8:52 left in the half.
"Gabi was very calm in front of the net," Trenchard said. "She had two good chances and she put them both away."
Prisco's heroics were all the Westies needed as goalkeeper Betsy Magana recorded the shutout, making ten saves in the win.
"Betsy was very effective," Trenchard said. "She came off the goal line quickly to cut off long balls Jonathan Law played before they became dangerous."
Westies fall to SHA
Prisco scores lone goal in loss
By MIKE MADERA
(September 28, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team was looking to get back on the winning track. After being shut out Friday evening against East Haven, the Westies were looking to post a win Monday afternoon when they traveled to play Scared Heart Academy.
Unfortunately for the Westies, the scoring woes continued in a 3-1 loss to the Pacers. With the loss, West Haven fell to 1-4-1 on the season.
Betsy Magana, seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies fell to Sacred Heart Academy, September 28, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven has scored just one goal in its last two games with today's goal coming on a penalty kick from junior Gabi Prisco late in the contest. Prisco now has a team-leading four goals.
After playing well in the first half, West Haven could not duplicate the effort in the second half, Instead, Sacred Heart took advantage of some costly West Haven mistakes to pull ahead for good.
"We had a solid first half, but mistakes cost us in the second half," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "We need to build on that solid first half going forward."
Betsy Magana made 10 saves in the loss for West Haven.
East bests West
Westies fall to East Haven, 4-0
By MIKE MADERA
(September 25, 2015) - Coming off its first win of the season, the West Haven girls soccer team was looking to build off this. Playing East Haven Friday evening, the Westies were unable to do as they could night generate any offense in a 4-0 loss at Ken Strong Stadium.
Kelsey Gilmore (16), seen here earlier in the season against Lauralton Hall, and the Westies fell against East Haven, September 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Unable to contain East Haven's Megan Kikosicki, the Westies were sent to their third loss of the season. Kikosicki scored three times as East Haven pressured the Westies throughout.
"We got outplayed by a team that wanted it more than us," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. "They are a solid team that is well coached and they came ready to play."
Betsy Magana made 12 saves in the loss for West Haven. With the loss, West Haven fell to 1-3-1.
First of the Season
Westies top Hamden to improve to 1-2-1
By MIKE MADERA
(September 21, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team was not happy about the way it played Saturday afternoon at Lauralton Hall. The Westies did something about it Monday evening.
Paced by the play of Gabi Prisco and Keegan Riccio, and the goalkeeping of Betsy Magana, West Haven picked up its first win of the season with a 2-1 decision over Hamden at Ken Strong Stadium.
Gabi Prisco (20), seen here against Lauralton Hall, and the Westies defeated Hamden, September 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Prisco and Riccio each had goals, with both also picking up assists, and Magana made six saves to help West Haven rally to the victory.
"It is nice to get that first win," West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said after his team improved to 1-2-1. "It is the best we have played all year. All the other games, we have played well in spurts. We put it all together in this game. We dominated the game in the second half."
Trailing 1-0 after Hamden scored early in the contest, West Haven got the equalizer from Prisco early in the second half.
After the Westies worked the ball up from the back, MacKenzie Holy led Riccio, who dribbled through the defense before sending a perfect through ball to Prisco. The junior did not miss as she evened the game at one.
"It is nice to have others create chances," Trenchard said. "Other teams can't just key in on Gabi. They see we have a few different options. Kelsey Gilmore did not score, but she had excellent ball movement which is great."
Keegan Riccio (17), Madison Barbieri (18), Kaylee Pliszka (4) and Erin Smith (13), seen here against Lauralton Hall, helped West Haven defeat Hamden, September 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies took the lead for good when Prisco returned the favor to Riccio as she played the ball through to Riccio for the eventual winner.
West Haven's defense came up big in the contest as it did not allow easy scoring chances, particularly in the second half.
"Hamden had some fast girls up top and they were trying to release the girls," Trenchard said. "The defense played very well. Madison Barbieri, a freshman, and junior April Bowen did a nice job. Lauren Lewis, Andrea Lopez and Erin Lenihan did a great job in the middle, keeping them to the outside."
Erin Smith (13), seen here against Lauralton Hall, and the Westies defeated Hamden, September 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven returns to action Friday evening at 7 p.m. against East Haven at Ken Strong Stadium.
Westies fall to Lauralton
Crusaders spoil Trenchard's return in 6-1 win over WH
By ERIN LENIHAN
Mike Madera contributed to this article
(September 19, 2015) - Fresh off an exciting tie with Mercy, the West Haven girls soccer team was looking to build off this Saturday afternoon in Milford. Traveling to play Lauralton Hall, the Westies were no match for the Crusaders as Lauralton posted a 6-1 victory.
MacKenzie Holy (15) and the Westies fell to Lauralton Hall, September 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The game started with Lauralton Hall's Mary Rotondo scored a goal 24 minutes, 55 seconds into the game. Soon after, at 20 minutes into the first half, Rotondo scored her second goal for a 2-0 Lauralton lead.
"In the first 15 minutes, we played really well" West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said after his team fell to 0-2-1. "On their goal, the ball bounced around in the box and they knocked it in. We hung our heads after that and unfortunately, they took it to us."
Keegan Riccio (17) directs traffic against Lauralton Hall, September 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Mary Rose Finnigan put the Westies in a deeper hole, scoring to give the Crusaders a 3-0 advantage.
During the first half, West Haven defender April Bowen played stellar on defense and blocked many shots on net alongside of sophomore MacKenzie Holy. Junior Gabi Prisco and freshman Kelsey Gilmore worked extremely hard on offense to try and get some goals in the back of the net.
Kaylee Pliszka (4) and the Westies fell to Lauralton Hall, September 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
In the second half, West Haven started a little stronger than they played in the first half. Lauralton erased that play in the 34th minute as Mia Mulin scored on a corner kick to give Lauralton a 4-0 advantage.
"It was a combination of us not playing well and them being really good," Trenchard said.
Kathryn Brady added two more goals for the Crusaders for a 6-0 advantage. The Westies never gave up and fought to the end as Prisco scored with eight seconds remaining for the 6-1 final.
West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana made 12 saves in the loss, and Lauralton Lauren Butler made three saves.
The loss for West Haven spoiled the return for head coach Pete Trenchard, who previously coached the Crusaders.
Prisco saves Westies
Late goal draws WH even with Mercy
By MIKE MADERA
(September 16, 2015) - Playing its third game in three days, it would not have surprised anyone if the Mercy soccer team was a little fatigued entering Wednesday evening’s contest against West Haven. The Tigers needed just 13 more minutes to come away unscathed.
Only a perfectly placed ball by West Haven’s super-talented junior Gabi Prisco prevented Mercy from winning two of the three games. Instead, the Tigers will settle for a win and two draws as Prisco’s goal brought West Haven back to a 1-1 draw at Ken Strong Stadium.
Gabi Prisco, seen here against Sheehan, scored late in the contest against Mercy, Wednesday, September 16, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It was our third game,” Mercy coach Marcus Harley said. “Unfortunately, we do not have that go to person to score. We are still looking for that one person to step up for us and score goals.”
Mercy’s Katelyn Richardson looked as if she provided the Tigers with the only goal they would need as her goal less than four minutes into the second half gave Mercy a 1-0 advantage. Haley Vanty set up Richardson, who used a nice flick of the outside of her foot to beat West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana 3 minutes, 10 seconds into the second half.
Richardson’s goal looked as if it would hold up as the Mercy defense did not allow West Haven any quality scoring opportunities in the second half. West Haven never created any offense in the first 25 minutes and was forced to the outside when it did get in Mercy territory.
West Haven coach Pete Trenchard made the move of the game when he pushed junior defender Lauren Lewis up to create offense. While Lewis was not part of the equalizer, her presence cleared up freshman Keegan Riccio, who dropped a pass to Prisco.
From 35 yards out on the right side, Prisco ripped a shot which sailed perfectly over the outstretched hands of Mercy goalkeeper Alyssa Morrisey and just under the crossbar to tie the game at one with 12:33 remaining in the contest.
“We worked so hard in the second half,” Prisco said. “We pushed the entire game. Everyone on the team gave 100 percent. I saw where they were and just went for it. I just shot it. This feels much better than losing late like we did our last game.”
With game even, Mercy found a few more bursts of energy as Vanty had a tremendous scoring opportunity with 3:20 remaining. Coming down the right side, Vanty fired at an angle from about 15 yards away and got the shot by Magana, but wide of the goal.
“All of our games, no matter how good or how bad the teams we are playing are, will be close as we cannot score goals,” Harley said. “We expect to play in 1-1 or 0-0 games until we can start scoring. We still expect a defensive effort as we do not have that person who can take the ball and fire it in yet. I thought we did a great job defensively as a team today. We just turned the ball over and they took a shot that was perfectly placed.”
West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana, seen here against Sheehan, made 11 saves against Mercy, September 16, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske,
While Mercy may feel it came away without a point it could have had, the Westies had to feel like a win, especially coming off a late loss to Sheehan in the season opener on Saturday.
“This is a great tie,” Trenchard said after his team moved to 0-1-1. “They are a very good team. We got a break against them as it was their third game in three days. Even still, this is a very good tie for us. We played hard and we grinded it out. The goal tells you what type of player Gabi (Prisco) is. You give her a little room and she will bury it. It was a great shot. It was very well placed.”
Morrisey made five saves for Mercy, while Magana made 11 saves for the Westies.
Westies fall to Sheehan
Season opens with 2-1 loss to Sheehan
By MIKE MADERA
(September 12, 2015) - The West Haven girls soccer team was looking to get off to a quick start in the 2015 season. For coach Pete Trenchard and his squad, a tough loss was suffered on opening night.
After playing a scoreless first half and taking a 1-0 lead early in the second half, West Haven was unable to hold on, suffering a 2-1 loss to Sheehan in Trenchard's West Haven coaching debut in Wallingford.
Pete Trenchard and the Westies fell to Sheehan, September 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We played well," Trenchard said after his team fell to 0-1. "Sheehan is an experienced team. They start mostly juniors and seniors who have been playing varsity for a few years. Considering we are young and have some inexperience, I thought we played well especially being away from home."
Kelsey Gilmore (16) and the Westies suffered a loss to Sheehan, September 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After a scoreless first half in which West Haven goalkeeper Betsy Magana helped keep Sheehan off the scoreboard, West Haven scored first to start the second half.
"I thought Betsy played great," Trenchard said of Magana. "She was phenomenal. She only gave up a penalty kick and the other goal she could not do anything about. She came up with some big saves and kept us in the game."
West Haven took a 1-0 lead quickly to start the second half when freshman Kelsey Gilmore sent a perfect cross which captain Precious Szostek put in the back of the net 30 seconds in.
Precious Szostek (7) gives West Haven a 1-0 lead over Sheehan, September 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
That would be the only goal of the day for the Westies as Sheehan scored the next two goals. The first came 10 minutes into the second half to tie the game and the latter came with 9:55 remaining on a penalty kick by sophomore Kelsey Burr.
"We created about ten legitimate scoring chances," Trenchard said. "We forced their goalkeeper to make some good saves.
Gabi Prisco (20) and the Westies fell to Sheehan, September 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Gabi (Prisco) kept their defense under pressure. Lauren (Lewis) did a good job on defense of limiting their chances. She limited their shots to outside of 18 yards. Most of their shots came from 20 to 25 yards out."
Magana finished with 10 saves in the loss for West Haven.
Fresh faces on the field and sideline for 2015 season
By MIKE MADERA
(September 6, 2015) - Much has changed since the Westies were upset in the 2014 state tournament by Southern Connecticut Conference rival Amity. Since that loss, the Westies have watched several key players move on with graduation and long-time coach John Camara call it a career.
This season, the Westies will be led by former Lauralton Hall coach Pete Trenchard, who marks his return to West Haven. Trenchard was formerly in West Haven on the sidelines as a soccer coach for the boys team.
As 2015 approaches, new faces will be counted on to join with ultra-talented junior Gabi Prisco and seniors Precious Szostek and Andrea Lopez.
Leading the way for the Westies will be captains Prisco, Szostek and junior Lauren Lewis.
West Haven 2015 captains (l. to r.) are Precious Szostek, Lauren Lewis and Gabi Prisco. Photo courtesy of Pete Trenchard.
"All three will play a big part," Trenchard said of the captains. "They provide solid leadership and they give experience in three different areas of the field. Obviously, most teams will be looking at Gabi. Lauren brings much needed experience on the defensive side. We graduated almost the entire starting lineup there. We need to be solid in the back. Lauren is anxious to get back on the field. She missed last year and it hurt her to not be out there. She really wants to be on the field."
Prisco, a 2014 All-SCC selection, had a sophomore year to remember as she finished with 9 goals, 12 assists and a team-leading 30 points.
Gabi Prisco (20) and the Westies are looking for a postseason berth in 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The junior forward, who scored on a penalty kick in the season-ending loss to Amity, was marked heavily as a sophomore and much of the same is expected in 2015.
"Gabi is a star on any team in the SCC," Trenchard said. "She works really hard and is very self motivated. She is strong on and off the ball. She sees the field very well. Gabi distributes the ball very well and when she loses the ball, she will do everything she can to get it back."
Sophomore Betsy Magana returns is the team's goalkeeper after a solid freshman campaign. Sophomore MacKenzie Holy will play midfield, while Lopez and junior April Bowen will be on defense.
"MacKenzie played a lot last year and will be a key midfielder for us. Andrea is in a position change, but is adapting well on defense, and Bowen played a lot last year. She needs to be solid. She has played really well."
Trenchard will also be playing four freshmen plenty of minutes each game as Madison Barbieri will see time at defense, Erin Smith and Keegan Riccio will be at midfield and Kelsey Gilmore will be at forward.
"They are coming along," Trenchard said of the freshmen. "We have thrown them right into it. They are used to playing against 13 and 14-year-olds and are now playing against kids four years older. They are playing hard. It is a learning process. I am pleased with how they are doing."
With goals of making the state tournament and advancing as far as possible, Trenchard is well aware it will take hard work from his team.
"I have liked the work ethic," Trenchard said. "They have had tremendous will and are pushing themselves. Even with the heat, they have not missed a beat or complained. They have pushed themselves. There is a sense of team out there.
"We have to really limit the scoring chances of other teams. Betsy Magana is solid in goal and the defense is coming along. We have to take advantage of the chances we have. We are a young team and we may not get many shots."
West Haven opens the season Saturday, September 12 at Sheehan at 5 p.m.
All-State players - Carlin Guarneri '96; Danielle Lacroix '99; Rebecca Sampara '07; Nicole Pacapelli '09; Gabriella Reis '11; Marisa Pacapelli '13; Marisa Pacapelli '14
Retired numbers - Carlin Guarneri (Class of 1997) #1