Back at It
Westies top Crusaders in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
(October 2, 2020) - The signature game for a West Haven girls soccer team always starts with defense. It is no surprise defense and goalkeeping were the keys in West Haven’s opening victory against Lauralton Hall Friday evening at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.
West Haven celebrates a goal by Julia Tsakonas (32) in a win over Lauralton Hall, October 2, 2020. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Behind a solid defensive effort and four saves from senior Mackenzie Gardner, the Westies topped Lauralton Hall 1-0 in the season opener for both teams. The opener came later in the season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was an intense game from start to finish,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “Both teams battled hard, but we capitalized on our chance and limited their chances to low percentage shots. It was a solid team effort to get the win in the first game of the season."
The chance Trenchard was referring to came just 8 minutes, 5 seconds into the contest as junior Cori Severino provided a perfect feed to sophomore Julia Tsakonas, who buried the first goal of the year for the Westies.
While, West Haven had just three shots in the game, the goal by Tsakonas proved to be the game-winner.West Haven’s defense did the rest, holding Lauralton Hall to just four shots in the contest.
WH rolls past Platt Tech
Cori Severino scores twice in 6-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
(October 6, 2020) - The West Haven girls soccer team improved to 2-0 with a 6-0 victory over Platt Tech Tuesday afternoon at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.
Coach Pete Trenchard’s squad clicked on all cylinders from the start, scoring 45 seconds into the contest and never looking back. The Westies had five different players find the back of the goal, four players picked up assists, and the strong defensive effort allowed just one shot on goal in front of sophomore goalkeeper Kassidy Carrano.
Julia Tsakonas (32) against Lauralton Hall, October 2, 2020. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It was nice to get the win today and have five different girls get the ball into the net,” Trenchard said. “Now we have to start focusing on our next game and make sure we are ready Friday to take on North Haven."
Junior Cori Severino led the West Haven offense with two goals, sophomore Maya Bermudez had a goal and an assist, and Carrano made one save in the shutout.
The Westies struck quickly off the opening tap as Severino scored off an assist from Riley Collins 45 seconds into the contest.
West Haven scored three more goals to take a 4-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game. Bermudez scored an unassisted tally, sophomore Julia Tsakonas scored off an assist from junior Madison Lentine, and senior Selena Izzo found the back of the net off an assist from Bermudez.
Just 17 minutes, 7 seconds into the contest, the lead grew to 5-0 as Mackenzie Gardner, the team’s usual starting goalkeeper, scored off an assist from sophomore Melissa Tsakonas.
West Haven put the game away eight seconds into the second half when Severino scored an unassisted goal.
WH improves to 3-0 with 4-0 victory over North Haven
By MIKE MADERA
(October 9, 2020) - Defense has remained the key for the West Haven girls soccer team. The Westies have not allowed a goal through three games and have outscored their opponents 11-0.
Friday evening’s contest in North Haven was no different as West Haven held North Haven scoreless by riding the overall team play in a 4-0 victory at North Haven.
The Westies allowed just four shots in the contest and Mackenzie Gardner (3 saves( and Kassidy Carrano (1 save) preserved the shutout.
“We started of slow tonight and North Haven was quick and aggressive,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “We grew into the game in the second half and were able to find the back of the net. Maya Bermudez and Kaylie Hollister were both strong in the midfield, and the defense was solid behind Tomalyn Williams Riley Severino, Emma Walker and Amanda Tsakonas. The team, as a whole, played great. It is nice to be 3-0 right now.”
West Haven scored the only goal it would need just 6:50 into the contest when Amanda Tsakonas scored off an assist from Selena Izzo. The goal by Tsakonas would be the lone tally until the second half when the Westies pulled away.
Julia Tsakonas scored off an assist from Maya Bermudez at the 48:44 mark, then added her second consecutive goal off an assist from Madison Lentine 7:01 later.
Selena Izzo capped the scoring at 69:53 off an assist from Ariana Izzo.
WH tops Law 3-0 to improve to 4-0
By MIKE MADERA
(October 13, 2020) WEST HAVEN – Through four games, there has been one constant for the West Haven girls soccer team. That constant has started with its defense.
The Westies entered Tuesday evening’s game having not allowed a goal in their previous three victories. That trend continued as a stifling defense coupled with solid goalkeeping helped lead West Haven to a 3-0 victory over Jonathan Law in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division C contest at Ken Strong Stadium.
West Haven has now outscored its opponents 14-0 in improving to 4-0 on the year. Law fell to 1-3 with its second consecutive defeat.
Kassidy Carrano makes a save against Jonathan Law, October 13, 2020. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“One of the different things this year is we have taken advantage of our opportunities,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “We are creating quality chances and everyone is contributing. With the amount of goals we have scored, it is not just one girl. It is spread out.”
Aside from a 10 minute stretch to close the first half, the West Haven defense did not allow much for Law to contend with on the offensive side. Playing within it structure, West Haven forced Law to the outside and did not allow much in the middle of the field.
“Communication is the key for us in keeping our shape,” West Haven defender Tomalyn Williams said. “It really is a cooperative effort.”
After finishing the opening half with eight shots, Law managed just two shots in the second half, both turned aside by West Haven sophomore goalkeeper Kassidy Carrano. The best chance for Law to get on the scoreboard came off a scramble in front off the foot of Elly Van Waveren with 20 minutes, 30 seconds remaining and Law down one goal.
“I thought their offense stood out in terms of ability and speed,” Law coach Alicia Francisco said of West Haven. “I thought they had more energy than we had in the second half. They nearly scored within 40 seconds of the second half. We lost a lot of seniors from last year. We are working to see who our starting eleven will be.”
After a scoreless first half, West Haven junior Cori Severino set the tone of the second half when she nearly found the back of the net with a blast just 27 seconds in. A header by Selena Izzo sailed over the net 5:40 in, before West Haven finally capitalized with a tally 11:14 in.
Off a free ball, senior Kaylie Hollister lofted a shot from 40 yards which took a high bounce off the turf and just went over the outstretched arms of Law goalkeeper Sabrina Lawless for the only goal West Haven would need.
“I think we were able to take a little bit of a sigh of relief,” Trenchard said of Hollister’s goal. “We found that confidence in ourselves once again.”
With the team defense of the Westies keeping Law from getting quality scoring opportunities, West Haven extended the margin to a pair of goals with 5:58 remaining in the game. Another loose ball was converted as junior Madison Lentine ripped a shot in from 20 yards out.
Cori Severino, who was a thorn in Law’s side all night, capped the scoring when she broke in and scored from 15 yards out with 16.6 seconds to go.
“I thought we saw a difference in the second half,” Trenchard said. “Tomalyn Williams is one of the best center backs in the league. Riley Severino is fantastic back there. With the two of them, it is really hard for teams to break down. You add in we have two outstanding goalkeepers (Mackenzie Gardner and Carrano) behind them, and we are very confident with our defensive efforts.”
After being outshot early in the contest, Law controlled the latter part of the opening half, getting quality scoring opportunities on West Haven goalkeeper Mackenzie Gardner.
The West Haven keeper was up to the challenge as she denied shots by Midori Hughes, Andriana Bruno and Ashley Shaw, and saw a shot by Shelby Green bounce off the cross bar minutes earlier.
Gardner (6 saves) and Carrano (3 saves) combined in the shutout for West Haven. Lawless made seven saves in the loss for Law.
WH tops Foran 2-0 to improve to 5-0
By MIKE MADERA
(October 17, 2020) – The streaks continue. With Saturday afternoon’s 2-0 victory over Foran at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven, the West Haven girls soccer team improved to 5-0 on the year.
Just as impressive, the Westies again pitched another shutout and have not allowed a goal all season. West Haven has outscored its opponents 16-0 on the year.
West Haven again played tough defense against Foran, October 17, 2020. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It was a tough game against a tough team,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “The first half was really back and forth. We came out hard in the second half and got two goals in the first two minutes. We played well as a team and came out on top against a quality opponent. "
Mackenzie Gardner and Kassidy Carrano combined on the shutout with Gardner making a pair of saves in the first half and Carrano making five saves in the second half.
After a scoreless first half, West Haven scored both goals early in second half.
The Westies took a 1-0 lead 38 seconds into the second half when Selena Izzo scored off an assist from Emma Walker. The lead increased to 2-0 1:48 into the second half when Amanda Tsakonas scored an unassisted goal from 30 yards out.
With the way the defense and goalkeeping have been playing, the two goals were more than enough for the Westies.
WH falls to Shelton 3-1
By MIKE MADERA
(October 20, 2020) – The West Haven girls soccer team saw a pair of streaks come to an end Tuesday evening. With a 3-1 loss at Shelton, the Westies saw their unbeaten streak to open the season end at five games, while West Haven also allowed the first goals to be scored on the team after having not allowed a goal in five contests to start the season.
“We didn’t play well in the first half and dug ourselves into a hole,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. We were much better in the second and pulled one back from a great Julia Tsakonas goal. We just couldn’t get that tying goal. Now we have to focus on learning from the loss and moving forward.”
Shelton made sure both streaks would come to an end as the Gaels came out with a purpose and score two minutes into the game off a tally by Lindsay Taylor. Noelle Garretson assisted on the goal, then provided the final two goals for the Gaels.
Garrettson scored off an assist from Taylor at the 16 minute mark for a 2-0 lead, before Julia Tsakonas scored the lone West Haven goal in the second half at 61:05.
With everyone pushed up for the Westies, Garretson scored her second of the contest with 30 seconds remaining.
THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
Amity cruises past Westies
WH drops second straight and falls to 5-2
By MIKE MADERA
(October 23, 2020) - WOODBRIDGE — It is no secret Amity junior Audrey Marin is a brilliant soccer player. She is also a very smart one as well.
With the grades to attest and a verbal commitment to Dartmouth, the future Ivy Leaguer showed just how smart and talented she is, taking advantage of a new formation and leading Amity to a 6-1 Southern Connecticut Conference Division A Senior Night victory over West Haven Friday afternoon at Amity High.
Marin finished the game with four assists, but it was her first half vision and knowledge which turned what was hyped as a defensive battle into a one-way affair.
The Dartmouth-bound star three times drew the West Haven defense to her in the game’s first 19 minutes, 9 seconds. Three times, she found an open attacker in front for an easy goal and a 3-0 Amity lead.
“We recently switched up our formation to a 4-3-3,” Marin said. “The three attackers overwhelms the defense and gives the wing (Marin) more room with the open gap. We took advantage of that a couple of times. We caught them off guard and we had at least two players open in front.”
Controlling the ball down the left sideline, Marin keenly drew West Haven’s defense to her side, then sent a perfect cross to senior Emily Goodwin in front. Goodwin wasted no time in knocking the shot in for a 1-0 lead at the 37 minute mark.
“We played very well in that first half,” Amity coach Owen Quigley said. “We stopped playing in the second half, but I have to give West Haven credit. They were playing for pride and they came at us until we turned a late switch on. After they scored, we decided to go to another gear.”
With Amity controlling the play, Marin was at it again 3:28 later. With the same exact play, Marin slid a pass over to sophomore Izabela Kurpios for the first of her two goals on the day as Kurpios was one of two Amity players left alone in front.
Amity (6-1) had a chance to increase the lead, but only a diving save by West Haven goalkeeper Mackenzie Gardner off a shot by Nicole Grosso prevented the third tally.
That third goal came a short time later, again courtesy of Marin. This time, a cross by Marin found Martyna Krzysztopik, who finished with three goal and an assist, alone in front for a 3-0 advantage with 20:51 left in the opening half.
“We dug ourselves a hole we could not get out of,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “We did not play well in the first half at all. They had some great chances early and they turned two into goals in the first ten minutes. We let them dictate the game to us in the first half.”
West Haven, which has now suffered two straight defeats since opening the season with five consecutive victories, saw its first quality scoring opportunity with 7:45 left in the first half as Ariana Izzo ripped a shot which went off the hands of Amity goalkeeper Grace Lodewick and off the crossbar.
“We put ourselves in a really good situation with five wins to start the year going into a tough week,” Trenchard said. “We had some tough games, but we are sitting at 5-2 and still doing very well.”
With everything going the way of the Spartans, Amity (6-1) took a 4-0 lead with 6:21 remaining in the opening half. Taking a feed from Krzysztopik, Kurpios fired a rocket to the back of the net for a four-goal lead.
“I was very pleased today,” Quigley said. “We played well in that first half.”
The Westies, who had not allowed a goal in their first five games, but haven been outscored 9-2 in the last two defeats, finally got going in the second half.
Controlling the play in the final 40 minutes, West Haven got on the board when sophomore Julia Tsakonas got through the defense and beat Lodewick with 12:53 remaining.
Lodewick then made sure West Haven got no closer. The junior goalkeeper robbed Tsakonas in front, then turned aside the rebound by Madison Lentine in succession with 8:45 to go.
Despite the spirited play of Cori Severino, Riley Severino and Emma Walker, West Haven (5-2) never got closer, and Amity secured the victory with two goals in the final 2:32 of the contest on a pair of goals by Krzysztopik.
“The energy was high today,” Marin said. “It was Senior Day and we really wanted to honor the seniors. West Haven is a good team and we knew they only had one loss. Everything just aligned for us today.”
Lodewick finished the contest with 11 saves for Amity, while Gardner and Kassidy Carrano each had five saves in the loss for West Haven.
WH snaps skid with 2-0 win over Lauralton Hall
By MIKE MADERA
(October 26, 2020) - Looking for some positives after a pair of thorough defeats, the West Haven girls soccer team went back to basics. Using a combination of timely scoring, tough defense, and stellar goalkeeping, West Haven snapped its two-game skid with a 2-0 victory at Lauralton Hall Monday afternoon.
“It was a good game for us,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “We created some good chances and got a goal in each half. Julia’s (Tsakonas) goal came from a quick passing sequence that finished with Maddy (Lentine) playing the ball into space for her to run to and slot home past the goalie. Maya’s (Bermudez) came from her hunting a rebound and being strong and relentless in front of the goal.”
West Haven scored the only goal it would need in the first half when Madison Lentine played a ball to Julia Tsakonas. The West Haven sharp-shooter wasted no time finding the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 21:50 mark.
West Haven increased the margin to 2-0 in the second half, and Tsakonas was at the center of the scoring again. Maya Bermudez picked up a rebound and deposited the second tally of the game with an assist going to Tsakonas at the 54:06 mark.
“The goalies each played great, and the defense was solid in front of them,” Trenchard said. “Overall, it was a great game from us and a good bounce back from last week.”
Mackenzie Gardner and Kassidy Carrano combined on the shutout with Gardner making two saves, and Carrano finishing with three.
WH blanks Law 1-0
By MIKE MADERA
(November 4, 2020) MILFORD – There have been clear distinctions between the wins and losses for the West Haven girls soccer team this season.
In its six wins, West Haven had outscored its opponents 18-0, while being outscored 9-2 in its two losses. The trend continued against Jonathan Law.
Behind a stellar defensive effort, the goalkeeping of Mackenzie Gardner and Kassidy Carrano, and a first half goal by Selena Izzo, West Haven defeated Law 1-0 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Division C contest on Senior Night at Jonathan Law Wednesday evening.
“Again, I have talked about it all year,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said after his team improved to 7-2 with its second shutout of Law this year. “We have two great goalkeepers in Mackenzie (Gardner) and Kassidy (Carrano). When we need them to come up with a big save, they come up with it. Our defense is tough. We play a team defense.”
The West Haven defense was too tough for Law to get through as Law was held to just one shot in the opening half and eight in the game.
“I thought our energy was low in the first half,” Law coach Alicia Francisco said. “I don’t know if it was the Senior Night energy or just nerves. We could not get anything going. We talked at the half and reminded them we were playing without a senior player because she was quarantined. We reminded them it could be their last game. We did not want to go out like that.”
The Westies controlled the first half to a tune of a 9-1 shot advantage, in which Law did not register its only shot until less than 15 minutes remained in the opening half.
West Haven’s Cori Severino was dynamic in the opening half, creating several scoring opportunities, but it was senior Selena Izzo who finally put West Haven on the scoreboard when she scored just over the outstretched arms of Law goalkeeper Sabrina Lawless from 30 yards out with 20:45 remaining in the opening half.
“I was at the top of the box and it was a loose ball,” Izzo said. “I just settled it and saw some open space. I hit it clean and knew it was a good shot.”
After Izzo was denied by Lawless on a rebound attempt 55 seconds into the game, Severino was the offensive threat for the Westies.
The junior was dynamic on the left side as Severino sent a perfect cross to Madison Lentine in front, which Lawless denied with a diving save 6:20 in. Severino then ripped a shot from 10 yards out which Lawless denied, then followed by hitting the post with the rebound 3:25 in.
“I used my speed to my advantage,” Severino said. “I was able to get the through balls and we created some opportunities.”
Severino then had two more golden opportunities when she was denied by Lawless from 10 yards out, and shot wide of the goal from 15 yards out with 12:35 remaining in the opening half.
“We had some girls out tonight and she (Severino) was playing out of position,” Trenchard said. “We moved her up. She usually plays left wing and we moved her up top. She has played there in the past. She is more confident out wide. She created a lot of good chances for us. She chased every ball down with her speed and made things difficult for them.”
Defensively, the Westies contained Law through the first 40 minutes behind the play of Riley Severino, Tomalyn Williams, Emma Walker, and Amanda Tsakonas, limiting Law to just the one shot from long range.
“Our defense is tough,” Trenchard said. “Tomalyn (Williams) and Riley (Severino) are both very tough. They are not going to give you anything. Emma (Walker) and Amanda (Tsakonas) on the outside are tough. We play a tough defensive team game.”
Law (1-8-1) finally got going in the second half with seven shots, two of which were high quality that Carrano turned aside. The first came off the foot of Shelby Green from 10 yards out, and the second was a header from Elly Van Waveren from 15 yards out with 20 minutes to go.
“This team has been dedicated all the way back to March when we were quarantined,” Izzo said. “Girls were posting videos of how hard they were working. They were dedicated every single day.”
Gardner finished with one save and Carrano had five saves in the win for West Haven. Lawless had seven saves in the loss for Law.
Foran blanks WH 1-0
By MIKE MADERA
(November 7, 2020) – The West Haven girls soccer team closed the regular season with a 1-0 loss against Foran Saturday afternoon at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven. With the loss, West Haven fell to 7-3 on the year.
West Haven will have a chance to avenge the defeat as the Westies play host to Foran in the league semifinals Tuesday night.
"It was a rough way to lose, giving up a goal with a minute and a half left,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “We were down quite a few players, but I thought we played really well. We were competitive and in it to the end. Celia Williams and Ariana Izzo both played well, as did Ava Murphy. The team as a whole did well tonight. Now we have to regroup, refocus, and prepare to play them again Tuesday night in the league semifinal."
In what was a defensive battle, Foran scored the lone goal of the contest with 1:28 remaining when Skyler Agresti found the back of the net.
Kassidy Carrano made four saves in the loss for West Haven.
Foran ousts Westies from SCC tournament
By MIKE MADERA
(November 10, 2020) – The West Haven girls soccer team has had a tremendous season. From a torrid start, to dominating defensive efforts, the Westies were a team to be watched from the first game of the year.
In the end, Covid-19, finally caught up to West Haven. With several key players quarantined, West Haven dropped its final two games of the season, including a 2-0 decision to Foran in the Southern Connecticut Conference Division A semifinals at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Tuesday evening.
Riley Severino (5) and the Westies fell to Foran, November 10, 2020. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The loss saw the season come to a close for West Haven with a 7-4 record.
"We played tough and gave it everything we had until the very end,” West Haven coach Pete Trenchard said. “Their goalie was phenomenal. We couldn't get the ball past her. We were missing some key players, but I am very proud of how some of our younger girls stepped up. Kassidy Carrano did a stellar job in the goal, and seniors Amanda Tsakonas and Kaylie Hollister did everything they could to drive their team on."
Foran, which also defeated the Westies in the regular season finale three days earlier, took a 1-0 lead 12 minutes, 20 seconds into the contest off a scramble in front on a free kick.
The Lions then used a solid defensive effort to contain the Westies, despite West Haven turning up its play in the second half. Foran countered and used a goal by Colleen Ardolino with 20:!2 remaining to take a 2-0 lead.
"Overall, we had a very good season,” Trenchard said. “I am proud of how hard the girls worked and how much they put into the team."Kassidy Carrano finished with four saves in the loss for West Haven.
GIRLS SOCCER 2020
All-State players - Carlin Guarneri '96; Danielle Lacroix '99; Rebecca Sampara '07; Nicole Pacapelli '09; Gabriella Reis '11; Marisa Pacapelli '13; Marisa Pacapelli '14; Gabi Prisco '16
Retired numbers - Carlin Guarneri (Class of 1997) #1