STAMFORD — Finding itself in the thick of FCIAC playoff contention with five games remaining, the McMahon girls soccer team was focused on taking care of business against Westhill.
The Senators took care of that business right away, scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes and then cruising to a 4-1 win over the Vikings on Wednesday afternoon.
For McMahon, it was all about coming out aggressively and setting the tone, which they were able to do by getting their scoring threats into open space near the Westhill goal.
“Obviously we wanted to come out and be aggressive. We knew this would be a tough game and we came in ready to work because we know Westhill is a really good team,” said McMahon junior midfielder Chloe Ortolano. “We were trying to look for the open player and make runs and move off the ball. We are always looking for the open player and working our hardest to get them the ball by working as a team.”
McMahon moves to 8-2-2 on the season with 26 points, putting it in the fifth spot currently in the FCIAC standings.
Westhill (4-7-1) is still technically alive with an outside shot at qualifying but would need to leapfrog several teams to move into the eighth and final playoff spot.
Ortolano scored the first two McMahon goals.
The first goal came less than five minutes into the game when she fired a shot from 30 yards away that got over the keeper’s head.
Three minutes later, Ortolano scored again, this time on a ball played in on a cross by Peyton McNamara.
The Senators would go up 3-0 before halftime on a goal by Olivia Leone off a corner kick from Marysia Slowik.
McNamara would score the four minutes into the second half, making the lead 4-0.
Westhill would tilt the field more in its favor in the second half as McMahon packed in defensively, scoring its lone goal on a long strike by Corinne Dente.
“First half was one to forget; second half was a bit better,” Westhill coach Dave Flower said. “We stopped dropping back so far and giving them too much space to play in. They have a few good players who destroyed us in the first half. We dropped off and good players were given space to play.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Chloe Ortolano, McMahon. Ortolano put the Senators up 2-0 before Westhill knew what had hit it. She also controlled the ball all afternoon, keeping the Vikings on their heels.
“We came in with intensity because we are in the hunt for a FCIACs and we knew a slip-up here could hurt our chances,” McMahon coach Angelo Tsingerliotis said. “We made sure the team was aware that this was a must-win game and not to take anyone lightly. When we got out there, the girls played well, there was a lot of space and everything fell into place after that.”
The McMahon girls team has never played in the FCIAC tournament. Last season, McMahon qualified for the CIAC state tournament for the first time since 2007 and for only the third time in the history of the program.
McMAHON 4, WESTHILL 1
MCMAHON 3 1—4
WESTHILL 0 1—1
Records: M—8-2-2; W—4-7-1. Goals: M— Chloe Ortolano 2, Olivia Leone, Peyton McNamara; W—Corinne Dente. Assists: M—McNamara, Marysia Slowik. Goalies: M—Tatiana Arias 9 saves; W—Molly Herkis 9 saves