WOODBRIDGE — Hamden’s Gary Collins and Amity’s Owen Quigley are used to having their teams play in the postseason. Both are undergoing a youth movement in 2013.
With both teams blending a mixture of youth with the returning experience, growing pains are to be expected. After Monday afternoon’s contest, it is clear there is plenty of work to be done before each team takes its familiar spot in the postseason.
Behind the play of Cassie Giza and Nicole DeBarba, Amity defeated Hamden 3-0 at Amity High School. With the win, Amity improved to 3-1-1, while Hamden fell to 2-3.
“We are making strides,” Quigley said. “The younger ones are starting to understand their roles. Overall, it was an improvement, but we have a lot of work still to do.
“When you have five or six freshmen on the field, you are going to have growing pains. Slowly but surely, we are getting it together. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Spartans dominated the first half and came away with a 2-0 lead. After struggling to find the back of the goal in the first 28 minutes of the contest, Amity scored twice in 2 minutes, 59 seconds to take control of the game.
DeBarba helped the Spartans get on the board when she sent a perfect pass to Alissa Beedle. Wasting no time, Beedle beat Hamden goalkeeper Katie Dadio to the lower-right corner for a 1-0 lead with 11:12 to go in the first half.
After Dakota Kelly shot wide from 30 yards out 2 minutes later, the Spartans took a 2-0 lead with 8:13 remaining in the first half. Senior Erica Zimmerman fed Giza with a perfect pass and Giza lifted a shot into the top corner for the two-goal advantage.
“I thought Cassie played well,” Quigley said of Giza. “They doubled up on her a lot and she made some smart decisions to get people out of position.”
Hamden had two quality shots early in the contest but could not capitalize. Samantha Cozzolino shot over the net from 25 yards out just 2:50 into the contest and Danielle Wendland lofted a shot on top of the net from 30 yards out off an angle shot 16:43 into the game.
“We did not have enough quality shots,” Collins said. “We have to go back to basics. We are a young group. With that, you expect a lot of panic and that was what it was out there. Most of the game was panic. We have to get some confidence.”
The rest of the opening half belonged to the Spartans.
DeBarba hit the post from 20 yards out 17:50 into the game and Beedle shot wide from in front with 15 minutes remaining in the opening half.
With a 1-0 lead, Kelly shot just wide from 30 yards out with 9 minutes remaining in the opening half.
“I was very pleased with the way we played,” Quigley said. “We won every 50/50 ball.”
Amity increased its lead to 3-0 just 6:12 into the second half. Giza fed Jacquelyn Smith, who ripped a laser past Dadio, taking the steam out of any comeback hopes the Green Dragons may have had.
“We have pulled together,” Giza said of her team. “It starts in practice. We are playing more as a team. We are working hard. The more experience they get, the easier it will be.
“When we score first in the game or early, it usually sets the tone of the game. We build on that.”
Hamden had one quality scoring chance in the second half but Sarah Vita’s shot from 20 yards out was denied 11 minutes in by Amity goalkeeper Zoie Reed.
Reed made five saves in the shutout, while Dadio had 12 for Hamden.