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.