SHELTON — The Stamford-Westhill-Staples co-op girls hockey team started strong and held on to pick up its second win of the season Monday afternoon, beating Trumbull/St. Joseph 8-6 at The Rinks.
SWS scored five goals in the first period to swing the momentum in its favor, doing wonders to set the tone for the rest of the game, SWS coach John Fay said.
“We wanted to start the week off (right),” he said. “We wanted to get out here and have a fast start again and get everybody involved. And they did. They played a really nice first period.”
Abby Sottile got SWS on the board with the first goal of the game just over two minutes after the opening face-off. Caroline Mezias would extend the lead for SWS with one of her three goals moments later to put the game firmly in the grasp of the away team.
“The last game we played against New Canaan and they’re the top team in the FCIAC,” Mezias said. “Just playing them and then transferring it into this game and keeping our momentum is probably how we started off so well. We all really wanted to win and we just knew we could do it.”
After trading goals in the second period, Trumbull-St. Joseph began to get itself back into the game led by Erin Owens.
Owens spearheaded the Eagles’ attack, finishing with five goals and an assist, including three goals in the second and third periods.
“We have a tough time in the first period,” Owens said. “But our momentum starts rolling and somehow we always end up playing catch-up and it really gets us together. We start passing real well and by the third period it starts to gel together.”
The Eagles scored three straight goals in the final seven minutes, but they were unable to get any closer than that.
“We’re having a tough time coming right out and playing 110 percent,” Trumbull-St. Joseph coach Paula Dady said. “It takes us a while to get there and we need to stop that and come right out, right from the start. I think the game would have been different if we played the way we played in that third period.”
Although it was just the second win of the season for SWS, it knows there is a long way to go in the season, Mezias said.
“It’s going to help our chances in the FCIAC’s,” she said. “We haven’t won too many games. But this is going to boost our confidence and help us. We’re going to build off of it.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Despite the loss, Erin Owens was the best player on the ice. She finished the game with five goals and an assist — including a pair of goals in the third period as the Eagles attempted a late comeback.
LUCKY NUMBER EIGHT
In each of its two wins this season, SWS has managed to score eight goals —including an 8-2 win over Wilton-Norwalk-McMahon Co-op at home last week.
“We just got to try and build off of what we did today. We’ve had a heavy start to this season. We’ve played a lot of tough teams, but we’ve just got to take this one game at a time. Today’s a nice win, but we’ve got Hand on Wednesday and we’ve got Fairfield on the weekend, so there’ll be no resting for us right now. We’ve got to get out there in every game, every point is important right now.” — SWS coach John Fay on the importance of building off the second win of the season.
STAMFORD-WESTHILL-STAPLES 8, TRUMBULL-ST. JOSEPH’S 6
SWS 5 1 2—8
T/STJ 2 1 3—6
Records: Trumbull-St. Joseph’s 1-7; Stamford-Westhill-Staples 2-8. Goals: TSJ—Erin Owens 5, Lydia Prezioso; SWS—Abby Sottile, Caroline Mezias 3, Jessica Xu 2, Carolyn Gray, Rachel Mensah. Assists: TSJ—Prezioso, Owens, Caoline McNabola, Mackenzie Meaney. SWS—Mezias, Mensah, Sottile, Gray 3, Emily Gitlin 3, Stephanie Walsh. Goalies: TSJ—Tory Coffin (9 saves); SWS—Mary Leydon (12).