CHESHIRE >> If you’re a fan of a lot of offense, Wednesday night’s game between Cheshire and Notre Dame-West Haven wasn’t for you.
There were no goals or great scoring chances, but there was plenty of defense played as the two schools played to a scoreless deadlock in a Southern Connecticut Conference boys’ soccer game at the Maclary Complex.
“I don’t think either team was a threat in the attacking third,” Cheshire coach Arthur Branco said. “It was such a midfield battle there were no opportunities for either team to create anything.”
The Rams had a couple of chances in the first half, with the best one coming 24 minutes in as Mitch Manware raced in on net but never got a good shot off.
Cheshire dominated the shots in the first half, taking all four of its total. Notre Dame couldn’t get a shot off until it took three in the second half.
“They are better tactically offensively than we are,” Notre Dame coach Rudy Raffone Jr. said. “We thought we could break down their final four in the back, but their back core is so solid and they don’t give you a shot. They did a great job and you can’t take that away from them.”
Ten minutes into the second half, Cheshire had a chance after a foul gave the Rams a direct kick deep in the right end of Notre Dame territory.
Andre Pereira tried to loft a kick that could be headed into the goal, but the kick went long over the heads of everyone.
Manware had another chances as he streaked down the left side midway through the second half to take a pass from Sean Black, but they couldn’t connect on the pass.
“We need to be better in the attacking third,” Branco said. “We didn’t have the ability to create something. We ran into a dead end.”
Notre Dame had its best chance of the entire night with 1:33 left to play when Louis Flood had a direct kick opportunity from about 45 yards out. His kick sailed through traffic 10 yards in front of the goal, but Cheshire goalkeeper Nate Pisani came out and grabbed the ball before any Green Knights’ player could get a foot on it.
“We put a lot of work into getting organized defensively and our philosophy is that we may not win games, but we’re not going to lose them,” Branco said.
Tyle Brown-Ortiz stopped four shots for Notre Dame, which is now 3-4-5 this fall.
Pisani recorded three saves for Cheshire (5-1-4).
“That’s five results in a row (two wins and three ties) after a bad start,” Raffone said. “At this time we need results, whether they are ties or winning.”
Notre Dame-West Haven 0, Cheshire 0
Notre Dame-WH 0 0 — 0
Cheshire 0 0 — 0
Shots—NDWH: 3; CH: 8;
Saves—NDWH: Tyler Brown-Ortiz 4; CH: Nate Pisani 3;
Records—Notre Dame-West Haven 3-4-5; Cheshire 5-1