WEST HAVEN >>The winner of Monday’s SCC Quinnipiac Division showdown between West Haven and host Notre Dame-West Haven would remain in the race for the division title.
Salah Oumorou made certain it was West Haven that emerged victorious. His two first-half goals was all the Westies needed as they went on to beat Notre Dame 3-0 at Veterans Stadium.
“Coach (Pete Hamasian) told us we had to win this game and to give everything we have,” Oumorou said.
West Haven (10-2, 5-2) remains just one half-game behind Fairfield Prep (7-5-2, 5-1-1) in the division race after Prep won at Hamden Monday. Prep can clinch the title with a win at defending champ Xavier Friday – or if West Haven loses or ties at Xavier on Wednesday.
“We knew this was a must-win game,” said first-year coach Pete Hamasian. “It was important for us to bounce back after the poor Prep performance (7-1 loss last Thursday), to get back to our core basics, which is hard work, discipline and defense. So to get a shutout was huge for the team.”
Even if the Westies fall short of the division crown, they have virtually locked up a bid to the SCC tournament and will have at least one home game in the Class LL state tournament.
Oumorou, a sophomore and a native of West Africa, was shut out in the first game between the two city rivals, a 1-0 Notre Dame win. It took only 15 minutes for him to get loose against Notre Dame this time.
Off an assist from Blaise Haba, Oumorou roped a liner from the far right side to the opposite corner of the goal. Notre Dame goalkeeper Tyler Brown-Ortiz, who was positioned on the near post, never had a chance.
He is truly a first-class player,” Hamasian said about Oumorou. “When you have somebody who can finish like that, there’s nothing a team can really do defensively.”
Oumorou’s second goal 11 minutes later was almost identical. The differences were Oumorou was a little closer to the net and Kevin Ruiz had the assist. That gives Oumorou 16 goals this season.
“The defender thought I was going to pass it. But I didn’t pass it,” Oumorou said.
Those happened to be the first two shots of the game for the Westies.
“In the first game, we created a ton of opportunities and we thought we should’ve had a few goals,” Hamasian said. “To be shut out was a little disappointing.”
Ulises Hernandez had West Haven’s final goal 6 minutes into the second half with a header off of Selim Turkmen’s corner kick.
“This is a rivalry. It’s hard to beat them twice and they were ready,” Notre Dame coach Rudy Raffone said. “They were definitely ready. I thought we were ready. … They outplayed us the first time and we won and now they outplayed us and they won, so they really outplayed us twice.”
Notre Dame (6-3-3, 2-3-2), which has lost three of its last four games, couldn’t make good on its eight shot attempts or five corner-kick opportunities.
“That kid (Oumorou) is a playmaker. Today, we didn’t have one,” Raffone said. “We had opportunities. I think our shots were easier than there’s. We had easier plays, but we had no playmaker. We need to develop a playmaker in this program.”
West Haven 3, Notre Dame-West Haven 0
(at Notre Dame)
West Haven 2 1 — 3
Notre Dame 0 0 — 0
First half—WH: Salah Oumorou (Blaise Haba) 14:16; Salah Oumorou (Kevin Ruiz) 25:47; Second half—WH: Ulises Hernandes (Selim Turkman) 46:00;
Shots—WH: 8; NDWH: 8;
Saves—WH: Dan Prendergast 3; NDWH: Tyler Brown-Ortiz 2;
Records—West Haven 10-2 (5-2 SCC Quinnipiac); Notre Dame-West Haven 6-3-3 (2-3-2)