WEST HAVEN >> West Haven coach Pete Hamasian envisioned his team being a fast-paced squad, taking the play to opponents with its skilled players. After a slow start to the season, Hamasian and the Westies may finally be on track.
Scoring 12 times in picking up its first two wins of the season, West Haven rode the offensive outburst by scoring three more times in a 3-0 victory over cross-town rival Notre Dame Monday afternoon at Veterans Field.
“The last three games, we finally found our rhythm,” Hamasian said after his team’s third straight win. “I thought today was the most possession we have had in any game. I thought it was a balanced team effort. We have been preaching an up tempo style. We want to dictate the style of play. This is exactly what we envisioned. Our first three games we were not where we wanted to be. I think it was an eye opener.”
The Westies have scored 15 goals in their last three games, all victories. Monday afternoon was no different as the Westies scored twice in the first half and added another by Salah Oumorou in the second half to post the victory.
Oumorou scored his team-leading eighth and ninth goals of the season and Blaise Haba added another.
The combination would prove to be too tough for the Green Knights.
“They are a good team,” Notre Dame coach Rudy Raffone said after his team fell to 2-2-3. “They are more skilled. We have seven freshmen and sophomores out there. They are bigger, faster and stronger. He (Hamasian) has to be happy with the way they are playing.”
West Haven wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, scoring just 5 minutes, 55 seconds into the contest for a 1-0 lead. Marcus Anyafulu found Oumorou in front and Oumorou drilled a shot past Notre Dame goalkeeper Tyler Brown-Ortiz.
Haba, who switched positions with Oumorou in the game, gave West Haven a 2-0 lead when he took a feed from Ulises Hernandez 30 yards out and drove in before scoring from 10 yards out with 21:54 left in the opening half.
“We find a lot of teams are game-planning for Salah (Oumorou) so we want to move him around and give them a different look,” Hamasian said after his team improved to 3-1-2. “Blaise Haba is another threat for us.”
Notre Dame’s best scoring opportunity in the first half came with six minutes left in the half, but a free kick by Americo Mendes sailed over the goal from 35 yards out.
The Westies dominated play in the second half, putting pressure on the Green Knights throughout.
Oumorou capitalized once again when he took a feed from Jonathan Ortiz down the left side, broke to the middle and fired a shot to the lower right corner for a 3-0 lead.
“Coach told us to focus on playing as a team,” Oumorou said. “We are a family. We play like a family. That is why we win. We know we have each other. We work hard and we just wanted to put pressure on them. We wanted to be non-stop pressure on them.”
West Haven goalkeeper Garfield Robinson made three saves in the shutout. Brown-Ortiz made 13 saves in the loss for the Green Knights.
West Haven 3, Notre Dame-West Haven 0
(at Notre Dame)
West Haven 2 1 — 3
Notre Dame-WH 0 0 — 0
First half—WH: Salah Oumorou (Marcus Anyafulu) 6:00; Blaise Haba 18:00; Second half—WH: Salah Oumorou 55:00;
Shots—WH: 22; NDWH: 3;
Saves—WH: Garfield Robinson 3; NDWH: Tyler Brown-Ortiz 12;
Records—West Haven 3-1-2; Notre Dame-West Haven 2-2-3