WEST HAVEN — Fairfield Prep boys soccer coach Ryan Lyddy expected some growing pains this year for a team that added some new players into the mix. Through four games, Lyddy may be seeing his club grow up more quickly than expected.
Behind a dominant defensive effort, and three goals and an assist from Axel Whamond, the Jesuits cruised by West Haven 5-0 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Hammonasset Division contest at Ken Strong Stadium Wednesday evening.
“The defensive effort was nice,” Lyddy said. “We have been working on our defense quite a bit. We want to play good, solid defense. We want everyone to understand where they are on the field.”
The Jesuits (3-1) used that defensive effort to put the game away early as they scored twice in the first half and did not allow a West Haven shot over those first 40 minutes.
That combination was more than enough as Fairfield Prep took a 2-0 lead just 19 minutes into the contest. Whamond set up Luke Finnegan for a 1-0 advantage and Matthew Chiota increased the margin.
“They are a well-disciplined team,” West Haven coach Chris Cap said. “They beat us to every ball. They did not allow us any room out there.”
Whamond then took over in the second half, scoring all three Fairfield Prep goals. After he was denied one minute into the second half by West Haven goalkeeper Saul Novoa, Whamond needed just three minutes to get on the scoreboard.
Moving in and out of traffic, Whamond gave one last deke to beat Novoa 4:07 into the second half for a 3-0 advantage. Two more goals by Whamond in a span of 1:24 iced the contest.
John Meszaros tipped the ball over to Whamond, who tapped the ball neatly past Novoa for a 4-0 advantage. Whamond’s final tally came with 23:52 to go in the contest as he ripped a shot off an angle into an empty net from 10 yards out.
“The defense did a great job tonight,” Whamond said. “If I need to put the ball in the goal for our team, I will find a way. I will do whatever the team needs.”
Looking for a new identity this year with the graduation of recent stars such as former three-time Register Area MVP Salah Oumorou, Abdoul Aremu and others, West Haven (0-3-1) was stifled throughout the contest and did not pick up its first shot until 4:45 had passed in the second half when Ty Reeves was stopped in front from 20 yards out.
“We have to find our way,” Cap said. “We are trying different formations. We need to find what works for us. We can’t win playing the long ball. We need quick touches. The goals we have allowed this year have been due to mistakes we made. If we fix those mental and physical mistakes, we will be fine.”
Novoa made seven saves for West Haven.