WOODBRIDGE >> Score round one of the top girls’ soccer rivalry in arguably the best division in the Southern Connecticut Conference to Amity in dominating fashion.
The Spartans scored less than 90 seconds into the second half, then scored four more times to hand Cheshire a 5-0 loss at home in SCC Housatonic Division action.
“We won every 50-50 ball. We could’ve had two or three more (goals),” Amity coach Owen Quigley said. “It was a very, very good performance. We beat a very good team. I was very, very pleased with our work ethic.”
Said senior co-captain Dakota Kelly: “I’m not surprised because this year, we have come together as a team. In past years, the feeling of team wasn’t really always there. We really work for each other, we care about each other and we play for each other and that’s how we are successful.”
Cassie Giza, also a senior co-captain, recorded a hat trick for the Spartans (4-1-1, 2-0) who took over first place and remain the only unbeaten team in division play.
“I’ve never had one (a hat trick) in high school before,” Giza said. “After the first goal, we gained more confidence.”
It’s the second straight year Cheshire allowed five goals in a game. Former Hamden standout Rachel Ugolik had all five by herself against the Rams.
“The 1-0 goal is the one that wins the game, period,” Cheshire coach James Luis said. “We needed to get goals, so we tried to push on … Unfortunately, they scored on some breakaways. The other four goals, I put on myself because of the way I was trying to press and push the game.”
Cheshire (4-2, 2-1) kept attempting to pressure Amity’s defense to try and get the equalizer following Giza’s first goal. That never happened, and left the Rams’ defense susceptible to quick counters.
Freshman midfielder Jacquelyn Smith scored easily after Cheshire goalkeeper Zoe Riccio (also a freshman) came out to try to thwart the offensive attack.
Then Giza scored the next two and the rout was on.
Lost in the offensive fireworks was Amity’s performance on defense. Not only did the Spartans pitch a shutout, they didn’t allow a single shot by the Rams in the second half until there was 7:10 left in the game.
Goalkeeper Zoie Reed needed to make just three saves for Amity.
“There were two major things I told the players,” Luis said. “They got out-toughed in terms of winning the ball. The referees let them play and that’s fine, but we kind of folded in terms of the challenging and the physicality of the match. The second thing was they didn’t take instruction well at halftime, what I was asking them to do to try and get us to goal.”
Cheshire hosts the rematch on Oct. 11.