OLD LYME — As the girls soccer season approaches the midway point, teams start to really figure out if the personnel available is good enough to be successful come postseason.
When your team has won four consecutive state championships, the expectations are there regardless of how the team is faring. It comes with the territory at Old Lyme.
“Everybody is going to play us like this,” Old Lyme coach Paul Gleason said. “Our players always know another team is better than us until we beat them or they play us even.”
Old Lyme has won five of its first six, including Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Morgan at home. The Wildcats had plenty of other opportunities to cash in for more goals.
“I like good offensive coordination. I like (possessions) coming from our backfield to our midfielders to our forwards. We are having issues this year making that work.”
Last year’s senior class, led by Mya Johnson, a member of the GameTimeCT All-State team, combined to win three straight Class S state championships outright, along with a shared title in 2015.
“Those four kids (Danielle McCarthy, Britney DeRoehn, Caroline Wallace and Johnson), you can’t replace,” Gleason said. “You tell them what you wanted to do, and they would go out and do it.”
— Joe Morelli (@nhrJoeMorelli) October 2, 2019
Morgan (4-3-1) has already lost more games than all of last season, when the Huskies won the Shoreline Conference championship and advanced to the Class M state semifinals, losing to eventual champion Lewis Mills in penalty kicks.
Coach Steve Sullivan has begun to “infuse” some younger players into the rotation for the Huskies, who had 12 shot attempts and nine corner kick attempts.
“The young kids are showing a tremendous amount of energy who want to see some varsity time,” Sullivan said. “Some of the younger kids are very skilled, have got all the tools.”
All of the scoring came in the first half, all off of corner kicks. Katherine Funaro started both scoring plays for Old Lyme, first for Emily DeRoehn less than 9 minutes into the game, the other for Melissa Mauro in the 26th minute.
In between, Taylor Watt scored from in front of the net, off of Madeline Stoposki’s assist. Maura Kelly got the play started with the corner kick.
“We are yet to turn a corner. I do think it is there. I do think we have the players to do it (defend the Shoreline title),” Sullivan said.
Star of the Game
Melissa Mauro, Old Lyme: Senior scored the deciding goal in he first half off of fellow senior captain Katie Funaro’s corner kick.
“Two or three more games, some hard practices and this group will come together pretty quick.”
—Paul Gleason, Old Lyme girls soccer coach