Eventually, the Hand girls soccer team was going to score a goal. It just took a little longer than expected.
The first three games this season resulted in scoreless ties. Then the Tigers broke through in game No. 4 against Lyman Hall. Including that game against the Trojans, Hand has won eight of its last nine.
“In those first three games we had some great scoring opportunities,” Hand coach Dave Dikranian said. “At least we were generating chances, which was the main thing.”
In its last four games, Hand has outscored its opposition 18-1. At 8-1-3, the Tigers are closing in on double-digit victories with what Dikranian said is a tougher schedule than last year.
Hand moved into the SCC Quinnipiac Division with Lauralton Hall as its chief competition. The Tigers still play Guilford twice a season, along with both Mercy and Amity.
Taylor Scully is the Tigers’ top offensive threat, coming off a four-goal performance against Lyman Hall last week. She has gotten help from Kayla Howard, Sophie Cohen and Sam Mayhew, who also plays defense for the Tigers.
Riley Kokoruda has been one of the team’s center-midfielders. “We ask her to win the ball in the midfield and then start our (offensive) attack,” Dikranian said. “Riley’s natural position is center back. That shows you her versatility. You ask her to play right back or outside mid and she can do it that. She’s a reliable, strong, good player who is the identity of the team.”
Hand had a void at goalkeeper left after former Register All-Area performer Amy Boswell graduated. Lily Geshwind stepped into that void after a year off from playing soccer. She put together the four straight shutouts to start the season and has allowed just five goals.
“She been the best keeper in the league and it’s not just me saying it,” Dikranian said. “Other coaches have been very complimentary with the way she has played. She’s an all-stage candidate, she’s been that good.”
The next two weeks will determine Hand’s seeding in the SCC tournament. The top seed in the eight team tournament, which begins Oct. 29, is very much up for grabs.
“I think it’s a matter of staying disciplined, making smart decisions and really being hungry in the last stretch going into the SCC tournament and the state tournament,” Dikranian said. “If we stay disciplined and fix some things, we could be very dangerous.”