MILFORD – Winless in its last six games, the Lauralton Hall soccer team needed a spark to get out of a midseason funk.
Sophomore Molly Rotondo and junior Caroline Monahan came through to provide it.
Behind four goals and an assist from Monahan, and one goal and three assists from Rotondo, the Crusaders easily defeated Lyman Hall 6-1 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division contest in Milford Tuesday afternoon.
“We have really been working hard,” Monahan said. “We have been in a slump. When you lose in soccer, it makes you appreciate the winning. We have been working hard on and off the field.”
That hard work paid off quickly for the Crusaders as they scored four times in the first half, with Rotondo and Monahan at the center of three of the goals.
Mounting early pressure, Lauralton finally got on the scoreboard 16 minutes, 11 seconds into the game when Rotondo sent Monahan in all alone, which would become a pattern the rest of the game. Monahan deked Lyman Hall goalkeeper Aquia Providence and shoot into an open net from 20 yards out for a 1-0 lead.
The duo combined again to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead with 19:59 left in the half. During a nice give and go, Rotondo again sent Monahan in on a break and the Lauralton sniper moved to her right, before curling a shot to the top left corner.
“They are a good team,” Lyman Hall coach Tony Crane said after his team fell to 2-7-1. “They work hard and they are very organized. That number ten (Monahan) is a great player. We could not control her. She was able to do what she wanted.”
Just 1:51 later, Monahan returned the favor, sending Rotondo in on a break of her own. Rotondo deked Providence and popped in an easy goal from 25 yards out.
“This is how we should be playing every day,” Lauralton coach Nicole Andreesen said after her team improved to 4-5-2. “We need to just come together as a team. We are taking it one game at a time. Today was a good win for us. We needed this.”
The Trojans scored their only goal of the contest with 10:54 remaining in the first half as a breakaway by MacKenzie Wall was stopped by Lauralton keeper Julia Rush, but Ally Carbutti put in the rebound to get the Trojans within two goals.
Before Lyman Hall had any time to think about getting back into the contest, the Crusaders were again up by three goals. Grace Healey fed Lauren Adams in front and Adams quickly beat Providence for a 4-1 advantage.
Monahan and the Crusaders iced the game in the second half with two more goals. Rotondo picked up her third assist of the game when she again sent Monahan in alone on Providence
As she had done twice earlier, Monahan won the battle with a perfectly placed shot to the top left corner with 13:17 gone by in the second half for a 5-1 advantage.
“I had a lot of good balls to me today,” Monahan said. “My teammates did a great job. This was an important win for us. We have worked really hard as a team.”
Monahan’s fourth and final goal of the game came with 4:57 remaining. Taking a throw-in from Kerry Ullman, Monahan found the right corner for the 6-1 final.
“We need one more win to qualify for the states,” Andreesen said. “It is just taking a little longer than we thought it would.”
Rush finished with two saves in the win, while Allison Haynes came in during the second half and made one save for the Crusaders. Providence finished with 12 saves for the Trojans.
Lauralton Hall 6, Lyman Hall 1
Lyman Hall 1 0 — 1
Lauralton Hall 4 2 — 6
First half—LHA: Caroline Monahan (Molly Rotondo) ; Caroline Monahan (Molly Rotondo) ; Molly Rotondo (Caroline Monahan) ; Lauren Adams (Grace Healey) ; LH: Julia Blanchard (Kailee Puzzo) ; Second half—LHA: Caroline Monahan (Molly Rotondo) ; Caroline Monahan (Kerry Ullman) ;
Saves—LH: Aquina Providence 12; LHA: Julia Rush 3;
Records—Lyman Hall 2-7-1; Lauralton Hall 4-5-2