MIDDLETOWN — There are 0-0 soccer games in which there is a winner and a loser.
This was one of them.
Branford (3-5-3) was delighted with the result and Mercy was (5-3-3) distraught with the tie in the Southern Connecticut Conference match played at Tiger Field Wednesday afternoon.
“This is very much a loss to us,” said Mercy coach Marcus Harley. “If we win this game we’re in control of the division and it should have been a win. But they wanted it more than we did; they were more hungry than we were.”
The view from the other side was a tad different.
“This was a great result,” said veteran Branford coach Jen Kohut. “It is not easy to play here and this is just the best result we’ve had here in my career.”
Branford dodged not one, but two bullets early. Twice shots by Lindsay Stevenson banged off the posts in the first half. But after that, the Tigers could manage just three more shots the rest of the way.
“Oh, we had a couple of long shots hit off the post, that’s just luck,” said Harley. “They missed a couple of chances. We’re just lucky No. 7 didn’t finish her chances.”
No. 7 is Taylor Brown and Harley was right. The Hornets had some great opportunities, two coming in the first six minutes of the second half. One shot by Brown just missed and another absolutely clear shot at the net went wide with 34:45 left to play.
“Oh, I thought for sure that was going in,” said Kohut, who fell to her knees and pounded the turf as it sailed past the net. “Mamma Mia, what a great chance. But we played very well defensively.”
Holding Mercy to just five shots was a sign of that and while keeper Nina Grabowiecki had three saves, none were difficult.
Branford had seven shots on goal and dominated the second half, taking four shots to Mercy’s two. Mercy keeper Sandra Fronc had five saves.
“We dominated them early this season,” said Harley. “They got a goal late in our 2-1 win, and this was a game that should have been a win.”
The SCC does not play overtime.
Mercy plays at West Haven in another SCC match Friday.
MERCY 0, BRANFORD 0
BRANFORD 0 0 — 0
MERCY 0 0 — 0
Shots: (B) 7, (N) 5.
Saves: (B) Nina Grabowski 3, (M) Sandra Fronc 5.
Records: Branford 3-5-3, Mercy 5-3-3.