MADISON >> The Hand girls’ soccer team hadn’t given up more than one goal in a game all season long.
On Tuesday, Guilford scored twice inside of the game’s opening 4 minutes. Hand never recovered, suffering its first loss of the season 3-0 at the Surf Club in this SCC Hammonasset Division game.
This is Guilford’s seventh straight win after a season-opening loss to Cheshire. The last six have been shutouts.
“We had a very good first half (of the season),” Guilford coach Scott McMahon said. “We are starting to believe in ourselves. Last year, we had a lot of the same players. They had to mature, they had to learn.”
Both of Guilford’s first-half goals came off corner kicks from Julia Carr. The first goal came 56 seconds into the game as a Tiger defender deflected it into the net past Hand goalkeeper Amy Boswell.
Gabi Sejourne scored the second goal less than 3 minutes later, connecting from right in front of the net off Carr’s kick.“To have basically the same thing happen a few minutes later, it put pressure on us,” Hand coach Katie Keogh said.
“Then throw in the nerves of a Guilford game.”That forced the Tigers (4-1-3, 1-1-1) to play catch-up the rest of the way. They were only able to muster two shot attempts, none in the second half.”
The Tigers’ defense was under duress for most of the second half. Boswell made several tough saves (seven overall) to keep it a two-goal deficit. Guilford had 11 shots in the second half, 15 overall.
“Boswell has been a standout all season,” Keogh said. “(Monday) we had 17 shots (against Watertown, a 2-0 win). It’s tough to play back-to-back games and to be ready and not be tired. But to not be able to generate offense, it wears your defense down.”
With 14:32 left in the game, Guilford’s Nikki Basilicato was tripped in the goalie box. Emma Smith took the penalty kick and scored past Boswell to put the game away for the Indians (7-1, 3-0).“Right up the middle, we have a lot of experience, so we will be able to control that part,” McMahon said. “And our outside play keeps getting better a little bit at a time. You get these kind of results because of both.”