MILFORD — Postseason is all about defense. For both the Guilford and Jonathan Law girls soccer teams, both are ready as the conference and state tournaments approach.
Playing close to the vest for most of the game, Guilford and Law played to a scoreless draw in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest on Monday. The draw was the second time this season the two teams battled without either team scoring.
“I think the first half was definitely a midfield battle with the two teams trying to get behind the defense,” Law coach J.D. Rhode said. “They did just a little bit better of a job than we did. I thought we started to connect a little more in the second half. They got the run of play for a good for five or six minutes, then we got our second wind.”
For both teams, the draw was the 11th combined for the two teams as Guilford moved to 5-5-6, and Law saw its record move to 5-5-5.
“I thought tonight was a fair result for the two teams,” Guilford coach Scott McMahon said. “We have done that (draw) a lot this year. I know we are a solid team, but we need to finish to get a better result. We have to make the right final decision. We are not giving up a lot of goals, but we are not scoring a lot either. We have the six ties, and only five losses, but we also have only five wins.”
After a first half which saw Guilford have the better of the play, Law had its opportunities in the second half in the final 21 minutes.
A blast by senior Grace Wootton was turned aside by Guilford goalkeeper Claire Mackenzie (7 saves), before another hard shot by Ciana Lopes from 30 yards out went just wide with 14 minutes,10 seconds remaining. Samara Thacker had her shot blocked in front less than a minute later, before Law had a pair of corner kicks in the final 3:25 of the contest.
Law did not get a shot off on the first attempt, but Shelby Green’s second corner found senior Jocelyn Wirth who ripped a shot wide.
“I think this was one of our better games all year in terms of offense and defense attack-wise,” Rhode said. “Guilford has been on a tear lately with wins to win the division. The girls did a lot of great things today. It was a really good game for us.”
Guilford had its share of scoring chances in the second half as well, but Law goalkeeper Jillian Hall (11 saves) kept the Indians off the scoreboard.
Players of the Game
Claire Mackenzie (Guilford) and Jillian Hall (Law) — The goalkeepers for both teams came up big on several occasions throughout the contest to preserve the draw for their respective teams.
“We will see some tough teams in the league (SCC) tournament. We will see Shelton, who we know is a good team. We will get a few days to prepare for them. Obviously, they are going to be a really good test for us.”
— Guilford coach Scott McMahon
Guilford 0, Jonathan Law 0
Guilford (5-5-0) 0 0 — 0
Law (5-5-0) 0 0 — 0
Shots: Guilford 11, Jonathan Law 9