FALLS VILLAGE — Christina Orsini’s Litchfield girls soccer record 65th career goal ended Housatonic’s unbeaten hopes in a 1-0 game at Housatonic High School Monday afternoon.
The win for the 8-2-1 Cowgirls traded heartbreaks from Litchfield’s come-from-behind win over the 8-1 Mountaineers at Plum Hill Field a month ago.
“You just beat the last unbeaten (untied) Class S team in the state,” Cowgirl coach Mike Wilson told his team, who cleaned up its only other season loss with a 1-1 tie at second-place Nonnewaug last Friday.
“Now you know you can beat a team like this,” Wilson said. “Savor the moment.”
For the Mountaineers, whose star, Sydney Segalla had a clear scoring chance reversed by a foul call two minutes from the end of the game, the moment was at least as bitter as it was sweet for the Cowgirls.
“(Housatonic girls soccer) has never had an undefeated season. That’s what we were shooting for,” said Coach Steve Dodge. “But give them credit; they played well.”
Orsini’s goal won the game, but its timing — just eight minutes into the match — was crucial.
“We were underdogs coming in. We wanted to block them out,” said senior defender Fran Luzzi, equally crucial in her job of marking Segalla the entire game.
For seven minutes, Housatonic dominated possession, including three corner kicks in the first five, but got no shots.
Then Litcfield launched its first real counterattack up the right side of the field. Allie Davenport crossed a pass to Orsini in the penalty box and the school record was in the net.
Still, the Mountaineers dominated the half.
Segalla, a sophomore, charged into the box on another Mountaineer corner in the 17th minute; the ball was too high to connect. Two minutes later, her 20-yard shot banged off the Cowgirl crossbar. Twenty-two minutes in, another hard Segalla shot caromed off Litchfield goalkeeper Molly Lennon; the rebound shot sailed harmlessly out of bounds.
A minute from the half, Segalla, in traffic, sent one more shot to Lennon.
Housy’s first-half frustrations buoyed the Cowgirls.
“We realized we had a chance to win,” said Luzzi, gluing herself to Segalla in the second half.
“We found out we could hang with them,” said Orsini, often dropping back to help on defense.
The result was a tidal reverse on. For most of the second half, the Cowgirls dominated the ball — and the shots.
Segalla’s first-half chances turned to none in the second half until the final moments.
“I’ve been doing this for four years with Housatonic,” said Luzzi. “We know they always have a star they like to run their plays through. I had Sydney’s sister Lauren before her.”
“We respect (Sydney),” said Coach Wilson. “She’s one of the best players in the state.”
But Litchfield unveiled another budding star of its own in the second half for the final piece of the winning mix.
Freshman defender Emily Migliorisi turned back multiple Mountaineer charges at midfield, time after time sending the Cowgirls back on offense.
“She knows how to play,” said Wilson.
“Age doesn’t make any difference,” beamed Luzzi.
Two minutes from the end of the game, a referee’s whistle what might have been the final difference in the game.
Segalla finally broke free from Luzzi, chasing a pass through the only defender between her and Lennon. The referee saw it as a foul, turning the ball back to Litchfield for its final few moments to savor.