STAMFORD — One of the intangibles of Chloe Ortolano’s soccer career is that she always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
That’s exactly where she was Tuesday when Brien McMahon girls soccer teammate Peyton McNamara delivered a corner kick to the far post during their FCIAC contest against Trinity Catholic at Gaglio Field.
Off that corner, Ortolano then did what nobody in the history of Brien McMahon soccer has ever done better.
She scored her school-record 38th career goal to lead the Senators to a 3-0 win, in a game that was called at halftime due to incoming thunderstorms.
“It’s a big deal for me,” Ortolano said. “I’ve always been working since I was younger, playing this sport and when I found out I was close to the record it made me work even harder and it pushed me. It’s a great accomplishment.”
Ortolano’s 38th goal broke the mark set in 2004 by Kiki Koroshetz, the youngest daughter of former McMahon principal Suzanne Koroshetz.
It is also believed to be a city record, as well.
McMahon coach Angelo Tsingerliotis has had Ortolano on his team for the past three seasons, which have seen the Senators reach unprecedented heights — including two straight state tournament appearances and last year’s FCIAC playoff spot.
“She’s the type of player every coach would love to have in their program,” Tsingerliotis said. “She works hard on and off the field. She’s a great team leader. She gives it everything she’s got, day in and day out.”
Ortolano’s milestone goal came in typical fashion.
McNamara’s corner kick found its way to Ortolano’s head.
She initially shot the header on goal, but the ball rebounded off Trinity’s goalkeeper and rolled back toward her.
From there, Ortolano booted it home to stand alone on top of McMahon’s record books.
“Chloe always finds herself in good position,” Tsingerliotis said. “It’s a proud moment any time you can become the top goal scorer in any sport in a school’s history. It shows how hard she has worked.”
In addition to scoring from the center-mid spot, Ortolano also dishes out passes with the best of them.
“Chloe, to me, is a prototypical center mid,” Tsingerliotis said. “She can feed anybody at any time. She always works hard to beat her defender and when she does beat them, she’ll find a way to score.”
Ortolano couldn’t answer which she liked better: setting up teammates for a goal or scoring one herself.
“Both, honestly,” she said. “I love setting up my teammates and having them score. It’s a great feeling for both of us. But it’s a great feeling to score, too. It’s a great feeling for everybody. You work as a team to get that goal. It’s not just that one person that scores.”
One player who might break Ortolano’s mark next season is McNamara, a junior striker.
“I honestly don’t know how many goals she has, but if she does get it, I’ll be proud of her,” Ortolano said. “She’s a great teammate and one of my closest friends. I just love her.”
Ortolano grew up playing multiple sports, including lacrosse, but soccer is the one that connected with her.
She played for the Connecticut Football Club and her talents will be taking her to Providence College next fall, where she becomes the third Division I player from McMahon in the past two seasons.
“When I visited I instantly fell in love with the school,” Ortolano said. “The size, the atmosphere, everything. It just connected with me, the soccer and the academics.”
With McMahon improving to 5-2-2 on the season, Ortolano has at least seven more regular-season games and then some postseason contests to add to her record.
Her record — no matter how long it stands — along with the annual improvement of the Brien McMahon girls program has certainly cemented Ortolano’s place in her home city’s sports history.
“She’s definitely one of the big parts of our team and our program,” Tsingerliotis said.