ENFIELD – Alex Capodicasa slotted a through-ball to set up a goal by Bella Laramee with just under three minutes remaining in regulation time to give No. 2 Enfield a 1-0 victory over No. 18 Cheshire Thursday in a second-round Class LL girls soccer match on the turf at Carl S. Angelica Memorial Field.
Enfield (14-2-1) will meet No. 7 Ridgefield in a quarterfinal Saturday. The Tigers edged 10th-seeded Southington 2-1 Thursday.
Enfield’s winning goal came just over six minutes after play had stopped for 43 minutes due to an Enfield injury.
Capodicasa received a pass from the midfield and placed it in striking distance for Laramee near the top of the box.
”There was a 50/50 ball. Delaney [Lawler] had trapped it and gave a nice pass to me,” said Capodicasa, a senior. “I settled it and saw Bella wide open.”
Some question existed as to whether the play should have been called offside, but the ruling was that a Cheshire back was in ahead of Laramee.
Cheshire was outshot 11-4 on the game and 8-1 in the second half. All three of the match’s corner kicks were earned by the Eagles. Scoring had been a year-long problem for the young Rams, who had just three goals in their last five games.
”It’s been a problem getting things on goal,” Cheshire coach James Luis said. “We’ve got a lot of young playes up top and reality is that we’re not good enough. We have to get better.”
The physical nature of the game did not benefit Cheshire. Luis felt the stoppage for the injury may have hurt the Rams and was not sure whether the scoring play was onside.
”It was hard-fought. I knew they’d be physical,” he said. “The break probably didn’t help us, regardless of what the call was at the end. You do get bad calls and like I told the girls, you’ve got to make your own luck. Mistakes happen that cost games, especially one that late. You can’t come back from that.”
Cheshire (10-5-3) had an early possession advantage at the start, but Enfield began to neutralize it as the midway point of the first half approached. Neither team had managed a shot, although a long Enfield cross toward the far post in the 15th minute prompted Rams keeper Sam Matthews (6 saves) to dive and smother.
The Rams managed two shots in the first half, both soft and easy fodder for Enfield keeper Cat Fonseca (4 saves). A free kick by Riley Pettit from midfield was headed on net by Caroline Campion in the 13th minute. Paige Perez had the other shot.
Enfield staged a rally late in the half, generating two corner kicks for Sarah Tolo. Grace Bauman hit a rocket off the first that caromed off the crossbar. Sarah Marino went into a dive to get her head on the second, but it sailed high.
Jill Klem unloaded a shot from 35 yards out in the final minute, but Fonseca was all over it.
Enfield carried its first half momentum forward and threatened at the start of the second half. Marino whirled and fired from inside the box, but the ball zipped wide left. Tolo’s bicycle kick moments later was on target, but didn’t have enough steam.
While the Rams’ defense recovered, the offense was unable to link together effectively. Their best opportunity came with just over 10 minutes left in regulation on a collaboration by two freshmen. Katelyn Welage slipped a cross to Isabelle Pellegrino, whose shot was true, but Fonseca intervened.
With 9:11 left in regulation, play was halted when Danielle Delano, verbally committed to play basketball at Central Connnecticut State University, went down with what apparently is a serious leg injury. Forty-three minutes passed before play resumed.