GIRLS SOCCER: Roll, Spartans! Fifth straight shutout pushes Maloney to 7-1-1

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MERIDEN — Maloney girls soccer continued its strong season with its fifth straight win and fifth straight shutout in a 2-0 blanking of Rocky Hill in a CCC crossover contest under the lights of Falcon Field on Wednesday night.

The dynamic duo of Molly Marcuss and Mackenzie McCormack provided the goals for the Spartans, as they out-shot the Terriers 21-6 and improved to 7-1-1.

Maloney held a 1-0 lead at the half behind Marcuss’ goal in the seventh minute. It was set up by McCormack.

The Spartans out-shot the Terriers 9-3 in the first half, but Rocky Hill keeper Emelia Pacheco-Hager kept the visitors in the game.

“We knew we had to come in strong and not let down,” Marcuss said. “Our offense played really well; we just have to finish our shots. We could have had a bunch of goals tonight. We just need to finish.”

McCormack added a goal in the second half to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute. She was assisted by Michaela Wrinn.

“Even though we already scored it felt like the start of another attack,” McCormack said. “We were kind of losing it, then we got it back together. We could have finished on a lot more opportunities, but we are connecting really well as a team. We are going to keep it going.”

McCormack took three shots in the first half for the Spartans. Carlin Jachym also had a shot in the 18th minute. Macy Figlewski took six corner kicks for the Spartans in the opening half that went uncashed.

Rocky Hill had three shots on goal in the first half. All stemmed off of set pieces by Sarah Butler, who had free kicks from 20 yards in the sixth minute and from 25 yards one minute later. Both were both handled by Maloney goalie Cassidy Colacicco on one bounce.

Colacicco’s best save of the first half came in the 38th minute. Butler sent a free kick from 35 yards into the box and onto the foot of Kaitlyn Pereau. Her point blank shot was handled cleanly by Colacicco as the Spartans kept a 1-0 lead at the half.

In the second half, McCormack unloaded a laser in the 48th minute that was handled by Pacheco-Hager.

Three minutes later, Marcuss charged at the net with two defenders on her hip and her shot was handled by the Rocky Hill keeper.

Pereau had a shot in the 60th minute off a rare Maloney miscue in the defensive backfield. Pereau’s laser hit the crossbar and went straight down to the ground and then spit out. Colacicco, in the midst of her fifth straight shutout in net, jumped on the loose ball.

Bria Benigni added a shot for the Spartans in the 64th minute that Pacheco-Hager (9 saves) stoned.

After several shots, McCormack finally cashed in 53rd minute from close range as the Spartans went up 2-0.

“Both goals were a team effort,” Maloney coach Eoin McClure said. “We had a lot of shots tonight. The girls are working really hard and we came away with a good win tonight.”

Rocky Hill fell to 3-4-2 with the defeat. Maloney has now outscored opponents 28-0 in the current winning streak.

Maloney seven corner kicks and the Terriers had none in the game.

“Rocky Hill played a great game against us,” McClure said. “They came in with a great game plan and their goalkeeper was phenomenal. We came away with a good win against a very good team.”

McClure said center-defender Lily Marcuss controlled the defense.

“It could have easily been a 2-2 game and we came in with a great defense from all of our defenders,” McClure said. “We’re pretty deep. When we go in with subs, our level of play doesn’t drop off. We also have five or six girls that can score at any time.

“The girls are working so hard in practice and it shows in the games. We are focusing on each game as it comes and one half at a time.”

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