WALLINGFORD —Round 1 of the Sheehan-Lyman Hall soccer doubleheader went to the Titans.
The visitors invaded a rainy Fitzgerald Field and swept the Trojans on Wednesday night. The Sheehan boys won the opener 2-0 and the girls prevailed 5-0 in nightcap behind a pair of goals from Amy Casorla and Olivia Dubuc.
In the opener, Yahya Kardad and Micah Lee scored second-half goals to lift the Sheehan boys to a SCC Oronoque divisional win.
Kardad, a sophomore, scored in the 59th minute after the Trojans were trying to clear the ball out after a Sheehan attack. However, LH’s clearing attempt went right to Kardad, who slammed it in for an unassisted goal.
The visitors tacked on insurance with 40 seconds left on the clock. Matthew Marquis unloaded on a free kick from 40 yards away. Lee was waiting near the left post and knocked it in to give the Titans the final 2-0 advantage.
“It was a great match,” Sheehan coach Lou Rodriguez said. “When we play Lyman Hall, we have to be prepared. We do have some experienced players this year. We had some downs this year, but we’ve gotten back up.
“Lyman Hall is a tough, physical team,” Rodriguez added. “They always have a great game plan and Tyler Jasinski, my main center-back, had a great game and my keeper, Gabe Wells, did an outstanding job. But, overall, anyone can win these games.”
The contest was dominated by defense and there were few shots taking on goal. Wells made three saves in the shutout. His counterpart, LH sophomore Jack Roberts, also made three saves.
The Sheehan goals came after the rivals played a scoreless first half. Sheehan (4-4-1, 2-2 Oronoque) did muster three corner kicks in the opening 40 minutes. Their best chance came off of a free kick from 23 yards by Jasinski. He booted it on target. The shot was deflected and then collected by Roberts.
The Trojans (2-6, 1-3 Oronoque) had just two main chances to score in the first 40 minutes. Jack Vegliante’s shot went just left of the post in the seventh minute. In the 18th minute, Mauricio Zeas Cabrera had LH’s best look from close range, but his effort was stoned by Wells.
Otherwise, the opening 40 minutes were controlled by the defense and midfielders, and that trend carried over into the second half as both teams had limited shots on goal.
“It was a tough match,” Jasinski said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight. With the emotions and the rain, we knew it was going to come down to who wanted it more and we wanted it more in the second half. Yahya put in a great goal to get us momentum, and me and my other central defender Aiden [Moriarty] did a good job and held them down. We only allowed two or three shots tonight and our goalie made an amazing save.”
Lyman Hall coach Arnie Jandreau said his team played hard, but was unlucky on the first goal they surrendered.
“I thought we played really well,” Jandreau said. “I know they are a good team, but that was an unlucky goal for us. We have young players. I think we should have turned it to the outside instead of inside. It was just unlucky. Their player happened to be right there and put it in.
“We are just so young,” Jandreau added. “It’s been like this all season. We got blown out by Xavier, but every game has been like this. We’re young. We are only starting two seniors and it’s tough. I think we played well and we will see what happens next game.”
In the girls game, Dubuc broke the ice in the 16th minute to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. The goal was set up by Samantha Barone, who dribbled the ball to the right corner and centered it to Dubuc, who knocked it into the back of the net.
In the 20th minute, Lyman Hall’s Ally Carbutti took a close-range shot at Sheehan keeper Anna Medici, who made the save. This was the lone shot on goal for the Trojans in the first half.
Sheehan doubled its lead with 1:24 showing on the clock in the first half. It was sophomore Patrice Mansfield who scored from 35 yards on a free kick. The ball took a tricky bounce on Lyman Hall keeper Marissa Newman and ended up in the back of the net.
The score gave the Titans a 2-0 lead at the half.
Sheehan peppered the Lyman Hall net with three shots in the first three minutes of the second half. All were turned away by Newman. The LH keeper made six saves in the first 15 minutes of the season half, but eventually Sheehan’s offensive attack broke through.
In the 55th minute, Casorla scored for Sheehan inside the left post. She was set up by Barone, who delivered on her second assist of the contest.
Three minutes later, Dubuc broke free again and connected on an unassisted goal after striding down the right sidelinet. Her second of the game gave the Titans a 4-0 lead. Dubuc now has 10 goals on the season.
“This was a big game, so it was just exciting to have everyone from the team to contribute,” Dubuc said.
Casorla, who now has three goals on the season, scored unassisted in the 74th minute as the Titans went up 5-0.
“It felt good to help us win,” Casorla said. “I just wanted to do my part.”
Lyman Hall’s best chance to score in the second half was in the opening minutes. aitlyn Giannini took a free kick just outside of the box that was handled by Medici.
With the win, Sheehan improves to 6-2-1 overall and 3-1 in the SCC Hammonasset.
“Lyman Hall defended well in the first half and we had to make some adjustments in the second half in order to create some opportunities,” Sheehan coach Rob Huelsman said. “This is great for the town. A lot of people come together to watch these games.”
Lyman Hall dropped to 2-5-1 overall and 0-3 in the division. LH coach Tony Crane said the team has gotten bit with the injury bug.
“We are like a M.A.S.H. unit out here,” Crane said. “There were stints in the game where we played well. Sheehan has a good team. Dubuc is a really good player and is tough to stop, although [LH defender] Jordan Smith did a nice job on her for most of the game.
“Sheehan has a big bench and we don’t. We’re not there yet, but in two more years we will be. I start three freshmen and four sophomores. We’re young. We will get there. It’s just not happening right now.”