By Gabbi Riggi
HAMDEN -- The winds blustered through the pine groves as the Storm of St. Luke’s School rolled in to Hamden. But the gusts would prove too strong as Hamden Hall fell to St. Luke’s, 2-0, on Thursday afternoon.
“St. Luke’s is a very good team, so I think for us being able to compete with them and battle with them is good, good for our confidence,” said Hamden Hall Country Day School head coach Christine Huber.
But the Hornets (4-6-1, 0-4-1 FAA) held on strong against the offensively potent Storm (9-2-0, 6-1-0 FAA), which posted 15 goals in the previous six Fairchester Athletic Association contests this fall.
The Hornets held the Storm, which posted only seven shots all game, scoreless in the first half.
Five minutes into the half, Hamden Hall got its best chance of the afternoon off of a corner kick play that ricocheted high off of the crossbar. Even with six shots on goal, forcing five saves, the Hornets struggled to convert its opportunities.
“We also didn’t shoot a lot. I thought we should have challenged the keeper more,” Huber said.
“We probably should have had more shots from distance—30, 35 yards… We keep on working on sending balls over top and through balls towards the corner flag.”
It wasn’t until the midway point of the second half that the Storm pushed past the Hornets and converted at the 61-minute mark off a deflection and another just three minutes later on a hard 20-yard kick in front of the box that sailed just past the fingertips of Miranda Iannone in net.
For Huber and her Hamden Hall squad, the catalyst in formation wasn’t in transition between the halves, but a reactionary measure.
“We didn’t change our game plan between the first and second half, we changed the game plan once we went down a goal,” Huber said.“Then we started moving, changing our formation to have more forwards up front to try and equalize it.”
The switched moved three forwards up to add more players through the midfield to have numbers against the defense.
For Huber, the strong forward presence paired with the good work in net is something she takes pride in against the second best team in the conference. It is also something she anticipates carrying on through the end of the year.
“St. Luke’s is a very good team, so I think for us being able to compete with them and battle with them is good, good for our confidence,” Huber said.
“We still have three more conference games that are not on the top end, like St. Luke’s is, so I’m hoping we come and play like we did today to the other conference teams.”
Hamden Hall has three FAA games remaining on the schedule, where the workload doesn’t get any easier. The next match is at third-place Greens Farms Academy, then hosting the Williams School before closing out the season against last-place King.
While the path to the postseason may be uncertain for the Hornets, a winless squad that sits eighth of nine teams, the drive to finish the season higher in the conference is palpable.
“I’m hoping that we just keep building off of it, and get better these last two weeks,” Huber said. “We’re aiming to get into New Englands, so a lot depends on what we do these last four games.”
Students of Quinnipiac University's JRN361 course covered local high school sports competitions in Fall '15. Their work is showcased here.
Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)