By Laynie Barrantine
NORTH HAVEN -- The North Haven High School girls soccer team takes the term teamwork to new heights and, after dealing with multiple losses throughout the season, the team has found that no loss can tear them apart.
Despite a 1-11-1 record before the start of tonight’s Senior Game, the Indians defeated Wilbur Cross/Hillhouse/Career, 3-1.
North Haven senior co-captains Christina Holle and Morgan Heyl believe the team won because it was Senior Night. Their coach, Brittany Collard, agreed.
“The general consensus was really embraced around the seniors,” Collard said. “The girls just really putting their hearts out on the line for the seniors really is what made the difference in this game compared to other games this year.”
The Indians have a young team this season made up of mostly freshmen. Last year, the team lost 12 seniors, about 80 percent of its starting lineup.
Both Holle and Heyl believe it took time for the freshmen to get used to playing against older girls on a varsity level—something they did not see as much of last year.
But despite having a better record last season, the Indians believe they are a better overall team this season.
“Although last year we had a better record, I think this year overall we have played generally better than last year,” Collard said. “I think that it was just an overall team effort every single game. And then they come in the next day, we lose, they are acting like they’re 10 and zero.”
“We’re hard workers and we’re always thinking ahead,” she said. “We never dwell on the faults, which is awesome.”
“Many coaches have come up to our coach this year and have asked if our team has had any issues because of the season were having,” Holle said. “She proudly says no because no matter how bad the loss is, we always are willing to go into practice the next day and work even harder than the day before.”
Early in the first half, it was evident the Indians did not dwell on the faults. The Indians’ offense maintained control of the ball and took numerous shots. North Haven’s penchant for teamwork was shown with lots of passing and watching for other players.
Its defense did its part, as well. Senior goalkeeper Angela Sanzari made multiple saves throughout the half.
Toward the end of the first half, the Indians had an opportunity to score and they took it.
Junior Kayla Rodriguez scored the first goal of the game. However, North Haven did not have much time to celebrate as Wilbur Cross/Hillhouse/Career scored on a penalty shot.
Continuing to not dwell on its faults, North Haven received another opportunity to score. Heyl kicked the ball right past Wilbur Cross/Hillhouse/Career goalkeeper’s hands, making the score 2-1.
Toward the end of the game, Rodriguez took four shots, but was blocked each time. Junior Natalie Acquarulo scored in the last minutes to make the score 3-1.
Holle said, “Morgan and I are very proud of the girls for not giving up hope, or getting down on each other. Everything we go through, we do it as a team and that's the most important part.”
Students in Quinnipiac University's JRN361: Sports Reporting course cover local high school sports competitions. Their work is showcased here.
Banner photo courtesy
Dana Jensen/The Day (2003)