Missed Opportunities end Weston's season in 2nd round of Class M


Winning games with no goals is impossible. The 20th-seeded Weston girls soccer team wasn't able to put it in the net on Wednesday and lost 1-0 at fourth-seeded Valley Regional. Valley Regional raised its record to 14-1-3 and host fifth-seeded Nonnewaug (14-1-3) today at 2 p.m. Weston ended its season at 9-7-3.

"I told the girls at halftime that if we lost, it's because we gave the game away," said Lady Trojan coach Joanna Hallac. "We had chances but we didn't execute and finish and gave the ball away. We stood and watched [them when we should have been aggressive and attacked]. You can't do the things we've been doing and give the game away."

The Lady Warriors ended the game with a 10-8 shots advantage and the teams were even in corner kicks at 2-2.

Weston junior Callie Bowie had three shots on net and had an earlier one that she fired over the net. Bowie was stopped by sophomore Sydney Kleiman (four saves) from point blank range. Senior Mackie Young won balls in the midfield and fired a shot in the 18-yard box that Kleiman snagged.

Senior Emma Castelli attacked for Valley Regional and kicked a shot that sailed over the net and field goal posts. Castelli kept on pushing but the Lady Trojans played stellar defense for the most part with senior captain Sam Druks, classmates Emily Ando and Julia McDonald and freshman Alex Fontaine broke up many plays.

Sophomores Allison Gates and Chelsea Cook along with junior Meri Kelly complemented Castelli on the attack and they fired a few shots on net, but Weston junior goalie Hannah Hutchins (five saves) was aggressive in net and made a couple of diving stops. Kelly fired a shot that went over the net. Hutchins left an open net after making a save but the Lady Warriors didn't capitalize because Druks and Fontaine converged and cleared it.

Senior Kathryn Bacher won balls in the midfield for the Lady Trojans and fired a shot that Kleman stopped. Weston had give-and-gos to the net with senior Nikki Pressman, sophomore Rachel Lugossy and freshmen Grace Mattison and Anna Dickstein but Valley Regional constantly contained them.

With 14:50 left in regulation, Kelly tapped it to Cook, who crossed it to Gates and Gates slid it past Hutchins from a right wing angle to give the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead.

Mattison picked up a loose ball and launched a shot from the top of the box that Kleiman caught to preserve her shutout and moreover, Valley Regional's lead.

"It was a really tough loss," said Druks. "We couldn't execute and had a lot of missed passes."

Not having five key players in the lineup also hurt the Lady Trojans. Senior captains Meg Sanborn and Jane Zimmerman, classmate forwards Sam Seath and Natalie Odierna and freshman midfielder Morgan Moubayed were out because of injuries.

"We played without them before and you can't use it as an excuse," said Druks.

Despite the loss, Weston is pleased with the season. Sanborn was a First Team All-SWC selection, Bowie, McDonald and Mattison were All-Patriot Division and Young was All-SWC Honorable Mention. One thing the Lady Trojans are proud of is making the second round of States for the first time since 2001, beating a Catholic school on the road in the first round to do so. They also pushed top-seeded SWC runnerup Lauralton Hall to the limit in the SWC quarterfinals before succumbing on penalty kicks.

"Our goal was to get past the first round of States and we were successful," said Hallac.

Druks said, "I think we faced a lot of adversity but overcame it. We have a lot to be proud of and it was a successful season."