BRISTOL - St. Paul girls soccer had a good test against one of the stronger teams in the NVL, Naugatuck Friday.
“They’re a very good team and played really well,” Falcons keeper Nina Zwolinski said following the 2-2 tie. “I think we matched them though. They were getting a bit physical towards the end and our girls were being pushed around but we managed to stay on our feet.”
The Falcons have had an impressive season this year and a win against the Greyhounds would have been big for the St. Paul playoff picture.
“Coming out of this with a tie is better than coming out of it with a loss,” Falcons head coach Jim Husbands said. “It keeps us a lot closer in the standings and with them having games with Woodland and Watertown it still gives us a good spot.”
It looked as though the Falcons were going to walk away with that big win as they held a 2-0 advantage at the half. But it was just one minute in the game that cost St. Paul the win.
With Zwolinski playing a strong game and the defense in front of her making it hard for the Naugatuck to get good angles on its shots, 10 minutes into the second half that all changed.
The Greyhounds got two good looks at goal and both of the chances were capitalized on as Emma Sonski and Hailey Boulanger put their shots over the head of Zwolinski and into the St. Paul net.
“I’m glad we didn’t put our heads down after the two goals,” St. Paul’s Addison Davis said. “I think we played pretty well overall.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Falcons are without Julia Dess for the season due to a broken foot and that will be a storyline to watch going forward in the season and with the playoffs as Dess served as the primary playmaker for the St. Paul offense.
That offense does, however, have two speedsters in the Davis sisters, Kendall and Addison. Both are capable of beating any opposing defense and Dess often set the two up with through passes.
“They’re really fast and their legs are really long,” Zwolinski said. “They can get bigger strides than most of the defenses we play against so if we can play a through ball without it hitting the defense then we’ll be able to get by them and score.”
Now, Addison and Briana Senese have been taking over the role of Dess and that was displayed in the game against the Greyhounds as it was Kendall who was often set up with the scoring chances for the Falcons.
Kendall didn’t disappoint as she scored both of the St. Paul goals in the game.
Although the two goals are good, Kendall had the chance to give the Falcons the win and hit the post. Still, the mental mistakes and playing a full game on defense is what St. Paul is trying to get done in order to make a run in the tournament.
“We hope to go all the way and win the NVL’s and hopefully states,” Addison said. “I think we can do it as long as we keep our heads in it.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan