Blue Devils Girls’ Soccer Shuts Down Haddam-Killingworth 3-0

Coginchaug’s girls’ soccer team before a game against Haddam-Killingworth.

On Thursday September 23, our Blue Devils took on a strong Haddam-Killingworth team at home on the turf and proved why they are number one in our Shoreline Conference, advancing to 4-0-1.  The Devils made 9 shots on goal and the Cougars goalie could not stop 3 of them.  In addition to the incredible offense, the defense has yet to allow a single goal this season which is a testament to the solid and skilled players back there!

Junior Katie Farr said, “I think it’s fair to say that we weren’t focusing at first, but throughout the game we quickly started focusing and our defence played pretty solid and we scored when we had the chances. We played well.”

The Blue Devils dominated the first half.  When H-K had the ball, it was quickly turned over.  This half was fast and aggressive.  The ball passed possession many times.  Five minutes into the game, H-K took their first attempt on goal.  Luckily it was too high.  The Blue Devils followed suit when Senior Co-Captain, Sam Paul took a long hard kick toward goal but missed by just inches.  Soon after, the Devils gained possession again and this time, Sam made a perfect pass across the net to Katie Farr, #15,  to score on a hard and out of reach ball into the net.  Sam Paul said, “I feel the pressure sometimes but I know I have girls that are supporting me, and that are helping me out in any way possible.  They make it easy for me on the field, and that’s all I can ask for.”

H-K was given the ball but Ally Woodward, #20, snatched the ball away and sent it all the way down field to keep the ball in H-K territory.  Sam Paul, #5, and LIla Craig, #4, kept the pressure on when they both  made attempts on the goal within a minute of one another but one was saved by the Cougars strong goalie and the other just missed.  H-K had one of their strongest runs toward the Devils goal but was kicked out.  That earned them a corner kick.  Charlotte Dunleavy, #24, averted the attempt and kicked it away with a skilled pass downfield.  Ally Woodward and Jenna DePonte passed to one another downfield.  

Fifteen minutes into the game, Sam Paul assisted Fatih Corona, #6, to score.  For much of the rest of the 1st half, the Devils were able to keep the ball primarily in Cougar territory.  Only at one point in the remaining 10 minutes did the H-K offense make a run at goalie, Emma Samperi.  She rushed the ball to make the save and the two collided, setting the ball loose.  Charlotte Dunleavy took over and kept the ball away from the goal while fighting off 2 H-K players.  The game was stopped to check on Emma but luckily she was ok.  Other strong defenders during the first half were Serena Fournier, #8, and Marina Chanthinith, #10 while they chased down offensive players, stole possession, and skillfully passed the ball back into H-K territory.  They all had the attitude that they were not going to let that ball get by them and they didn’t.   

Sohpie Farr, #9,  did a great job shielding the ball away from the Devil’s side of the field many times as well as making several corner kicks across goal throughout the first half as well.  Co-Captain,  Alyssa Woodward, #12,  made her season debut after recovering from a summer injury in a strong way by helping the Devil’s gain possession of the ball again and again.  She had skilled passing and footwork. Even up to a minute left in play, tempers flared as the aggressive and strong play continued until the buzzer ended the first half.

 Sam Paul said,  “H-K is always physical, they’re always tough, they never put up an easy fight so we always know we have to play at our A-game when we’re playing them, and they played really hard the whole game, that pushed us to keep our stamina up and work as a team and stay composed throughout the entire game.”

To keep morale high, the Devils interlocked in a circle cheering to begin the second half and it proved to be good luck as their stamina, strength, and skills never let up.  Soon into the start, H-K had a strong attempt on goal but it was an impressive save by Emma Samperi.  The possession continued to change sides many times during this entire half.  H-K had many attempts at goal with corner kicks but were never able to make anything happen.  Unfortunately, although it did not appear that the Devil’s goalie touched the ball, it was called by the referee.  This earned them a kick to the goal but Coginchaug’s excellent defense did not allow the goal.  Another call against the Devils came with a foul.  This allowed the Cougars a scary lead kick and it was an epic save by Emma.  

Once back in H-K territory, Katie Farr made a strong attempt on goal and it just missed when assisted by Ally Woodward.  This was not the end of the great plays toward scoring.  Ally had great footwork to keep the ball away from the box while Sam continued to have strong kicks downfield to keep the ball out of dangerous ground.  Each time it did make its way back down to Devil’s ground, defensive players such as Charlotte Dunleavy and Marina Chanthinith out ran, out maneuvered, and shielded the ball away from the Cougar offense.  The play was the fastest paced and most aggressive than what the Devils had faced so far this season.  

With 13 minutes left in the game, a little rain did not slow things down.  The last exciting score was a strong kick straight past H-K’s skilled goalie by Katie Farr.  Her sister, Sophie Farr, was the one to bring the ball down to goal territory and cross kicked the ball right to Katie to make for one impressive point!  Being up 3 – 0 and only 10 minutes left, the Cougars could have played like they were defeated but they didn’t.  Strong play continued to the end but the game was dominated by the Devils.  A desperate H-K team fouled #20, Ally Woodward, in an attempt to prevent another goal in the last minute of the game but by then the Devils had clinched their victory.  When asked what was their most memorable moments of the game, a proud Katie Farr responded, “The last goal with my sister (Freshman, Sophie #9) who had the assist and we scored!”  These girls are going strong together and who knows how far this season will take them.  One thing is for sure, they have all the skill, strength, and stamina for a winning team.