The Warriors’ season came to an end at home Monday night against CCC foe Simsbury in the first round of the CIAC Class LL Tournament.
By Marlon Pitter
If the first half of the game were six seconds shorter, then there is a chance the Hall girls soccer team would be preparing to face Southington on Wednesday.
Instead, the Warriors’ season concluded on the losing end of a 1-0 decision to Simsbury in the opening round of the CIAC Class LL Tournament at Chalmers Stadium in West Hartford Monday night.
Julia Rooney scored for the Trojans with 5.7 seconds left before halftime, which proved to be the difference as it forced the Warriors to “chase the game” in the second half.
“It’s the worst time to give up a goal – just before [halftime] – and we made two critical errors that led to that,” said Hall head coach Scott Ferguson. “And you’ve gotta give Simsbury credit because they really took advantage of us.
“I thought my girls responded really well. We created a lot of excellent chances. Just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net.”
Simsbury hurried to send a corner kick through the box with under 20 seconds left. The Trojans corralled the ball, and Rooney sent the ball to the top right corner of the net for the game-winning goal.
Hall pressed to score in the second half, especially in the last 4:30 of the match after getting the ball back down to the Simsbury end.
Lise Farstad sent a free kick into the box, but Simsbury thwarted Hall’s chance with just over two minutes to play. Emma Rogorzenski gave the Warriors another chance with a last-minute free kick, but it came to no avail as the Trojans gained control and cleared the ball.
Sarah Peschke made five saves in the contest. She stopped Simsbury from doubling its lead twice in the second half with saves in the 52nd and 74th minutes.
The Trojans outshot the Warriors 11-8, but Hall edged Simsbury in corner kicks, 6-5.
Taking the state tournament matchup, Simsbury avenged a 3-2 loss to Hall on Oct. 15, one Ferguson called “back and forth” as the Warriors scored with three minutes left to win the fame.
Hall finishes the season 9-5-3 with the loss.
Although the team did not win a tournament game, Ferguson said this year’s team was one of the best he has coached since he took over in 2004. Freshman Nicole Deslauriers led the team with nine goals. Farstad, a senior, tallied eight this season.
The Warriors will graduate 15 seniors from the roster, many of who Ferguson coached from the youth level through high school.
“What was very nice about [this season] is I started coaching them at U-8 in the town travel league. My daughter was on that team, so it’s special to have them for that long, so I’ll always remember that aspect of it. It’s nice to see them become better soccer players and hopefully see them move on to some good stuff.”
As for the returners, Ferguson expects them to put in the work to have a successful 2019 campaign.
“I hope that the returners in the offseason really work,” he said. “You have to make sure that they’re building on what we did this year to be ready for next year. Are they playing in the spring? Are they playing in the summer? Are they getting stronger? We’ll have to make sure that we do that.”
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