Girls soccer: Mazo's goal lifts Cadets over Eagles

Locked in a scoreless battle with visiting FCIAC and natural rival Trumbull, the St Joseph High girls soccer team got the only goal it needed with 21:38 remaining in the second half on Friday afternoon.

Jess Mazo’s blast from the left side was the difference as the Cadets prevailed 1-0.

“Amazing,” was how Mazo simply summed up the feeling of helping her team to victory. “It’s always fun to play Trumbull. The rivalry is something I think will never die.”

St. Joseph, now 9-0-1, remained undefeated. Trumbull slipped to a still-impressive 6-3.

Mazo took a throw-in from Caroline Sheehan and drilled a shot into the far upper corner of the goal.

“It was one special moment by one special kid that defined it,” St Joe’s coach Jack Nogueira said.

“It’s a fantastic goal,” said Trumbull coach Rich Sutherland, who noted that his team has lost only to top teams in the conference and has been competitive in each.

Nogueira pointed out that the tightness of this contest was of no surprise.

“It doesn’t matter how one side is during the year,” he said. “Records really go out the window when we play each other. It was a tough game. We’re glad that we pulled it off.”

Nogueira said Trumbull was stingy defensively and that made things difficult on his typically high-scoring group.

“These are the types of defining moments that hopefully carry is the rest of the season,” he added.

Sutherland felt that while St Joe’s had an edge in possession he was pleased with how his team moved the ball and kept it on the ground.

St Joe’s received strong defense from Helen Mahoney and Hailey Vechiarelli, with both breaking up Trumbull attacks.

Each team had golden opportunities turned away on stellar saves by the opposing goalkeepers — St. Joe’s Gracy Hickey and Trumbull’s Avery Rice.

“I think we played well as a whole group,” said Sutherland, adding that a few injuries forced players into off positions and that they did well despite the changes.

The Cadets used their speed to generate chances.

“I thought the back four dealt with the long ball very well,” Sutherland said of Christina Lewis, Jessica Esposito, Elizabeth Foley and Caitlin Rodko fending off the Cadets’ boot the ball and run approach.

The Cadets had five corner kicks, including a trio in a matter of seconds early in the second half.

“I thought we competed well with them. We competed with a team that is consistently one of the best in the league,” Sutherland said. “We’re getting better. We’re slowly getting better game by game.”