Girls soccer: St. Joseph defeats Westhill in battle of unbeatens

Jessica Mazo had two assists in St. Joseph's 2-0 win over Westhill. — Andy Hutchison photo
Jessica Mazo had two assists in St. Joseph's 2-0 win over Westhill. — Andy Hutchison photo

The unbeaten St Joseph girls soccer team got its toughest challenge when also unscathed Westhill of Stamford visited Trumbull for a battle of top FCIAC teams on Tuesday afternoon. The Cadets prevailed 2-0 to improve to 10-0-1.

The Vikings dropped to 8-1-2.

Emma O’Neill scored in the first half on a spectacular header in the 35th minute.

Lindsey Savko netted an insurance tally midway through the second half.

Jessica Mazo assisted on both net-finders.

O’Neil’s goal came on a cross from Mazo.

Savko’s put-away goal was made possible by her speed and a nice through-ball from near midfield by Mazo. Savko broke in alone to all but put the game out of reach.

The tandem of Mazo and Savko was impressive, as the tandem kept pressure on Westhill’s outstanding keeper Emily Pritchard.

“We work really well together,” said Savko, adding that it was a solid effort by the Cadets on the whole. “Our defense played really well today. We contained, we played to feet, we played through balls.:

Mazo said the Cadets could have done a better job of control the ball in the middle of the field to generate more chances, but was mostly happy with the results.

“Overall I feel like it was a very good game,” she said. “We did very well with finishing.”

Westhill, boasting the talented trio of Chelsea Domond, Claudia Benz and Corinne Dente, was stonewalled in large part by the defense of Tory Bike, Hailey Vechiarelli, Christina DiCesare and Alexis Mason.

Domond made a great move on her way toward the frame in the first half, only to be denied on a nifty tackle by Bike.

“Our back line did a tremendous job today,” Cadet coach Jack Nogueira said. “This was the best team we have played, offensively, by far.”

St Joe’s goalkeeper Veronica O’Rourke got plenty of help from her defenders, but came up with some key stops and stole away of crosses to thwart some of the Vikings’ chances.

Westhill, which has notched seven goals in a game three times this fall, also sent several shots wide or over the top of the goal.

“That has been our hardest game, certainly, and we capitalized on our chances.” Nogueira said.

St Joseph will look to keep rolling on Friday when unbeaten Ridgefield (9-0-0), the defending FCIAC champions, visit for a 4:30 p.m. start.