Girls soccer: Unbeaten Cadets strive to get better

Well on their way to a commanding 6-0 triumph over visiting Westhill High of Stamford, members of the St Joseph girls soccer team got plenty of instruction from coach Jack Nogueria, who was looking to keep them sharp and improve their play.

“Let’s win this in the air,” Nogueira instructed as his team set up to defend a goal kick late in the second half….”Back up and get your shape here,” he told his players with only about two minutes remaining.

It was the kind of guidance you might expect in a tie contest, but also the sort of coaching that can benefit players down the road, when they find themselves in those close games.

This is, after all, a very young group.

Nogueira was pleased with the outcome but looking for more from his unbeaten squad.

“I didn’t think we played particularly well but we capitalized on our chances,” Nogueira said.

Westhill fell to 2-2-2, then dropped a 2-1 decision to Trumbull on Saturday.

St Joe’s stayed unbeaten and improved to 7-0-1 following a 5-0 blanking of Stamford on Saturday.

Nogueria had plenty of moments to be happy about, and liked what he saw out of freshman Mary Lundregan, who scored twice in the win over Westhill.

Lundregan netted the game’s first tally when she volleyed home a rebound off a shot that hit the crossbar. She made it 4-0 in the second half after taking a back-post cross from Maddie Fried.

The Cadets got first-half goals from Fried, when she dribbled in for a 2-0 lead, and Helen Mahoney, off a feed from Caroline Sheehan.

“I think we’re just learning more and more each game and practice, and eventually we’ll be there,” said Fried, a sophomore, and one of 18 first- and second-year players.

Nina Pizzicarola scored on a breakaway and Sophia Lowenburg launched a shot from 40 yards out that sailed in for the final tally.

Hailey Vechiarelli and Mahoney were strong in the back.

“Offensively, I think we’re playing aggressively. Defensively, we were strong and organized, and we did our job,” said captain Jessica Mazo, one of four seniors on the team.

“There were glimpses of very good soccer,” Nogueira said of his team’s performance against Westhill.

“I think our freshmen had a very, very good game.”

Nogueira feels his team has picked up its play since its one blemish, a 1-1 with Fairfield Warde on Sept. 15.

“It was a good eye-opener, especially for the younger kids. We’re getting better when is a positive,” he said.

Mazo added: “After the Warde game we had to refocus and restart everywhere and work on chemistry. After that game we picked it up. We were together and playing the ball to each other and playing to feet.”

St. Joseph will host Trumbull Friday at 4 p.m.