Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SAL'S GALS HAVE THE KNACK

I'm still trying to get this blog thing straight. I don't know if there are any rules but I've been just throwing my opinion out there on a variety of subjects then see where the chips fall. I'm supposed to direct a lot of my focus on high school sports so here we go.

I saw 2 great girls soccer games the last 2 days. Farmington spotted a goal to Northwest Catholic before its depth took over and popped in a pair of late goals. I was most impressed with Farmington's central defender Taylor Escajeda. She's smart. She anticipates so well. With her in back, Kelly Bourdreau behind her and Mary Hogan and Kaylin Berger on the defensive wings, the Indians should go far.

They do have to find some consistent scoring. Holly Cherlin has done a great job and Bonnie Boornazian is so courageous to be going all out despite her knee problem.

The biggest tragedy is poor Jewel Robinson. Jewel's high school career was so promising with her great speed and nose for the ball but she blew out one knee late last fall and then the other one when she returned to action in July. But she's still got a great attitude and I'm hoping -- praying -- that she can have a huge senior year next year.

Then there's Southington. I really figured the Knights would fade this year after a strong finish last year because of the graduation losses they took. Then Jackie Marchetti goes down with a knee injury. Charlene DaSilva, too. Heartbreaking.

But the Knights have regrouped and are leading the CCC North, ahead of perennial powers Simsbury and Glastonbury.

Shauna Edwards is as good a forward as I've seen this season. She's got these great spin moves that left several Simsbury defenders guarding nothing but empty space Tuesday. She worked her way into open space for medium-range shots all day in Tuesday's 1-0 win. Unfortunately, she was ruled offsides in the goal she scored, but she set up the game-winner in the 89th minute.

Which leads me to the other part of coach Sal Penta's one-two combo, Molly Alfieri. Every time Molly got the ball in the right corner, she either drew a corner kick or worked her way free along the baseline for a cross or a shot. She was on the receiving end of Edwards' cross that won the game. And she had to beat one terrific keeper in Jill Kelley to score that goal.

What looked like a rebuilding year has become a great season. Hats off to Penta, his girls and his staff. No longer is the CCC North the property of Simsbury and Glastonbury. Sal's Gals are leading the division.

I haven't see Steve Yanosy's Berlin squad yet, nor Plainville's resurgent Blue Devils led by one of the best female athletes the area has ever seen, Desiree Pina. I've seen Angelo Marchetti's Newington team and the Indians have a great defensive squad. They're still searching for that go-to goal-scorer so I hope somebody steps up come tourney time.

And here's to Wethersfield and new coach Miek Servedio. The Eagles are undefeated in that always tough CCC West with Conard and Hall behind them. Heather Lyhne has been sensational.

Get out and root on your local team. The girls deserve your support the way they play so hard. I hope we can crown a couple state champs come November.

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