By David F. Pendrys
WEST HARTFORD, CT- The Hartford Hawks women’s soccer team advanced to the America East Finals Sunday afternoon thanks to the only goal of the game. While Hartford would send 10 shots on goal during the day it was Skylar Vitiello’s shot from deep outside the goal area that got past Vermont’s keeper into the corner of the net at 75:44. Vermont would try to tie it up with several attacks in the Hawks zone as time wound down, but they couldn’t get it past Hartford’s Jessica Jurg.
Hartford had kept up the pressure most of the game leading to 19 total shots including the 10 on goal itself. Kaila Lozada’s 3 led the team and Julia Carr, Sierra Stone and Vitiello had 2 as part of the multi-faceted threats the team posed. Aliyah Ingram was often setting things up before it ended up in the hands of one of the other shooters. Frequent scorers Tori Tripp and Bridgette Alexander also sent shots flying they just didn’t land in the goal area itself. The team also generated 9 corner kicks keeping Vermont on the defensive. Vermont on the other hand had 3 shots on goal, 8 total shots, and 3 corner kicks. Bridgette King was their primary go to person on offense, and she did put up 2 of the teams 3 shots on Jurg, but none would find netting.
Hartford was getting more chances and driving a lot more than Vermont did throughout the game. The Catamounts were effective at blunting the Hawks maneuvers into the zone often, but spent a lot of time putting out those fires as opposed to getting down the field. Thwarting 9 corner kicks is quite a defensive achievement as well. Meg James, Annie Monaghan, Casey Garfinkel, Sydney Cammeyer, and Savana Yurick were among those making the key defensive stops in front of goalie Coco Speckmaier who would ultimately make the 9 saves on the day. The Hawks ultimately had to start launching long range rockets, but it succeeded.
Hartford didn’t let the visitors set up too many quality attempts and often stopped them from even getting down field. Katie Connolly and Madison Stabile especially were noticed bringing their opponent’s efforts to a halt in the defensive zone. Jurg naturally picked up a shutout due to her three saves.
Full game highlights:
The Hawks face #1 seed Albany in Albany Sunday night at 6 pm in the America East final. The last time the two teams met the game ended in a 2-2 tie amidst a torrential downpour.
(Noticed plays was nixed for this article as it was difficult to read Vermont jersey numbers on the video footage meant to be used to observe them.)