Shelton High’s girls soccer team marches into the postseason flying high.
The Gaelettes went 6-1 to close the regular season and will host an SCC quarterfinal game.
“We feel pretty good. We think we have a team that can contend for an SCC championship,” Shelton coach Marvin Miller said. “We have a good shot for it if we play our A game.”
He added that it seems his team’s path to the pinnacle always must go through nemesis Amity of Woodbridge, which handed Shelton it’s only two defeats heading into the regular-season finale. Both were 1-0 nail-biters.
With a 3-0 win over Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden on Friday, the Gaelettes improved to 11-2-2 and clinched the SCC’s Oronoque Division title.
Arianna Malick and Shawn Reinhardt combined in goal to post Shelton’s ninth shutout of the season.
Maggie Howard, Kelly Hurd and Rebecca Kliff scored the Shelton goals. Heather Garrett, Haley Oko and Haley Adcox had assists.
Mary Sarah Olson had five saves for SHA (3-11-0).
Shelton blanked visiting Lauralton Hall of Milford, 2-0, last Wednesday.
Oko beat a Lauralton defender and blasted home the game’s first net-finder, in the opening half. Oko was recently called up from the junior varsity ranks and is making the most of her opportunity.
“She’s glad to be here and today she showed us why she’s here,” Miller said.
Howard scored in the second half when Leah Vohra returned the ball to her off a left side corner kick insert, and Howard hit the net from a sharp angle near the top of the 18 yard box.
Courtney Litts was in goal and earned the shutout with a handful of saves.
“I think we did a good job linking together, passing to feet, and overall, staying composed on the ball,” Litts said.
A key to Shelton’s success was in shutting down Lauralton standout forward Caroline Monahan, who scored Lauralton’s lone goal in a 3-1 Shelton win earlier this fall.
“We really shut her down tonight,” said Litts, noting that defenders Erin Keary and Heather Garrett were assigned to surround Monahan and not allow her much space.
“They executed the strategy well,” Miller said. “I think we have one of the best set of defensive backs in the league.”
Not only did the Gaelettes effectively mark Monahan, but they prevented other Lauralton players from setting her up.
“I think we did a good job denying service to her,” Miller said.
Steven Waizenegger, coach of Lauralton, said: “We couldn’t muster much of an attack. I think they got us out of method of play by their hard work and relentless attacking.”
Miller said the team is striving to make a run at the SCC title and have success in the state playoffs.
“I think we’re on track for that,” Miller said.
Given the overall success of the regular campaign, the Gaelettes are looking forward to the postseason.
“I’m so excited. I’m really proud of our team and how we’ve played so far. I’m really excited for what’s to come,” Litts said.