Shelton High’s girls soccer team, seeded ninth in the Class LL state tournament, shut out visiting and No. 24 South Windsor 3-0, in the first round on a chilly, wet, Tuesday.
With the victory, the Gaelettes earned a trip to eighth-seeded Darien in the second round on Thursday.
Haley Oko, assisted by Leya Vohra, scored in the first half.
Kelly Hurd and Mackenzie Joyce hit the back of the net in the second half.
Shelton starting goalkeeper Courtney Litts made two saves, as Shelton had 19 shots to only a pair by South Windsor.
Although the weather conditions were far from optimal, the Gaelettes did a great job to play sound soccer, moving the ball around the field with sharp passing and off-ball movement.
“Considering the weather, as difficult as it was to manage with the ball I think we did a good job,” Shelton coach Marvin Miller said. “We worked really hard at making good first-touches and keeping it simple. I think we played within ourselves. We played a composed game.”
Several Gaelettes who did not get their names on the score sheet did their part to help Shelton control possession, including Maggie Howard, Zoe Rogers and Esabel Rosa.
“I think when we found our groove there was no stopping us. We passed the ball really well in the second half,” Litts said.
“All together, we played well,” Panek added.
Shelton had strong defensive play from the back line of Heather Garrett, Erin Keary, Allison Panek, Haley Adcox and Vohra.
“They’ve played well all season and tonight was no exception,” Litts said.
Shelton, after falling short of a Southern Connecticut Conference title, set its sights on a state trophy. Win or lose, however, this season can be considered a success given Shelton went 11-3-2 during the regular campaign and, as Miller noted, all three defeats were 1-0 nail-biters.
“I’m really proud of how our team has done this season,” Litts said.