Shelton, Sacred Heart Academy settle for draw

The Shelton Gaelettes and Sacred Heart Academy Pacers played to a 1-1 SCC girls soccer tie in Hamden on Monday.

Shelton keeper Michaela Joyce faced a barrage of 28 shots, as the locals went to 7-2-5 and SHA moved to 6-7-1.

Meghan Burke scored unassisted for Shelton at 26:05, before Alyssa Paolillo tied things 13 minutes later off an assist from Sidney Sullivan.

“I don’t think we played a very good game at all,” Shelton coach Marvin Miller said. “We didn’t play with a lot of intensity in the first half. We’re lucky we didn’t get scored on more than one time.

“We didn’t mark very well, and we left a lot of players open.”

SHA got started on the attack early, as Mary Verneris blasted a shot that was stopped by Joyce.

The Pacers’ Sullivan and Paolillo followed with shots, but Joyce kept making save after save.

The Gaelettes got pressure on Pacers’ keeper Emma Brindisi eight minutes into the game, when Megan Burke sent a pass to Vanessa Marques, but her shot was blocked.

Off the ensuing corner, Marques’s header was off line.

The Pacers kept attacking with shots from Sullivan, Paolillo and Angela Ciaramella, but Joyce kept the game scoreless.

Burke found the net from 20 yards out on a quick-strike goal for a 1-0 lead on only Shelton’s third shot.

SHA continued to attack, and Paolillo finally cashed in on her teammates hard work when she caught Joyce out of position and rocketed it past her outstretched hands for the game-tying goal.

“There was some improvement in the second half,” Miller said. “We had better chances in the second half and made them play more defense, but we need a better effort than what we did.”

In the second half, the Pacers continued their barrage, challenging Joyce again and again and she held her ground.

“If that kid isn’t all-conference, all-state, someone is stealing something from her,” Miller said. “Meghan Burke played a great game too, and Kelly McCormack coming back from injury had a really solid effort after missing a couple games.

“We had players that had moments, but we didn’t sustain it for eighty minutes and that tells in the result.”

With two minutes remaining, Ciaramella had consecutive breakaways only to have Joyce turn them both away, with the assistance of a clearing kick from Carly Shomsky.