Shelton booters defeat Trumbull to advance in states

Kaleigh Panek and Samantha Hartmayer scored two goal each and Sivan Tepper added the topper when coach Marvin Miller’s Shelton High girls soccer team defeated Trumbull High, 5-2, in a Class LL girls soccer first round match at Finn Stadium on Tuesday night.

Alexis Zoppi had three assists as the 15th seeded Gaelettes (11-5-3) advanced to play at No. 2 Middletown High (13-2-1) on Thursday at 2 p.m.

"We’ve been working really hard on our ability to attack through the center with the ball on our feet,” Miller said. “We struggled with that off and on all season, and I think the last couple weeks we’ve really started to show that we could do that. You saw that today.”

Panek carved out a 3-1 lead in the 28th minute. The sophomore striker took a pass from Hartmayer, created some space with a move to her left and then drilled a beauty into the upper left corner of the net.

Trumbull High coach Daniel Uhrlass could appeciate the challenge faced by his side.

“We had trouble with their athleticism down the middle. ... We did what we could,” Uhrlass said. “But they were continually powerful winning balls and going right at us.”

With the offense playing at a high level, the Shelton’s defense was tasked with stopping the 18th-seeded Eagles (8-7-2).

Elysia St. George made five stops and had plenty of help, led by Carly Shomsky, Jordan Haley and Abby Turco.

After twice going on top by two goals only to have Trumbull pull a score back, Shomsky provided a defensive gem in the 58th minute to maintain a 3-2 advantage.

The senior stopper ran stride for stride with Trumbull’s Julie Keckler and made it difficult for her to get full motion on a breakaway shot from five yards out. St. George made the save by the near post.

Hartmayer took a quick counter pass from Zoppi and beat Trumbull goalie Aleanna Paz with 15:26 remaining to put the Gaelettes up 4-2.

“We’re going to ride every game and go to Middletown and have fun,” Miller said. “We have nothing to lose at this point. I know Middletown is from the ECC and to win that many games has to be a very good team.”