(Waterbury) That’s five straight Class S girls soccer titles for the Immaculate Mustangs.
The ten-time champs from Danbury overwhelmed Portland, 5-0, on Friday afternoon at Waterbury Stadium.
The Mustangs (17-1-2) had great chance after great chance in the first half but their only score was a Natalia Diaz penalty kick with 3:49 left.
During the second half those great chances, that missed in the first half, turned into four Immaculate goals in the first 12 ½ minutes.
Up 5-0, Mustang coach Nelson Mingachos began pulling starters with twenty-five minutes left. Good move on his part because the Highlanders could not defend the straight ahead attack of Immaculate. Things could have become more embarrassing then they had already become for Portland.
Senior Lindsay Jossick had a second-half hat trick and was named tourney MVP. Coach Mingachos probably sealed the award for her when he let her take the penalty kick that gave her the hat trick.
The number of clean-look opportunities the Mustangs had in the first half was mind-boggling. And we’re not talking long shots either. Sierra Stein, Lindsay Jossick, Hailey Davis, Caitlyn Linden, Madeline Horosky, and Natalia Diaz all were in position at one time or another to notch Immaculate’s first tally. But credit the Mustangs they never seemed too bothered when they didn’t score……they just kept coming back into the Highlanders end for more.
Portland goalie Marisa DiMare was huge in the first half positioning herself perfectly for several of the point-blank attempts. A couple of the other threatening shots were either wide or high.
However, when Emilie Hernandez got called for a handball at 3:49 the string of missed opportunities came to an end. Natalia Diaz took the shot and hit the net to Marisa’s right to give Immaculate a 1-0 advantage.
Portland (16-3-1) probably had their best scoring chance of the game before the half ended. Nicole Caruso got in close on Mustang goalkeeper Ashley Houghton’s right but her shot went just wide.
In the second half, Immaculate capitalized early and often.
The dangerous Natalia Diaz reached the end line and gave teammate Lindsay Jossick a glorious setup in the middle. Lindsay put a foot on the aerial pass and Immaculate was up 2-0 with less than two minutes gone by.
Senior Sierra Stein set up the third goal. She took one direct kick from close to the right sidelines which reached PHS goalie Marisa DiMare on the fly.
Sierra’s next direct kick, from almost the same spot, curled across in front. Hailey Davis took a wild kick at the ball and missed so the ball kept going and Lindsay Jossick was all alone at the far post for an easy tap in. That gave the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.
The 4th Immaculate score was nicely arranged by freshman Caitlyn Linden. Caitlyn dribbled in from the wing past two Portland defenders and passed into the middle to Sierra Stein. Sierra drilled a rocket to the left corner that GK Marisa DiMare never had a chance on at 28:36.
The last Mustang goal came at 27:25. Lindsay Jossick broke into the box and Emilie Hernandez kept her from scoring but drew a penalty. Lindsay Jossick took the PK and her shot to her left broke through Marisa’s hands into the net.
Shortly after that fifth score the serious substituting started off the Immaculate bench. Didn’t see many changes on the Portland side. Natalia and Lindsay were back in the last five minutes and I assumed that they might combine for a sixth goal. Credit the Highlanders defense for preventing it.
This may not be the last trip for either of these teams to a big Class S soccer game. I could find only two seniors on each team.
I was impressed with the all-around play of Portland’s McKenzie Riemondo and Amanda Ghent.
The big excitement at the game was actually outside the park. About fifteen minutes into play there was a tremendous bang up on the nearby roadway. I never saw the vehicles involved but police cars and an ambulance were soon on the scene. Kind of puts real life into perspective when you’re enjoying a soccer game and something like that happens.
I didn’t see a lot of tears from the Portland side with the loss. It helps when there aren’t many seniors I suspect. I did hear the girls laughingly chanting on the way to the bus, “We’re #2, we’re #2.”
The only game Immaculate lost was 1-0 to Weston on September 12th.
Waterbury Stadium was built in 1930 as a dog track. The original bleachers were off in the distance. Eastern League baseball (AA) teams played there until 1986.
I don’t know if Neil Cavuto (Fox Business News) was in the house but he is an Immaculate graduate.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)