Girls soccer: Byrne’s OT goal sends Westerly over Stonington in first round of Piver Cup

Girls soccer: Byrne’s OT goal sends Westerly over Stonington in first round of Piver Cup

The Westerly Sun

STONINGTON — Westerly High’s Skye Byrne is starting to develop a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

But it’s one thing to be in the right place and quite another to take care of business when you get there.

Byrne, a senior midfielder, is developing quite the knack for that, too.

Byrne scored the game’s only goal Saturday, lifting the Bulldogs past Stonington High, 1-0, in the Josh Piver Cup soccer tournament at Palmer Field.

Westerly moves to the title game and will take on Fitch next Saturday at Stonington. Fitch beat Chariho, 2-1, on Saturday in the other first-round game.

Byrne’s golden goal came with 1:19 left in the second 10-minute overtime period.

“I saw the cross coming and I knew I had the perfect angle on it,” she said. “I knew I had to get a body on it and it went off my knee.

“After that I was like, ‘We just won the game.’ Honestly, I forgot it was that golden ... whatever. I knew me and my team wanted to beat Stonington, because we usually don’t, and it felt amazing.”

The winning sequence started with a thrown-in from Sydney Federico to Abbey Keegan on the left side of the field. Keegan then returned the ball to Federico.

Federico crossed the ball and Byrne ran onto it, scoring from just a few yards out.

Earlier this season, Byrne scored the tying goal in the final minutes against Johnston. Last season, in the Division II quarterfinals, she headed in the winning goal against West Warwick.

“We stuck together and worked hard,” Westerly coach Jay Hudson said. “Hats off to Stonington. This was their first live game with another opponent and it was a very even game.”

It was also the Bears’ first game with coach Jennifer Solomon, an All-State player during her days at Stonington.

The Bears seemed to improve with every touch.

“From the start of the game to the end, I saw great improvement,” Solomon said. “We didn’t have any scrimmages in the preseason so this was the first time for me coaching the group. As the game progressed, we got better.”

Megan Detwiler had a number of strong finishes for the Bears that nearly resulted in goals.

Sophomore Vanessa Benjamin, a newcomer to the team, displayed some good foot and passing skills throughout the game.

Westerly goalie Macie Woycik had a number of big saves, including several off the foot of Detwiler.

Westerly (1-1-1) next hosts Middletown on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Stonington hosts Putnam on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.


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