NEW LONDON — After encountering early-season scoring difficulty in four shutout losses, the Stonington High girls’ soccer team nearly scored at will to beat New London, 6-1, Friday in an ECC-Medium game.
The Bears (3-4, 2-1 ECC-Medium) scored four goals in the first five minutes against the winless Whalers (0-6, 0-3 ECC-Medium). The Bears used their superior speed and foot skills to pepper the Whaler goal early and as often.
“We’re coming around,” Stonington coach David Walsh said. “We’ve had some issues early on but are starting to play better. Today was a hard game because we’ve got to go hard to start out. After four goals so early, it became a question of game management. We held possession for much of the second half.”
Ali Cullen scored with an assist from Gabi Hoops just 1 minute, 45 seconds into the game. Hoops then followed with an unassisted goal at the 3:10 mark. Hoops, usually Stonington’s starting goalkeeper, started at midfield as Walsh is implementing a two-goal keeper system. Mackenzie Segreto only needed to make one save for the Bears.
“Gabi is a great athlete,” Walsh said.
“We alternate two goalkeepers, so this is a way for Gabi to take advantage of her ability on the field.”
Tara Watrous scored with an assist from Megan Sartor 3:36 into the game. Gabby Sylvia then scored with an assist from Watrous at 5:30 and from an assist by Hannah Johnson at the 27:55 mark in the first half to make it 5-0. Hannah Johnson capped the scoring with a goal, assisted by Sartor with 26 minutes left to play.
Sylvia leads the Bears with six goals. The Bears have scored 10 goals in the last two games after totaling just four in their first five contests against tougher competition as they have adjusted to changed in formation and lineup.
The Bears graduated All-Stater Danielle Jacobs, who scored nine goals last season. All-ECC first team selections Sophie Moore and Mollie Kam also graduated.
Senior Amanda Thomas, who was an ECC-Medium honorable mention selection last year, is no longer a member of the team.
Stonington outshot New London, 14-2, and held a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. The Bears host ECC power Waterford at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.