On a hot humid Labor Day weekend the U12 Wolfpack girls’ soccer team took the top spot at the Adidas Bernie Ward Labor Day Shootout in Farmington, posting an undefeated record along the way. The girls had a tough go in the first round against a strong Simsbury team, playing to a 1-1 tie. The lone Wolfpack score came off midfielder Hannah Daly’s foot. The team was supported by the great defense of Colleen Phaneuf, Mary Celentano, and Malia Gioffree, and goaltending of Olivia Cavalero. Laura Augerbraun had some great runs up the sidelines as well but the Simsbury defense stayed tough.
The team picked up steam with a 5-0 win over Canton in the second game. The first goal was a result of some great passing started by defender Maddie Stites pushing it up to Faith O’Hara who drilled it to Bella Manfredi for the goal. O’Hara had another assist a few minutes later, this time to striker Kaley Meisenheimer. Jackie Matthews went on a tear with a hat-trick made possible by her dribbling as well as strong midfield play by Kaitlyn King launching a few strikes up the center that led to goals. The defense was as fierce as ever with Colleen Phaneuf, Malia Gioffre, and Hannah Groonnell never letting the ball get to goalkeepers Maddie Stites or Olivia Cavaleros.
The Wolfpack kept the pressure on in game three, against PSE, with another convincing 5-0 win. Sydney Howard had some great runs up the side before Faith O’Hara netted the first goal followed quickly by another great dribble through defenders and successful shot by Matthews. The third goal came after some great midfield play from McKenna Cuomo and Kaitlyn King who started a pass attack to Meisenheimer who assisted Olivia Oltran for the score. Kaitlyn Greenapan put one in off strong foot skills and passing from Bella Manfredi. After Hannah Daly, Malia Gioffree, Colleen Phaneuf, Mckenna Cuomo, and Maddie Stotes again shut down PSE’s offense, Phaneuf was moved to midfield late in the second half and scored off a penalty kick. Olivia Cavalero and Stites again split goaltending in a quiet game for the Newtown keepers.
The winning ways put the Wolfpack in the final where the team once again met up with an also undefeated Simsbury. The game was a physical, all out team effort and regulation, followed by a pair of overtimes, ended in a scoreless tie. Goalie Olivia Cavalero maintained the shutout and the tiebreaking rules sent the Wolfpack into their first ever PK shootout. Two scores by Jackie Matthew and Kaitlyn King and three blocked shots by Cavalero kept the Pack alive and tied at 2-2 in the round of PKs. Sudden death round robin shooting went four more rounds ending in a win for the Wolfpack as Malia Gioffre scored the decisive goal.