Cheshire marches past Amity and into semi­fi­nals

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - SPORTS / TELEVISION - By Dan Nowak

CHESHIRE — The Cheshire field hockey team has been one of the most dom­i­nant teams in the state on both ends of the field this sea­son.

The Rams ex­pe­ri­enced a glitch in that dom­i­nant trend on Nov. 3 when ri­val Guil­ford dom­i­nated play start to fin­ish in the SCC tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship game. That de­feat served as ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion for the 4 0 Rams to get back on track in the CIAC Class L tour­na­ment. So far they haven’t missed a beat.

On Fri­day, Olivia Sala­m­one scored twice, in­clud­ing on a penalty stroke, and added an as­sist and Lexie Hem­stock had four saves to lead No. 1 Cheshire to a 4-0 win over No. 8 Amity in a Class L quar­ter­fi­nal game at Maclary Ath­letic Com­plex. Cheshire de­feated Fair­field Warde 2-0 on Wed­nes­day in the first round.

The Rams im­proved to 20-1 and have 19 shutouts this sea­son. They will play New­town in the semi­fi­nals on Nov. 13 or 14 at a site and time to be an­nounced.

“We com­pletely un­der­es­ti­mated Guil­ford,” Sala­m­one said. “We used that loss to get more fo­cused for the state tour­na­ment. We used the Fair­field Warde game to re­as­sure our­selves that what hap­pened in Guil­ford wasn’t re­ally us, more of an aber­ra­tion. Today we were a lit­tle pumped up and had bet­ter pass­ing, shoot­ing and de­fense.

“Even though the game was score­less to start the first half, we weren’t con­cerned be­cause we have so much chem­istry and ev­ery­one works so hard. Some teams go out and they are so se­ri­ous. We just go out and have so much fun out there, we’re so loose.”

The Rams were de­nied on their first four penalty cor­ner op­por­tu­ni­ties, but the fifth one was the charm with An­nie Eddy de­liv­er­ing.

Eddy wound up and blasted a shot at the top of the cir­cle that flew into the lower left cor­ner of the net to give Cheshire a 1-0 lead with 12:36 to go in the half.

Cheshire was awarded a penalty stroke late in the first half when an Amity player stand­ing be­hind goalie Car­ney was called for a foul when the ball hit her shin. Sala­m­one took the penalty stroke, faked left and caught the in­side right cor­ner for the goal and 2-0 lead for the Rams with 2:04 to go in the half.

The Rams kept the pres­sure go­ing in the sec­ond half and an­other penalty cor­ner re­sulted in an­other goal. Kayla San­sone scored from about eight yards out on the left wing to give Cheshire a 3-0 lead with 18:25 to go. Sala­m­one scored her sec­ond goal with 13:25 to go in the game for the 4-0 fi­nal.

“We knew we would be in for a hard-fought game,” said Amity coach Sara Hale, the SCC Coach of the Year this sea­son. “Our goalies made some good saves and they have been strong for us all sea­son. This is one of the best sea­sons we’ve had in a long time and I’m so proud of girls.”

Car­ney started in goal for the Spar­tans (13-5-1) and had six saves. Pay­ton Ra­han en­tered the game with 12:50 left in the sec­ond half and had four saves.

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