STAMFORD, Conn. – A staple of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference girls soccer tournament will be missing this fall. Westhill’s 2-1 loss to Greenwich on Wednesday ended any chance the Vikings had of making the elite eight for the league tournament, which begins Saturday.
“I expected more this season,’’ coach Dave Flower said after the Vikings slipped to 7-5-2 with one game remaining. They needed to win their last two games to have a shot at the playoffs. “You don’t go into a season not expecting to make the playoffs. I don’t fault the kids. There were a lot of games where we needed to get a big goal and just couldn’t come through.”
Playing in front of a Senior Day crowd, the Vikings battled the Cardinals (9-1-6) evenly in the first half and even had a couple of golden scoring opportunities. The Vikings grabbed the lead with 16:24 remaining when Rebecca Shaulson scored from eight yards out after a scramble in front of the goal.
After a tightly marked first half, the second half was more wide open. Greenwich’s Naomi Leeds scored the equalizer with 12:21 left and then got free for a breakaway goal with 3:29 left.
“It hurts to lose,’’ Flower said. “The second goal wasn’t that big of a deal. We were playing guys forward trying to get the goal. We had our chances. I don’t think we played better than Greenwich and should’ve won the game. A tie would’ve been a fair result.”
Westhill will turn its focus to the Class LL tournament. The league teams are always dangerous in states, and the Vikings just might find their magic there. “I don’t think there are any major problems,’’ Flower said. “We just lost some close games that really hurt us.”