Mountaineers make history. Girls soccer in the Class S finals for the first time.
They say if we don’t know and understand it we are bound to have the same things happen to us again.
Forgive the Housatonic girls soccer team though, they had no history of making it to a State finals game on the pitch, but they do now after getting by Naugatuck Valley League foe Oxford by a 3-2 score in the Class S semi’s.
The # 3 Mountaineers are in the big game which will pit them against # 29 Portland on Saturday at a place and time to be determined.
Housy won 13 regular season games and had one of the state’s leading scorers in sophomore forward Lauren Segalla, who scored more goals than some teams did in 2014 but this is not a one girl team.
That was clearly on display on Tuesday night as the Wolverines did their best to hold Segalla down with constant double teams and a field wide shadowing effort.
Still, the talented tenth grader scored the eventual game winner on a beautifully struck free-kick that found the back of the net with 25:10 to go in the second half.
“I’m really excited,” Segalla said. “It’s something Housy has never done. I think we have a lot of heart and wanted to show it on the field, make history which we did.”
It was junior Lauren Gilderdale who got the Mountaineers off to a 1-0 lead with a blazing free-kick that went off the Oxford goalie and in for the opening score with 17:13 left in the opening half.
Most times, a NVL team throws a more physical team at a BL team but that’s not the case with these players from Falls Village who can play a rough and tough style with the best of them.
Oxford nearly jumped out to a fast lead midway through the first half but a hand ball negated a goal at the 21:40 mark.
The Wolverines had another golden opportunity, two as a matter of fact off a free kick that turned into two after a strange officials call.
Housy senior Maggie Bristow was called for a hard tackle near the top of the box and given a yellow card.
Oxford forward Meghan Sastram took the free kick but sailed it through the uprights but was given a second shot when the side judge ruled the clock had not been stopped at the time the card was given and needed to have 20-seconds put back on it.
Much to the dismay of the Housty sideline, Sastram was given a second shot but this one would have counted in football but not this type of futbol as it found the uprights again.
The teams went to the half with the Mountaineers up 1-0 and within a blink in the second half, the lead was stretched to 2-0 on terrific shot by junior Maddie Horosky, who was the best player on the field in the first half.
Horosky made a run from the right side of the field and let loose a rocket with her left foot that found the back of the net for a two goal lead, just fifty seconds into the second half.
It was another example of this not being a one player team.
“I have other girls who can score,” coach Segalla said. “So no matter what you do to Lauren Segalla she can lay it off to her teammates or score herself.”
Less than three minutes later though, the Wolverines would cut the lead in half after sophomore Madison Thielman was fouled inside the box and converted the penalty kick.
Just like that, Oxford was back in the game.
Housy kept the pressure up and it paid off when Segalla was fouled just outside the right side of the box and converted on a beautifully placed free kick that tucked neatly into the back right side of the net, a pure soccer kick if you ever saw one.
“The girl is extremely talented,” coach Segalla said. “She works very hard but compliments her teammates very well.”
Housy would need that third goal when Sastram didn’t miss on a free kick with 4:20 left to play, another terrific shot that was lifted high and over Mountaineer goalie Molly Dowd.
Dowd would get another chance to seal the game on the final play of the night, a corner by Sastram that she came out and punched away as the seconds ticked off.
What went through her mind on that final play?
“Well, I was just trying come out and make the play,” Dowd said. “I wanted to make sure we got the win and could go on to play in the championship game.”
History was made on Tuesday night in Waterbury by a team that has been getting stronger as the season has worn on.
“They play like a family and they fight like a family,” coach Segalla said. “As every game has progressed, especially during the post season, they have been coming together and believing in themselves more and more.”
One more game and the family can make a memory that will last all their lifetimes.