Amanda Orvis’ game-winning goal stuns Tigers

Amanda Orvis was perched forward on the bench as the action unfolded in front of the junior, when her Fairfield Warde girls soccer team went toe-to-toe with Ridgefield High in the Class LL state semifinals in Newtown on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
So, when Orvis got the call late in the scoreless match she was tuned in and ready.
Orvis won a scramble for possession of the ball in front of the Ridgefield net, and her goal with 21 seconds remaining in regulation gave coach Tom Cunningham’s No. 6 Mustangs a 1-0 victory over the No. 10 Tigers.
With the victory, Warde (13-5-1) advanced to Saturday’s championship match versus No. 1 Glastonbury (18-1-0) on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2:30 p.m. at West Haven High.
“It was my first time in the game,” said Orvis. “Everyone had been working so hard and no one wanted to go to overtime of penalty kicks.
“We had to keep moving to confuse the defenders and we knew Virginie (Larouche) would put the ball where we could do something with it.”
Larouche’s free kick from 45 yards out to the right of Ridgefield keeper Julia Middlebrook came with 37.9 seconds on the clock, after Ridgefield’s Brittany Kouroupas was whistled for a foul and the clock stopped after a yellow card was issued.
Larouche sent the ball into the box, where it was loose for a second before a clearing attempt was stopped by Claire Pullen, who recentered the ball.
Anna Glovin was knocked off her shot, but the ball bounced to her right where Orvis pounced and pushed it past Middlebrook.
“I knew I had to get over the ball and stay calm,” Orvis said. “In practice, coach tells us to be hungry in the box and that’s all I thought about waiting for the free kick.”
Cunningham expected and received a battle from Ridgefield, a team his side had twice defeated 1-0 this season.
“That was by far one of the tougher games we’ve played all year,” he said. “There are two very athletic teams going at each other. It was a good soccer match; both sides gave it all they had.
Ridgefield coach Alex Harrison agreed.
“Warde is an excellent team and well coached,” he said. “In fact, I voted Tom for FCIAC coach of the year. This is our twenty-second game with only eight goals conceded.
“I thought we were excellent in the second half. But again, I couldn’t be any prouder of these guys. These guys were fantastic not only tonight, but in the FCIAC tournament and obviously our regular season.”
Ridgefield had a goal taken off the board in the 18th minute of the second half.
The Tigers’ Katherine Jasminski sent a cross to the box that Warde keeper Molly Kerrigan knocked down and dove to collect.
Sarah Battipaglia got a foot on the ball and put it in the net, but had to go through Kerrigan (five saves) to do so.
“Mollie has shut out three state tournament teams (in four matches) and we defended well in the back,” Cunningham said.
Nicole Ciccareli, Jenn Maldonado and Pullen took on the challenge of taking on the Tigers’ aggressive strikers.
Larouche, Glovin, Meredith Nerreau, Lauren Tangney, Amelia Andrews and Julia Andrews gave as good as they received.
“Both teams wanted it so much,” said Larouche, who limped off the field with an injured leg after being taken out on the follow-through during a clean tackle. “No one backed down on any 50-50 ball.”
Nell Carpenter, Hannah Allen and Alexa Montani worked hard in the Ridgefield side to put pressure on Middlebrook (four saves).

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Fairfield Sun, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress