Pictured: Morgan co-captain Jessica Flanagan (right) and Cromwell’s Olivia Lusitani (11) battle for possession late in the second half of a Shoreline Conference game on Friday in Cromwell. (Photo by Paul Augeri)
By Paul Augeri
CROMWELL – Leila LeBlanc’s second-half goal allowed Cromwell to salvage a 1-1 draw with Morgan on Friday in Shoreline Conference play.
The outcome kept both teams unbeaten but unsatisfied.
LeBlanc crossed a shot from close range in front of Huskies goalkeeper Angelina Comiskey, who got a hand on it but couldn’t secure it. The ball trickled over the line and into the right corner with 19:08 remaining in the match.
After a scoreless first half, Morgan took the lead just 1:54 into the second after what appeared to be some miscommunication between Panthers keeper Lily Kenney and her defense with clearing the ball. Morgan junior Katelyn Martin swooped in and scored easily.
For the Panthers (2-0-2), it was their second straight tie following a scoreless draw against Coginchaug earlier in the week.
“I don’t think we’re playing to our potential,” Panthers coach Marcelo Caetano said. “We’re winning and we’re tying and we’re not scoring very much. Right now that’s our problem. I was happy with the second half because we came out and pressured more, but I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of where we can be.”
Morgan coach Steve Sullivan was surprised that the Huskies (1-0-2) team came out as “flat” as they did in the first 40 minutes. Cromwell’s defense did a good job of neutralize Morgan junior striker Caeley Ayer, one of the top players in the conference.
“It just shocked me because we’ve been flying and connecting,” he said. “We just sort of got into a panic mode where we’re just kind of clearing and not winning anything. Totally different from our normal game.
“I told them, effort doesn’t take any skill. Thought came out better in second half, still didn’t play well, but at least the effort was there. And that’s what I really want to see.”
Morgan plays another road match when it visits Valley Regional on Tuesday (6pm). Cromwell plays an out-of-conference match at Ledyard on Monday.
In other games around the county Friday:
Mercy 1, West Haven 0
Highlights: Kate Donlan scored 8:04 into the match off an assist from Haley Morales and keeper Melina Ford posted her second shutout of the season for the Tigers.
Next match: Mercy (2-1-0) visits Wilbur Cross on Tuesday.