Pictured: The Valley Regional soccer team before Tuesday’s win over Old Saybrook. Hannah Tejedor is in the front row, far right. (Submitted Photo)
By Paul Augeri
You only turn 17 once, and senior Hannah Tejedor made sure her day was one to remember. Especially on the soccer field.
The birthday girl scored for Valley Regional in each half Tuesday – her first scores of the season — to lead the Warriors to a 2-1 Shoreline Conference win over host Old Saybrook.
Tejedor was assisted by juniors Reagan Doyon and Eileen Russell as the Warriors prevailed on the road to snap a two-match losing streak. Valley had 8 shots on goal.
“Honestly, both celebrations were ones I’ll never forget,” Tejedor said. “Besides the great feeling of seeing the ball go in after I kicked it and immediately jumping up and down, it felt even better when I saw my teammates rush to me yelling in happiness and celebrating with me.
“It’s nice to score but it’s also great to experience your own teammates there celebrating with you, because without them then there wouldn’t be any opportunities to score.”
Tejedor is a former goalkeeper. She moved into the field as a junior. This season, she’s having a notable impact on the Warriors’ attack, rotating between main forward and playing on the left wing.
“Hannah is one of the most composed players on the field,” Valley coach Lauren MacDonald said. “She is able to maintain possession while having momentum to go forward. We just recently switched our formation to have two forwards and it’s made all the difference. We finally have speed and technicality to go to goal.”
Tejedor said her past coaches took note of her good touch on the ball and coaxed her into a change in position, but she resisted at first. Her comfort zone was in net.
“I was in goal until near the end of my sophomore season,” she said. “My coach put me in the field and from then on I have committed to playing the field. I just needed a real push to fully see what I could do.”
Tejedor’s first goal, assisted by Russell, came in the sixth minute of the match.
“Seeing how Eileen is faster than me when it comes to running after the ball, she was able to get to it first from a pass from Sophia Surber while I was trailing behind,” she said. “She then had a defender come on her back, and from there she was able to give me a light pass and I took the shot.”
Her second goal was set up by a light pass from Doyon, who attracted “almost the entire line” of Old Saybrook’s defense.
“I stayed out wide and since they were all focused on the right, I had a clear shot,” Tejedor said.
Liz Allen had 9 saves in net for Valley. The Warriors (3-2-0) return to action Thursday at home against North Branford. Old Saybrook (3-2-1) meets Morgan in Clinton on Friday.
Elsewhere around the county Tuesday:
Xavier 3, Fairfield Prep 1
Highlights: The unbeaten Falcons dealt the Jesuits their first loss in 8 matches. Jack Polke scored in the first half off an assist from John Milardo and Brady Stevenson (Ryan Gerry assist) and Finn Russell (Stevenson) tallied in the second half to give Xavier a 3-goal lead. Luciano Paoletta scored on a penalty kick for Prep. Spencer Misenti turned in another strong effort in goal with 5 saves.
Next Match: Xavier (5-0-1) at Shelton, Friday, 7pm.
Middletown 4, Plainville 1
Highlights: Marshall Butler lit up the scoreboard with a hat trick and Dario Rigano also scored to spark the unbeaten Blue Dragons at home. Kris Bocchio had an assist for Middletown. Trevor Rau scored for Plainville (3-3-0). MHS keeper Tyler Hahn had 3 saves.
Next Match: Middletown (5-0-1) hosts RHAM, Friday, 3:30.
Morgan 2, Portland 2
Highlights: Taylor Maher’s unassisted goal in the 71st minute gave the Huskies the draw at Indian River Complex in Clinton. After a scoreless first half, Ava Maselek scored unassisted in the 55th minute for the Highlanders. Katie Martin tied it for Morgan off Maeve Madura’s assist 13 minutes later. Portland took the lead as Amelia Hair scored unassisted 2 minutes later. Keepers Angelina Comiskey of Morgan and Hannah Brunk of Portland had 4 saves each.
Next Match: Morgan (3-0-3) hosts Old Saybrook, Friday, 3:45; Portland (3-0-2) visits Westbrook, Thursday, 3:45.
Old Lyme 3, Coginchaug 0
Highlights: Alexis Fenton had a hat trick to power the Wildcats past Coginchaug in a battle of unbeaten Shoreline teams. The Blue Devils’ 5-0-1 streak to start the season ended. Old Lyme improved to 3-0-3. Emma Samperi and Carly Benbow combined for 8 saves for the Devils.
Next Match: Old Lyme hosts Cromwell, Thursday, 3:45; Coginchaug hosts Hale-Ray, Friday, 3:45.
Middletown 0, Plainville 0
Highlights: Abby Johnson had 5 shots on goal for the Blue Dragons. Tessa Labbadia stopped 11 shots on goal for MHS.
Next Match: Middletown (2-3-1) at Bloomfield, Thursday, 3:45.
East Hampton 3, Westbrook 1
Highlights: Sydney Blyler scored all 3 goals for the Bellringers, who improved to 2-3-1. Westbrook fell to 1-5-0.
Next Match: East Hampton hosts H-K, Friday, 6pm; Westbrook hosts Portland, Thursday, 3:45.
Berlin 3, Middletown 1 (23-25, 25-6, 25-14, 25-9)
Highlights: Tori Minor had 5 aces and 4 kills and Jordan LaPoint had 4 aces for Middletown.
Next Match: Middletown (0-6) hosts Plainville, Wednesday, 5pm.