Law girls soccer defeats Foran on PK

Jonathan Law's Brooke Dillman and Foran High's Ariana Montero battle for possession along the sideline.

Jonathan Law's Brooke Dillman and Foran High's Ariana Montero battle for possession along the sideline.

Bill Bloxsom / Hearst Connecticut Media

Jonathan Law’s season-opening soccer match with Foran High was tied at 1-all when a handball call in the box against the host Lions presented the Lady Lawmen with an opportunity to take the lead with a successful penalty kick.

With the drama unfolding on the opposite side of her bench area, Law coach Alicia Francisco turned to her reserves and asked, ‘Who takes these?’

“Everyone knew and yelled out, ‘Gia’,” said Francisco who was coaching her first game at Law after seven seasons at Oxford High. “Gia made that PK and I’m excited to get my first win with these girls.”

Edwards’ shot came at the at 32:26 of the first half and proved decisive before a large and energetic bipartisan crown at the Vito Devito Sports Complex.

“I kind of knew (that she was going to take the PK), then thought, ‘Do I really want to take it because it is always nerve wracking,’” said Edwards, a senior midfielder. “There is a little bit of pressure, but I think of where I’m placing it so that really helps me stay calm.”

Foran got on the board first after Colleen Ardolino took a chip pass from senior co-captain Ariana Montero. A freshman forward, Ardolino showed patience beyond her years with an extra dribble past a defender that gave her space to slip the ball into the right corner of the net.

“We came out ready to go,” said Foran head coach Casey Blake. “There were so many people here...The girls were excited to play before so many peers, family and friends. We scored that first goal and I thought, “Okay, here we go,” but Law was right there to challenge us.”

Law co-captain Cici Lopes knotted the game just after the midway point of the first half on a well-angled shot off an assist from Shelby Green.

“I liked the way we responded (to the Lion goal),” Francisco said. “The girls were eager to get here and play the game together.”

Foran keeper Emily Wheaton (7 saves) stopped two shots after Lopes’ tally.

The Lions came out like gangbusters to open the second half.

Mia Loewenberg, Courtney Musante, Rylee Tondora and Sara Portoff took turns challenging off free kicks in the first nine minutes of the stanza, but Law keeper Jillian Hall (9 saves) wouldn’t give an inch.

Law had a chance in the middle of that Lion blitz, when Lopes delivered a tough shot from distance that was gathered in by Wheaton.

The Lady Lawmen’s best chance to add to their lead came in the 61st minute.

Fiona Laskaj connected with Green, who ripped the shot to the right post, which was deflected wide by Wheaton. Off the ensuing corner, Edwards put a header on frame that was caught by Wheaton.

In the 69th minute, Foran’s Georgia Malesky’s shot was saved by Hall.

Foran used a flurry of passes to run Hall from post to post with two minutes remaining, before Andrianna Bruno and Alexis Voytek doubled up in the corner to regain possession and bring it out.

Blake said, “The girls worked hard, the intensity was there, and we got some good looks. We’ll be ready again the next time.”

Edwards said: “It’s great, we love our new coach (Francisco). She brings a really good attitude to our team and makes us all bond really well, which I think helps us a lot on the field.”