Girls soccer: Law wins key decision from Hamden

The Jonathan Law girls soccer team won an important game on Friday night, defeating Hamden, 3-1, on the Joe Bruno Field at Hamden High School.

The victory, Law's fifth against six losses and two ties, moves the Eagles within a point of qualifying for the CIAC Class L state tournament, something the team hasn't done since 2012.

Law fell behind 1-0 at the 24:14 mark of the first half after the Green Dragons got a goal from Annika Swift. The locals rallied quickly, scoring less than a minute later, at 23:25, when Catie Rice converted a pass from Kristen Passaro.

Law's Rhea Grant scored what turned out to be the game-winner with 1:30 left in the half, as she took a through ball from Kayla Baker and beat Green Dragon keeper Gabriella Panayotaks with a shot over her left shoulder.

The Eagles gave themselves a two-goal margin, at 3-1, when Samara Thacker scored with an assist going to Rice.

Each team took seven shots while Hamden held a 4-1 margin in corner kicks.

Law coach J.D. Rhode played two goalies, using Gina DiFederico in the first half (one save) and Morgan Taylor in the final 40 minutes. Taylor had two saves and managed to punch away a Hamden corner-kick attempt in the game's final two minutes.

The loss left Hamden with a 5-7-2 record.

"This was an absolutely crucial win for us," Rhode said. "It took us awhile to get going tonight, but, once we did, we played a very nice game. Even when they pushed their players up late, we were able to continue playing the way we wanted to."

The teams had battled to a 0-0 tie back on Sept. 26 in Milford.

The Eagles have three games remaining including the second of two games with cross-city rival Foran on Wednesday night. After that, the Eagles will have a match with the Hillhouse-Cross-Career co-op team of New Haven and with Coginchaug Regional of Durham.

Law closed out its Southern Connecticut Conference Housatonic Division season with a 3-4-1 mark. Hamden was 1-6-1 in the newly-aligned division.