EAST HAVEN — Wednesday afternoon’s rain made the turf at Frank Crisafi Field difficult to navigate.
And that didn’t help the offenses as Hand and East Haven played to a scoreless deadlock in a Southern Connecticut Conference girls’ soccer contest.
Perhaps the best scoring chance of the entire afternoon came in the waning seconds. East Haven’s Edith KwadenNaab slipped and fell down in front of the Hand net and couldn’t get a shot off with Tiger goalie Brooke Salutari frantically trying to knock the ball aside.
“It was a great opportunity to score and then that changes the whole game,” East Haven coach Jake Hackett said. “On a dry day, she might have had a better touch on it and wouldn’t have slipped.”
Hand had several opportunities earlier in the game. Its best chance of the second half came with 27:08 remaining when Yellowjacket goalie Angelina Munoz steered aside a couple shots from about 20 yards out.
“She came up with some big saves in key moments,” Hackett said.
In the first half, Hand had a couple chances. Mia Forti had a good shot just 15 minutes into the game, but it was easily knocked aside by Munoz.
With 4:17 left until intermission and a drizzle turning to a hard rain, Maya Howard made a couple moves with the ball to get to the net, but Munoz came out of the crease to make the save.
“We came out lethargic in the first 20 minutes and weren’t connecting on passes,” Hand coach David Dikranian said. “It took us 20 minutes to get our rhythm going to where we had some nice sequences and generated chances. In the second half, we lost all of our composure and make a lot of mental errors.”
Hand is now 5-4-2.
“Both teams got lucky on a few plays in the goal box,” Dikranian said. “East Haven needed the result and I knew they would come out hard. We were a little overconfident after beating Mercy and didn’t match their intensity.”
With the tie, Hand failed to qualify for the state tournament. The Tigers still need another win or tie to do so.
”Unfortunately, it will have to wait another game,” Dikranian added.
East Haven is now 3-5-3.
“We would have liked to come out with a win,” Hackett said. “We want to try and get on top of some of the top teams in the SCC. It would have been a nice message to send, but I’m okay with the draw.”
Munoz had five saves for East Haven, while Salutari had six for Hand.