The Norwalk Blue Thunder under-11 girls soccer team defeated Bethel on Sunday, 3-0, to win the Connecticut Cup. The title is the first girls state championship for the Norwalk Junior Soccer Association program.
Norwalk scored with 10 minutes left in the first half and added two in the second half to put the game away.
The final was at Tunxis Meade Park in Farmington. The Blue Thunder had the support of a raucous crowd with horns blaring and fans who colored their hair blue.
The Thunder started with several scoring opportunities. The Bethel keeper made some great saves to keep the Thunder off the board. The Thunder finally broke through and punched home its first goal.
The second goal came on a rebound, and the third on a ball sent into the box before the Blue Thunder blasted it home.
The Thunder continued its relentless pressure on goal and played outstanding defense, led by Chloe Ortolano, Olivia Leone and Lea Panagiotidis. Mikayla Fosina posted the shutout in goal, and kept Bethel off the scoreboard with a jumping save with five minutes remaining. Playing outstanding in midfield for Norwalk were Julia Sferlazza, Emily Denunzio, Jazmine Fred and Ashleigh Doyle. Offensive standouts were Cierra Kitt, Peyton McNamara, Katie Goldsmith, Sofia Tarasidis, Tara Hufnagel and Stephany Escalante. The team is coached by Jeff Ortalano. The girls celebrated Sunday evening at the Sono Brewhouse, where they received a surprise visit from Mayor Richard Moccia.
Norwalk Junior Soccer Association boys teams have won several Connecticut Cups, the last coming in 2009.