Litchfield Hills teams complete strong spring seasons
The Litchfield Hills girls’ under-14 soccer team, above, sponsored by the Litchfield Soccer Club competed in the Avon Memorial Day Tournament. The team was unbeaten in four games and gave up only one goal. Payton Graham, Ava Capella, Abby Whalen, Emma Cameron and goalkeepers Molly Lennon and Skylar Soletsky were outstanding defensively. ~ contributed
The Litchfield Hills girls’ under-16 premier soccer team, below, ended the season with a 7-0 win over Danbury Premier on Sunday. The girls ended the season 5-1-2 and finished in second place out of 10 premier teams from across the state.
Litchfield High sophomores Christina Orsini and Francesca Luzzi, both playing up a year in age, combined to control the center of the field. Sophomore Aileen Lennon was a starter on a tough defense led by Olivia Tibbatts of Shepaug and 14-year old Payton Graham of Torrington. Abby Gorra (Shepaug), Emily Whalen (Northwestern) and goalie Skylar Soletsky were also key contributors defensively.
Wide areas of the field were controlled by speedy Grace Wagnblas (Shepaug) , Erin Shannon of Litchfield, McKenzie Kleppin (New Milford) and the left-footed Justine Lago (Wamogo).
The Litchfield Hills team led the 10-team division in goal scored with 24 goals in eight games. Litchfield sophomore Allie Davenport scored five goals, while Shepaug strikers Sofia Mancinone, Gwen Noto and Katalina Mancinone combined for 14. Madison McCarthy of Thomaston chipped in two and Erin Shannon had one.
The team also benefited from the strong play of Devon O'Dywer, Landrie Spelman and Ava Cappella, who despite playing on multiple teams, were able to guest play when injuries dictated a need.
The emotional highlight of the season for the girls had nothing to do with their success on the field. Instead it came in the last game of the season when goalie Jena Solak from Northwestern was able to take the field after being medically cleared only three days before the game. Solak had undergone two major knee surgeries over the winter and despite being unable to play, was a constant fixture at practices and games.
The coaching staff cited the Litchfield Soccer Club, the White Memorial Foundation, JRC Transportation Inc, Sportsmen's, the Saltwater Grille, parents and the community for support.