Every season, the question is the same. Which team will be the last one standing at the end. Not the end of the regular season, conference championships, or even the CIAC Tournaments. No, those questions will come to their natural conclusions, and will get plenty of attention. In this case, CIACsports.com is focusing on a much more obscure, and wholly trivial achievement. With the two weeks completely in the books for the fall season, and teams having a handful of games in the books, it is time to begin monitoring the really important developments. Namely, which field hockey, boys soccer, and girls soccer team will be the last to allow a goal.
CIACsports.com is no stranger to appreciating the value of defense, and these teams seem to clearly be buying in to that message. More impressively, they have started that emphasis from day one of the season — something that is not easy to do when the team is getting its first crack at live action. Admittedly, this is completely a novelty, and not in anyway indicative of success the rest of the year. Rather it is just something fun to track as the season moves along. Without further adieu, let’s meet the contenders (all information as of 9/26 as entered in the CIAC reporting system).
Waterford Boys Soccer: The lone boys soccer team on the list, the Lancers are off to a dominant start to the season. No goals allowed through its first four games, while scoring 15 goals. Austin Schwartz in goal has been stout for the team that went 12-3-1 a season ago and is off to a start that has them in position to win at least 10 games again.
Suffield Girls Soccer: Off to a strong start in class LL is a Suffield squad that is off to 6-0 and has won five of its six matches by at least five goals, and obviously based on their inclusion on this list, have not surrendered a goal. No stranger to shutouts, the Wildcats posted 14 shutouts last year while going unbeaten last year in the regular season, and are making a first appearance in LL this year.
St. Paul Catholic Girls Soccer: Also starting the year 6-0 is St. Paul Catholic which has managed to keep opponents off the scoreboard in all six games, including an overtime match that finished 0-0 on Wednesday. Two of the team’s victories were 1-0 victories and senior captain Mary Ranagan has been outstanding in goal for the Falcons. This is certainly a better start than a year ago when the team opened the season 1-5.
Waterford Girls Soccer: What exactly is in the water in Waterford? Opposing team goals are clearly very hard to come by as the girls team has been just as stingy as the boys in surrendering scores. The Lancer girls are 5-0-1 to start the year and like St. Paul Catholic had to work overtime to preserve one of those shutouts. The team also has two 1-0 wins, including a win over Plainfield on Wednesday when Ambert Heenan made four saves to earn the shutout. Strong defensive starts aren’t uncommon for this team, as last year the Lancers blanked opponents in seven of its first eight.
Glastonbury Field Hockey: Mentioned in last year’s treatise on the value of defense, the Tomahawks are at it again with five shutouts while rolling to a 5-0 start to the season. The offense has also been working as the team is averaging almost 5.5 goals per game, but its most recent victory which came against Enfield was a 1-0 triumph. As mentioned, Glastonbury was tough to score on last year as well, posting 13 shutouts overall on the year, including not allowing opponents on the board in the first seven matches.
Wilton Field Hockey: Four matches into the season the Wilton Warriors have piled up four victories, scoring at least three goals in each outing, and keeping the opponent off the scoreboard. Lizette Roman-Johnston has been strong in the cage for Wilton and she has also had the benefit of a strong defense playing in front of her, as highlighted by conceding just one shot in the team’s win earlier this week again Westhill. Shutouts were the norm for Wilton last season when the team notched 14 shutouts on the year, including the first eight games of the year en route to a class M title. The shutout streak will face a test on Thursday when the Warriors take on defending class L champions Darien.
Conard Field Hockey: The final remaining team without a goal against it this season is Conard which ran its record to 4-0 with a shutout win over Southington earlier this week. The Chieftains have a 0-0 tie on its ledger as well, which came against similarly stingy South Windsor, and started off the season with a 1-0 blanking of Maloney. Defense was a staple in the team’s 12-3-0-1 season from last year when it collected 11 shutouts in its 13 victories. Projected as a fairly inexperienced team to start the season, senior defender Maggie Geisler has helped anchor the unit which has the squad off to an unbeaten start.
There you have it, the seven remaining teams that have yet to surrender a goal in the 2013 season. There might be more important honors in the future for some of these teams, but for now, tracking which team will capture this completely artificial honor will have the attention of CIACsports.com.