After a scoreless back-and-forth first half, the Parsippany girls soccer team came out strong in the second half and came away with a 2-0 shutout of Whippany Park on Wednesday.
It was the Red Hawks’ fourth straight win and second shutout in three games. After starting the season 0-2 and without having scored a goal, Parsippany (4-2) has picked it up and outscored opponents 14-5 in the last four games.
“Game plan coming in, I think the big statement from our team was we have to keep playing hard,” senior midfielder Sam Pignatelli said. “We came off a big statement win over Hanover Park the other day and now we come play Whippany Park. We knew they were going to come in tough and we told each other that we have to come in tough too. We made some things happen, so that’s always a plus.”
In the 19th minute, Parsippany had a chance to take a 1-0 lead when senior forward Amanda Nardella was awarded a penalty kick. But she shot the ball directly at Wildcats goalie Megan Gallagher, who made the save.
Pignatelli put the Red Hawks on the board in the 41st minute when she took a cross from Nardella and shot the ball wide right past Gallagher for the 1-0 lead. In the 55th minute, Nardella took a shot from the left side of the goal that Gallagher punched back out, and senior midfielder Sam Corbel was waiting and took a shot off the rebound that found the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
“I tried to make the run up the sideline and make sure I was there for the rebound, which I was, so thanks Amanda,” Corbel said. “I think just our motivation has been higher these past few games and this winning streak is really helping our encouragement and showing what we can do.”
For the Red Hawks, one key factor in the victory was shutting down Wildcats senior midfielder Dina Sheira, who leads Whippany Park (3-3) with five goals and two assists so far this season. Parsippany senior defender Ndolo Njie marked Sheira the whole game and held her to only one shot on goal.
“I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know anything, my coach just told me that I was going to mark her,” Njie said. “It was kind of scary at the beginning marking somebody, but my teammates were like, ‘you got it,’ and believed in me and I believed in myself so it’s for them. It did (get easier) and at one point I was frustrated but you’ve got to do everything as a team.”
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GOALS: (P) Corbel, S. Pignatelli. ASSISTS: (P) Nardella 2. SAVES: (P) Spillert 13; (WP) Gallagher 8.