PARSIPPANY The Parsippany girls soccer team put together an offensive outburst en route to a 4-1 victory of Hanover Park on Monday afternoon.
Red Hawks head coach Greg Cleary made a key switch to his lineup after being shut out 1-0, in consecutive games. Sophomore Luisa Barone was moved up to the right wing position to help contribute on the offensive side of the ball and it paid dividends for his team.
“I said, ‘girls the only way this is going to work is if you are all on board with it’,” Cleary said of the switch. “And they were all on board. The defense was awesome and everything was a lot better today. I liked the effort of our team.”
From the opening whistle, Red Hawks junior midfielder Haley Pignatelli showed she was the best player on the field. And in the 14th minute, she solidified that statement.
Pignatelli took a shot from 40 yards out after winning the ball on a Hanover Park goal kick. She realized the keeper was out of net, and she took her chance and buried it into the top right corner of the net.
“We definitely came out harder today,” Pignatelli said. “We knew they were a hard team, so we had to come out stronger and faster against them and I think we did a good job of that.”
The Red Hawks scored their second goal only six minutes into the second half when junior Salena LeDonne dished out one of her three assists. She gave a through pass to Barone on the wing, and the ball was put into the lower left part of net for the two-goal advantage.
Hanover Park would cut the deficit to 1 goal 10 minutes later, when midfielder Jackie Larsen one-timed a volley into the upper right corner. However, the only thing it did was add fuel to the fire for the Red Hawks.
Parsippany would go onto score in the 28th and 32nd minute to increase its lead. Forward Faith Preziosi took a shot similar to Pignatelli’s goal, and the ball went over the outstretched arm of the keeper for the Red Hawks’ third score. The final goal came on a cross from LeDonne, and freshman Hannah Maqsudi shed the defender and finished with her head.
“I thought we played a nice game and the score represented that.” Cleary said.
Despite the loss, Hanover Park head coach Erin Shane felt positive moving forward. The Hornets didn’t play their best game a day after an MCT quarterfinal loss to No. 1 West Morris.
“We got beat up pretty bad against West Morris,” Shane said. “We are tired, but we know what we have to do better. Parsippany won the majority of the 50/50 balls, and we didn’t have great communication. These are simple things to fix. We did this in the beginning of the season, but once we started talking and stepping up to the ball we won eight straight. We will be fine.”
Staff Writer Dan Canova: (862) 240-2878;firstname.lastname@example.org