The margin for error in boys soccer-- in the FCIAC especially-- can be feet or even inches.
On Tuesday, Fairfield Warde proved this.
The Mustangs hit the crossbar once, and could not pot any of their 11 shots and as Westhill scored a 2-0, season-opening win over Warde in Fairfield.
"We were able to create a number of opportunities," Fairfield Warde coach Justin Ottavio said. "We just couldn't finish."
Westhill junior forward Filosmar Cordeiro scored a goal and had an assist and sophomore goalkeeper Juan Dela Cruz stopped nine shots.
"It's a good win," Westhill coach Joe Andrews said. "It was a good overall game to get the butterflies out."
Warde goalkeeper Steven Bartlett stopped four shots, including a penalty kick, as the Mustangs lost to Westhill for the second straight year. Warde's only win ever over Westhill came via a 2009 forfeit.
"Although failure is challenging, it's a positive in that it's a learning opportunity," Ottavio said. "We're going to grow and learn from our mistakes and try to come back and be resilient."
Senior Jacques Baudoin's goal broke the ice in the seventh minute. Bartlett punched out Cordeiro's corner kick cross, but the senior forward stopped the ball at his feet and booted it home.
"I didn't expect it," Andrews said of the goal. "It wasn't a dangerous cross. I think it was a matter of (Baudoin) being in the right place at the right time."
Westhill's defense and Dela Cruz kept the Mustangs off the board, especially early in the second half. Westhill also benefited from a bit of luck when Warde's Stuart Peters hit the post and Alex Landau's try sailed just over the cross bar.
"They came at us quite a bit," Andrews said. "We were able to withstand it."
Dela Cruz also robbed Warde's Matt Petroccio twice with second-half saves, including a diving stop in the 60th minute that kept Westhill ahead 1-0.
"It was very nervous, but I have to stay strong so my team doesn't think I'm negative," Dela Cruz said. "I have to stay confident and strong the whole game."
The Vikings responded with an offensive push, but Bartlett kept Westhill's edge -- temporarily -- at one, stoning Cordeiro twice in three minutes, the second of which came when he kicked out Cordeiro's penalty try, then controlled the subsequent rebound.
"It was a brilliant effort on (Bartlett's) part to save that PK," Ottavio said. "That's a testament to his focus."
Cordeiro struck shortly there after though, putting the Vikings up two with a strong right-footed shot that beat Bartlett.
WESTHILL 1 1-- 2
WARDE 00-- 0
Records: Westhill 1-0; Warde 0-1; Goals: Jacques Baudoin, Filosmar Cordeiro; Assists: Cordeiro; Goalies: West Juan Dela Cruz (9 saves); Warde: Steven Bartlett (4 saves); Shots: West: 6; Warde: 11.