Bunnell's Fabiola Millien-Faustin, front, holds off a Stratford player to get in position to play a ball during Saturday's girls soccer game at Penders Field. (Photo by Dawn Fanara/FanaraPhoto.com)

STRATFORD — Though it might be a long shot, Bunnell girls ​ soccer coach Sebastian Wojdaszka is still hoping his team can ​sneak into the state tournament.​​

The Bulldogs kept alive those chances Saturday, getting first-​half goals from Mia DiPronio and Fabriola Millien-Faustin to​ defeat town rival Stratford 2-0 at Penders Field.​​

Sarah Tartaglio recorded three saves for the Bulldogs (4-7), ​who have strung together consecutive wins for the first time ​this season after out-shooting the Red Devils (2-9) by a 22-5 ​margin.​​

Bunnell was coming off a 3-1 victory over Bethel on Thursday.​​

While the Bulldogs dominated Stratford territorially, they ​ missed some chances to add to their lead.​​

With eight minutes remaining in the game, Bunnell had a goal​ negated due to an offside call and Olivia Kells drilled a​ shot off the middle of the crossbar seconds later.​​

Red Devils’  goalkeeper Helen LeFever kept the game close by​ making 11 saves.​​

“I think the first half definitely was much better than the ​ second half,” Wojdaszka said. “They’re always tough games ​(against Stratford). This is my 11th year and every year we ​play them, it really doesn’t matter. Who’s better goes out the ​window.​​ You could see that second half, I don’t think we played our ​ best. I think we kind of switched off for the majority of it ​and you can’t switch off against anybody. With a little bit of ​ luck, it could have been an interesting game.” ​​

After a sluggish start over the first 10 minutes, Bunnell​ kept the ball in Stratford’s end for most of the remainder ​of the first half and cashed in twice in a span of just under​ five minutes from nearly the same spot on the field.

​​”I think the first half we were too defensive,” Stratford​ coach Sarah Stevens said. “We had too much of a defensive​ mentality in the first half and got caught up in the middle of​ the field. ​​We weren’t getting the ball out quickly enough when it was at ​ the top of the 18. There were too many risky situations that ​we didn’t get rid of quickly enough.”

​​At the 25:36 mark, DiPronio was left alone at the top of the​ box and drilled a 20-yard shot into the top right corner.​​

The Stratford and Bunnell girls soccer teams matched up on Saturday at Penders Field. (Photo by Dawn Fanara/fanaraphoto.com)

Bunnell continued to press the action and doubled its lead at​ the 20:39 mark when Millien-Faustin cut into the middle and ​rifled a low shot inside the left post.​​

“We were lacking communication out there, who was going to​ take care of the ball, who was going to get it out,” Stevens ​added. “Some people got caught ball watching and they ​capitalized on opportunities that we were not paying attention​to.”​​

After a quiet first half in which the Bulldogs enjoyed a 12-1​ edge in shots, Tartaglio finally made her first save just over​ two minutes into the second half.​​

She then preserved the shutout when she stopped Ava Buckmir​ from close range with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.​​

“Obviously, we are better than where we were even a week or ​ two ago but, at this point, we have to be more consistent,”​ Wojdaszka said.​​”We can’t be playing batches of 20-, 30-minute games. It’s ​ got to be 80 minutes for the most part. That what we need to ​work on for the rest of the season.”​​

Stratford’s Elle Moshier rips into a kick during Saturday’s game against Bunnell at Penders Field. (Photo by Dawn Fanara/fanaraphoto.com)

With a 15-game slate instead of 16, the Bulldogs need to​ split their remaining four contests to qualify for the state​ tournament.​

A 6-9 mark — winning 40 percent of their games — would get them in. ​

However, they have tough games remaining at Newtown (5-1-7) on ​ Monday, home for Barlow (3-4-3) on Thursday and at Brookfield ​(7-2-4) on Oct. 28 before the rematch against Stratford to ​ conclude the regular season on Oct. 30.​​

Stratford is back in action at home on Monday against Notre​ Dame of Fairfield (9-2-2).​

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