Grasso girls lead Cadets past Eagles in states

Sam Grasso scored a pair of goals, Marissa Grasso had two assists, and coach Jack Nogueria’s third-seeded St. Joseph High girls soccer team defeated 19th-seeded Trumbull High, 4-1, in a Class LL second-round state tournament game at the Dalling Sports Complex on Wednesday.

“We weren’t spectacular at all, but we found a way to win.” said Nogueria, whose 16-0-1 team will host either No 6 Hall High (13-1-3) or 22nd-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe (9-7-1) on Friday at 2 p.m. “Defensively, we played well.”

Trumbull (9-5-4) was coming off a 4-0 first-round win over Westhill, and coach Daniel Uhrlass wasn’t pleased with the way the game went with St. Joseph.

“We were outstanding on Monday (versus Westhill) and today was disappointing,” he said. “Technically, this wasn’t a good game for us. Our first touch was poor and we were waiting for passes. We never settled down. Sooner or later, they are going to score.”

Trumbull keeper Maggie Parisi had three saves in the first eight minutes, and made a stop on Jenna Bike’s rocket with 18:12 remaining in the opening half.

That led to a corner opportunity for the Cadets, and Marissa Grasso struck a liner from the left of Parisi, that glanced off the leaping senior’s finger tips to Sam Grasso, who headed it home for a 1-0 lead at the 17:46 mark.

Ten minutes later, Marissa Grasso placed St. Joseph’s fifth corner into the box, where Bike's shot deflected off teammate Samantha Lello and into the net to give the Cadets a 2-0 lead.

Trumbull scored three minutes into the second half, as Lauren Hyde created space along the sideline and then lofted a shot over the head of St. Joseph keeper Molly Meehan that nestled into the far corner at 36:15.

That energized the Eagles for the next eight minutes, and Trumbull earned its first corner off a give-and-go from Hyde to Nicole Schwartz that saw the Cadets’ Sabrina Toole block the cross.

Hyde got the ball back off the corner, but this time it was Alexa Waizenegger blocking her shot before it could reach Meehan at 31:07.

The Cadets struck quickly to regain their two-goal advantage, with Marissa Grasso feeding Sam Grasso in front.

The senior striker got Parisi to shift to her right, and then deftly slotted the ball into the left side of the net with 27:13 remaining in the game.

Marissa Grasso delivered a great ball off a corner, and Toole tallied off a well-struck header at the 9:06 mark to complete the scoring.