Trumbull girls soccer semi
The Trumbull High girls soccer team chased after a one-goal deficit, but never could tie the game, when Glastonbury High stayed unbeaten with a 1-0 Class LL semifinal victory at Falcon Field in Meriden on Saturday.
“It was really tough to lose, I thought our girls gave all they had tonight,” Trumbull coach Daniel Uhrlass said after his Eagles finished their season with a 14-3-3 mark.
“Looking at the kids...We see tears, we see blood, literally, so we’ve very proud of them. We couldn’t have asked for more.”
Glastonbury’s Kristen Dragotta scored at 36:22 of the first half and the top-seeded Tomahawks (19-0) held off a relentless Trumbull search for an answer.
“That is the best team, by far, that we’ve played all season,” Glastonbury coach Joe Finocchiaro said. “They play a nice style of soccer and my hat goes off to them.”
Glastonbury will meet sixth-seeded Newtown High (16-1-3) for the title.
Down a goal, the Eagles pressed on with Katie Sullivan, Lauren Hyde, Nicole Schwartz, Katie Foley and Kendall Szulimowski matching up with the Tomahawks’ talented midfield.
The Eagles’ Taylor Pratcher’s pooch kick from distance found a streaking Ana Tantum, but the senior’s blast from up close was snatched out of the air by Glastonbury keeper Ciara Boucher just seven minutes after the T-Hawks got on the board.
Julia Lisi’s forechecking led to Sullivan’s pass to Hyde, whose rising shot cleared the crossbar at 27:51.
Marissa Piccolo and Tantum were sent in on a number of occasions, only to be denied by the T-Hawk defense, which stopped four shots from the 25th to 23rd minute of the contest.
Rowen Martin, Caroline Crosley and Alyka Lara used their offensive skills to help stay even with the T-Hawks on 50-50 opportunities.
Trumbull’s back three of Pratcher, Gabriella Reggiano and Lisi, with relief help from Lauren Coty, would deny Glastonbury another goal, but nothing was easy.
Sydney Keane sent a pass over the top to the sure-footed Kate Smith, but Reggiano doubled back with a fine tackle.
Doris made a sliding stop of a crossing pass from Taylor Walker to Rileigh Queen before she could snap off a shot inside the box.
“Their [Glastonbury’s] play in transition is very good,” Uhrlass said. “That’s what they did for their goal.”
Doris was never more clutch than when the senior took on Smith in front and two-handed her shot off frame and made a running catch of the rebound with eight minutes left in the half.
The rivals exchanged the first of two corners each would earn, with six and four minutes remaining in the half, but neither could put a shot on next.
Fifteen minutes into the second session, Schwartz was tripped up and Sullivan’s direct kick from 20 yards out from the wing, resulted in three shots that never made it to Boucher in the crowded penalty area.
Doris punched a Glastonbury corner out by the near post with 10 minutes remaining before Pratcher headed a cross to Smith out of danger a minute later.
In the final four minutes, the Eagles fronted the ball to Tantum on two occasions, but each time Boucher beat her to the ball, the second time surviving a brief collision.
“We had to play more direct than we like,” Finocchiaro said. “We used speed where we could and defense always...That’s our motto.”
Uhrlass said: “It’s been a really great year for us and we’re proud of the girls. I think we are still making a mark around the state for playing good soccer.”
Tantum, Piccolo and Lara scored the goals from Trumbull in its’ 3-1 quarterfinal win over fourth-seeded Mercy High in Middletown on Wednesday.