Trumbull defeats Shelton, to host Staples
TRUMBULL — Trumbull did its part with a resounding 6-1 victory against Shelton in a Class LL state tournament game at Sebe Gangemi Field on Wednesday. Coach Silverio Vitiello’s Eagles, as the No. 8 seed, in most cases would move on to play at No. 1 Glastonbury in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Instead, it will be No. 17 seed Staples coming to Trumbull after the Wreckers knocked off the top-seeded Tomahawks 3-2.
“You know what, the seedings might say its unexpected but I know Staples very well and I have a lot of respect for Staples,” Vitiello said. “And while it might be surprising to a lot of people, they play hard for 80 minutes and today they came from behind to do it.
“Whatever happened between our two teams (in the season) means absolutely nothing. They know who we are; we know who they are. We’ll go at it for 80 minutes and see who goes on.”
Staples (10-4-4) played Trumbull (12-2-4) to a 2-2 draw in the regular season. The Eagles won a 4-1 decision in the FCIAC semifinals.
Trumbull was in attack mode from the outset of its game with the No. 9 seed from Shelton (11-4-3).
Matt Bagley was Man of the Match with goals at 4:48 and 5:42 to put the Gaels behind early.
“We had to come out hot, we knew what we had to do,” Bagley said. “Great stuff from my teammates, they got the ball where I needed it. Our midfielders are best in the state, they are the heart of the team. They get us wingers the ball. They are the best.”
Roberto Echenique had the game’s gorgeous goal, as he settled a pass from Justin Horvath from the right wing and bent it past Reino Sawan (8 saves) for a 3-0 lead at 10:52 of the contest.
“We just want to impose our will on teams, set the tone and score one early,” Vitiello said. “We create our chances. We’ve had a few starts like this in the season, but I wasn’t expecting it against a good team like Shelton in the tournament.”
Trumbull’s midfield was at its best throughout. Shelton was limited to 9 shots, with Eagles’ keeper Nick Grassi making four saves.
Tiago Frazao and Horvath attack and Howard Quian kept the ball going forward, with help from Brendan Phelan, Carrigan Cullinan, Matheus Martins, Nicola Milanov and Tucker David.
“I think we have the best midfield combo in the FCIAC, and maybe even the state,” Vitiello said. “They each do a things a little bit different. That makes them hard to defend. They complement each other.”
Shelton’s Vinny Mallozzi got his team back in it at 3-1 when he got on the other end of a free kick at the 22:56 mark.
Frazao made it 4-1 only 6:01 into the second half when the senior collected his shot that came off the crossbar and deposited it into an open side.
Horvath used a double move to create space for a 5-1 lead at 50:43.
Shelton then made multiple runs in a two-minute span, with Alex Coleman, Mark Gergely, Jorge Bores and Mallozzi being turned back.
Frazao tied the Eagles’ single-season record for goals when he took control of a missed clearing chance and scored easily with 13:03 remaining. Frazao’s 19th goal tied John Pearson (2008) for school best.
“We’ve had a a few starts like this in the season, but I wasn’t expecting it against a good team like Shelton in the tournament.” — Trumbull coach Silverio Vitiello
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Matt Bagley’s ability to score goals quickly against a quality opponent separated him from a long list of Trumbull standouts.
TRUMBULL 6, SHELTON 1
SHELTON 1 0 — 1
TRUMBULL 3 3 —6
Goals: Shelton — Vinny Mallozzi. Trumbull — Matt Bagley 2, Tiago Frazao 2, Justin Horvath, Roberto Echenique. Assists: Trumbull — Justin Horvath 2, Roberto Echenique 2, Goalies: Shelton — Reino Sawan (8); Trumbull Nick Grassi (3). Records: Shelton 11-4-3; Trumbull 12-2-4