Boys soccer: Greenwich defeats Trumbull, 1-0, in final

Greenwich's Francisco Ligouri and Trumbull's Matheus Santiago look to make a play in the air. — Dave Stewart photo
Greenwich's Francisco Ligouri and Trumbull's Matheus Santiago look to make a play in the air. — Dave Stewart photo

For close to 70 minutes the Trumbull High boys soccer team hoped history would repeat itself against Greenwich in the FCIAC championship game.

A year ago the Eagles fell behind early to the Cardinals, but battled back to tie the game.

The sides eventually shared the championship spoils.

Thursday night at Norwalk High’s Testa Field that equalizer never came for fifth-seeded Trumbull and second-seeded Greenwich held on to win 1-0.

The Cardinals are 14-4-1. The Eagles fell to 12-5-2.

“We gave everything we had,” Trumbull coach Sebastian Gangemi said. “I thought we were going to get one. I didn’t think it was going to end up 1-0. I thought it would wind up 2-1 or something like that.”

The Cardinals got all they needed 10 minutes into the game thanks to Federico Irigoyen’s free kick from the top of the area.

The Greenwich senior placed a low shot on the slick surface around the Trumbull wall and tucked it into far left corner of the net past Eagles’ keeper Andrew Menjivar.

“The last time we played them every free kick was over the wall,” Menjivar said. “I anticipated too much to one side and they took advantage of it.”

Menjivar kept Trumbull within hailing distance with a flurry of saves throughout the rest of the first half.

Midway through the session, he made a diving aerial save to deny Adam Juszczyk from a corner kick.

Minutes later he stopped a long free kick taken by Francisco Liguori.

Later on in the second half, he raced off his line to deny a Greenwich breakaway.

Menjivar finished with nine saves.

The Trumbull offense took some time to get going and the Eagles were held without a shot on target in the first half.

“They were pounding us the first half, they were better the first half,” Gangemi said. “They were beating us up in the middle.”

Gangemi made some adjustments that resulted in Trumbull creating more opportunities as the game wore on.

The Eagles’ best chance came eight minutes into the second half when senior defender Nicholaos Xenakis smashed a half-volley from outside the box.

The shot went right into the arms of Greenwich keeper James Johnson to keep it 1-0.

The Eagles kept pressing with junior Jason Weinstein leading the line.

Weinstein nearly got behind the Cardinals’ defense early in the second half, but his short-range attempt was knocked away by a Greenwich slide tackle at the last moment to set up a corner.

“The second half we played them much better,” Menjivar said. “We didn’t let them have control.”

The Eagles now turn their attention to the Class LL tournament.

“We have to refocus,” Menjivar said. “It’s only one game, it’s a tough one obviously, but it’s one game. We have to focus on the state tournament which is arguably a bigger prize.”