Girls soccer: Set pieces decisive, Wreckers top Eagles
Trumbull High wanted to play an open game and avoid the pitfalls that come off of set pieces that occur after fouls or off corners, when the No. 13 seeded Eagles paid a visit to No. 5 Staples High in a Class LL quarterfinal round game in Westport on Friday.
The Wreckers didn’t have a boatload of chances off restarts, but they did make the most of them as they posted a 3-0 victory.
Staples (15-1-3) will meet No. 1 Glastonbury (17-0-1) in Monday’s semifinal.
“We knew with set pieces we would be up against it,” said Trumbull coach Rich Sutherland, whose team had dropped a 3-0 decision to Staples in the regular season and finished at 13-7.
“We are one of the smaller teams in the league. Staples took the few chances we gave them and had them go their way.”
Gabriela Gonzalez scored off the Wreckers’ first corner, which came after its first free kick, when she headed home a well-delivered ball from Ashley Wright in the game’s sixth minute.
Reese Sutter had a dazzling goal with nine minutes left in the half.
Off a free kick, the junior deposited her shot left to right into the upper 30 from beyond the penalty area.
Trumbull keeper Avery Rice (4 saves) had no chance to stop either tally.
The Eagles put their best threats together in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
Meghan Lesko twice put the ball, where Staples’ keeper Zoe Barnett (3 saves) had to come off her line to make a catch in the box.
The Eagles’ Ana Carlos made a great move to create space, and her pass to Mia DeBello led to a free kick opportunity at the 33-minute mark.
Dani Milovanov placed a hard shot that carried just over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Grace Lesko took a pass from Skylar Jorge and fed Christina Lewis who looked for Meghan Lesko in the box.
The pass was headed wide and Trumbull got a corner. Meghan Lesko put the ball on net but Barnett made the save.
Coach Barry Beattie's Mia Gonzalez countered quickly.
Her pass over the top to Catherine Sprouls saw Rice come out to take the ball off the senior’s foot.
Kathryn Ialeggio slotted home a loose ball to make it 3-0 with 14:59 remaining.
In the 11th minute, Meghan Lesko was the third in a connect-the-pass game with Milovanov and Carlos.
She ripped a shot that Barnett blocked — then covered with Lauren Mecca at her feet.
A handball on Staples gave the Eagles one last shot, but Barnett went high to tip Milovanov’s over the frame.
The resulting corner was cleared away with three minutes on the clock.
Sutherland had this to say about his seniors — Maryna Barone, Simone Dewar, Christina Lewis, Meghan Lesko, Skylar Jorge, Dani Milovanov, Jessica Esposito, Madison McGee and Alexa Andrews.
“Our girls had a great run to end the season,” he said. “Our seniors played a big role in that. This is my first year and the girls were receptive and bought into the process. Today, the girls were brilliant and never gave in.”