Restrepo delivers Trumbull booters into final
It took overtime to get it done, but the Trumbull High boys soccer team defeated Danbury High 1-0 in overtime in the FCIAC tournament semifinals at Fairfield Ludlowe’s Taft Field on Monday evening.
Andrew Restrepo came off the bench to strike the lone goal with 1:14 remaining in the first of two 10-minute overtime periods.
“I needed a set of fresh legs and I needed a spark,” Trumbull coach Sebastian Gangemi said.
He got just that when Restrepo used his speed to get past a Danbury defender on the left side and blast a shot into the far side of the goal.
“He came up big for us. Nice, beautiful goal,” Gangemi said.
“When I had a chance I just capitalized,” Restrepo said.
The fifth-seeded Eagles advance to the FCIAC championship game for the second year in a row.
Trumbull (12-4-2) will meet second-seeded Greenwich High (13-4-2), who they were co-champions with a season ago, in Thursday's 7 p.m. final at Testa Field In Norwalk.
The Cardinals defeated sixth-seeded Norwalk High, 2-0, in their semifinal.
In the win over eighth-seeded Danbury, Panayiotis Xenakis assisted on the winning tally.
Andrew Menjivar made 10 saves in goal for the Eagles.
Danbury goalkeeper David Mollenthial made eight stops.
It looked as if the Eagles might end it in regulation with a late flurry of activity in front of the Danbury goal, but the Hatters escaped until Restrepo entered the game.
In the final minutes, Xenakis, Matheus Santiago and Jason Weinstein all had chances, with Weinstein’s header being deflected just wide by a defender.
Strong defensive work by Xenakis, Joe Piccolo, Myles Summers and Nicholas Xenakis kept Danbury’s in-close chances to a minimum.
Trumbull and Danbury tied in their regular-season meeting.
Just like the Eagles took care of some unfinished business with the win over a Danbury team they tied during the regular campaign, they will look to do the same against Greenwich in the pinnacle battle.
“This time I want to win,” Restrepo said.
The Eagles will try to get the job done with a vastly different looking lineup after nine starters graduated from last year’s group.
“We earned it. We earned the respect today,” Gangemi, who believes his team was not given much of a chance by anybody following all of those senior departures.
“We’re back. Trumbull is back. That’s all I can tell you,” Gangemi said.