To say it’s been difficult for the St. Joseph High boys soccer team to get a result against crosstown rivals Trumbull High would be an understatement.

Thanks to senior Michael Lello’s headed goal with 3:17 left in the game, the Cadets did exactly that at McDougall Stadium — dealing the Eagles a stunning 2-1 setback and spoiling Senior Night for Trumbull’s 15 seniors.

“This is the first time I’ve beaten them since I’ve been at St. Joe’s,” said Cadets’ coach Steve Waizenegger, in his sixth season helming St. Joseph. “We’ve struggled against them... I’m happy for our boys.”

Lello’s goal, which came off of a long throw-in, was a direct result of a hard work by sophomore Matthew Reis along the touch line in the attacking third.

“We’ve scored a lot of goals off of headers this year,” Waizenegger said. “We struggle to score goals so we do anything we can to get it across the line. They fought hard.”

Prior to striking late to snare the victory, St. Joseph (4-6-2) struck early to grab a lead.

Sophomore Dante Alberti’s goal at 34:53 staked the Cadets to a 1-0 margin, throwing Trumbull off of its rhythm for a majority of the first half.

“It happens, we didn’t play our game and they played their game,” Eagles’ coach Sebastian Gangemi said.

With junior Brian McBride pressuring the Eagles along the flank, the Cadets looked to add to their lead.

Trumbull defenders Greg Murray, Stephen Ciulla and Tim Bean kept the St. Joseph attack from threatening keeper Josh Amrine, as the Eagles began to transition defense into offense.

The breakthrough came with 3:51 left in the first half, when junior Justin Lynch broke in along the left side and lashed a shot that trickled past Cadet keeper Eric Lewicki for the equalizer.

Christian Barroso looked to put St.  Joseph ahead going into the half, but his drive from distance hooked wide of the frame.

In the second half, the Eagles began to assert themselves on the attack, led by Lynch, Chris Anderson and Alberto Aguillon. But, they were unable to break down the Cadets, who did not substitute once during the game.

“They were playing well, they are fit and nobody seemed winded,” Waizenegger said of the iron-man strategy.

The gritty Cadets were the ones that grabbed the late winner, then held on over the final three minutes to clinch the victory.

“Trumbull could’ve easily equalized and won the game,” Waizenegger said. “We don’t get many results here, so I’m just happy for the boys. We didn’t make a sub the entire game, they played hard and they kept their heads today.”

For the Eagles, who fell to 5-6-1, they’ll look to regroup and return to their winning ways.

“We have to get back at it,” Gangemi said.

Roundup

Alberto Aguillon scored a goal in the 59th minute to lift Trumbull in to a 1-1 tie with Staples of Westport on Oct. 9. The Wreckers are 8-1-2. Josh Amrine had 8 saves.

Matt Kapell scored a goal in the 79th minute to give the Eagles a 1-1 tie with Danbury High on Oct. 15.

Stephen Ciulla assisted on the tally, that matched the Hatters’ Edison Matute’s goal six minutes in to the FCIAC contest. Amrine had three saves. Danbury is 4-3-6.