Trumbull refuses to share FCIAC boys soccer title
The Trumbull High and Danbury High boys soccer team agreed on one thing entering their FCIAC final — one of them would leave Taft Field as the sole survivor.
From the first minute to the last, both coach Sebastian Gangemi’s second-seeded Eagles and coach Antony Howard’s top-seeded Hatters competed to lift the championship trophy.
There would be no matching hardware presented to each school.
“I was dreaming of this since I was a freshman,” Trumbull’s Jason Weinstein said after his goal with 6:26 remaining in the second overtime provided the difference in the 1-0 thriller played before a full-throated crowd in Norwalk.
“This is my third time here, and the third time is the charm. Started as co-champs (in 2016), then a loss (to Greenwich in 2017) and all that was left to do was win.”
Weinstein’s gamer came off an Andrew Restrepo assist.
Restrepo placed a cross toward the goal mouth, and Hatter keeper Matt Silva got his hand on the ball. Weinstein was johnny-on-the-spot and put the deflection into the back of the net.
“I crashed the box and Andrew put the ball to me, this is the best feeling in my soccer life,” said Weinstein, the all-time leading goal scorer in Trumbull High history.
Gangemi said: “How fitting Jay scored the goal. Trumbull boys made us proud tonight. No one wanted that tie. They all played like champions. It was a great game between two great teams.”
Howard, who guided his team to the best record in the FCIAC (10-1-5) and a division title, agreed.
“We had a chat the other day and we said ‘We are very defensive-minded. Will we accept co-champions?’ and we said ‘No,’” he said. “This is our first final in twenty years and we wanted to come out and try to be sole champions.
“First half, we weren’t good enough, second half I thought we were great and really making stuff happen more than we’ve done all year. We threw everything at them and it just wasn’t enough.”
Weinstein knew why.
“Chris Prizio was the reason we got to overtime,” he said. “And then we (the rest of the team) got the job done in overtime.”
A senior keeper, Prizio had led the second-seeded Eagles (12-2-4) to a pair of penalty-kick driven victories (7-5 PK over Norwalk, 3-1 PK win over Staples) to get his team to its third consecutive final.
There would be no such heroics made available in the title match, so Prizio left his mark during regulation and overtime with 12 saves. Silva had 18 saves, as each keeper matched the intense level of play turned in by each side.
Named game MVP, Prizio described his save with 1:57 left in regulation that forced the extra sessions.
“I saw 11 (Tiago DesReis) pushing from the outside and then he put the ball in (to Lucas Oliveira),” Prizio said. “It was pure reflex and I was able to take it wide.”