Late Heroics Propel Glastonbury to Finals

WEST HAVEN- Don’t call it a comeback.

The Glastonbury Tomahawks have become pretty comfortable playing from behind this season and Wednesday night’s 2-1 semifinal victory over top seed Greenwich in the Class LL State Tournament would be no exception.

“We don’t give in,” Glastonbury head coach Mark Landers said of his team.

Glastonbury fell behind early after the Greenwich Cardinals were awarded a penalty kick with 20:30 remaining in the first half.  Will Gittings capitalized and delivered a goal for the Cardinals to put Greenwich up 1-0.

The score would remain 1-0 in favor of Greenwich at halftime.

“We kind of joked at halftime that we’ve got them right where we want them now,” Landers said.

The four-seed Tomahawks had faced this situation twice already this tournament.  In the second round against 20 Fairfield-Warde, Glastonbury went down a goal but came back in overtime to win 3-2.  The same occurred in Glastonbury’s 3-2 overtime win over 21 Danbury in the quarterfinals.

“I just knew once we were down a goal that we weren’t done,” Glastonbury keeper Chase Conway said of his team’s postseason resilience.  “We definitely weren’t done.”

The Tomahawks were not done.  They were just getting started.

With 7:36 remaining in the game, Greenwich keeper Santiago Irigoyen fielded a ball with his hands just outside of the box.  The hand ball resulted in a free kick from ten yards out for Glastonbury senior Evan Grenus.  Grenus placed the ball beautifully past the wall and out of the reach of a diving Irigoyen to tie the game up.

“We had chances the entire game and as soon as I scored the momentum definitely switched,” Grenus said.

“The writing was on the walls,” Greenwich head coach Kurt Putnam said of the sudden shift in momentum.

With 2:17 remaining, Grenus delivered a beautiful pass to sophomore Nicholas Kapelewski who drove a shot home to give Glastonbury a 2-1 lead and send the Tomahawks to the Class LL State Championship game.

“I think our experience through the tournament has prepared us to finish games like that,” Landers said of his team.  “We had to work for that one.”

“They played a fantastic game and basically stripped us of our game,” Putnam said of the Glastonbury squad.

As time expired, the Glastonbury players made sure to celebrate with their fans, and embraced the energetic Glastonbury High student section on the sidelines.

Glastonbury, who was eliminated in the first round last year, will take on 3 Ridgefield in the championship game at 11am this Saturday at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.

“They will give Ridgefield a real good game,” Putnam said.

“We’ve got a great group of kids, we are a soccer family,” Landers said, adding, “I’m just so proud of them.”

For more photos from Glastonbury’s postseason run click HERE










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