Glastonbury Girls Win, Boys Fall

MIDDLETOWN-The Glastonbury High girls and boys soccer teams have continued to maintain their programs’ history of success in 20 15. Both had outstanding regular seasons and advanced to Wednesday’s Central Connecticut Conference Tournament championship games at Middletown High School as number one seeds. Once there, however, only the girls found themselves hoisting the winner’s trophy.

Glastonbury Wins Second Consecutive CCC Tournament Title

The Tomahawks repeated as champions with a dominant 7-0 defeat of third-seeded Newington. The third-seeded Indians (17-2) entered the game having shut out eight consecutive opponents.

The Tomahawks (19-0) wasted little time grabbing control of the game, scoring three early goals in a span of 95 seconds. Junior Caroline Bogue struck first, scoring 7:18 in when she advanced the ball through a group of defenders and then skipped it past Newington goalkeeper Jenna Scanlon. Just 40 seconds later, senior Rileigh Queen scored by beating Scanlon high and to her left. Finally, junior Danielle Brinckman ended the flurry 8:53 in by scoring easily on a penalty kick.

While Glastonbury did not score again in the first half, it continued to dominate possession of the ball and put constant pressure on the Indians defense and Scanlon. Meanwhile, the relentless defense refused to allow Newington to get comfortable. The defenders constantly cut off passes and swarmed ball handlers, not allowing them to get any space for shots.

Glastonbury head coach Joe Finocchiaro and senior captain Mara Cosentino both praised the defense.

“We work on our defense a lot in practice and it again showed” Finocchiaro said. “Sammy Riggott has stepped up in the back and we have Danielle, who has already committed to Seton Hall, and we just try and put pieces around her. Abby Renaud has also played very well in goal.”

“We knew coming into the game that Newington had really fast and athletic forwards and we had to contain them,” Cosentino said. “We were able to keep them in front of us and not let them get behind us and make plays.”

In the second half, the Tomahawks again scored multiple goals early to give themselves even more momentum. Senior Sabrina Glaser scored 3:40 in when her pinpoint kick flew past Scanlon high and to her right. Less than three minutes later, Cosentino scored her first of two goals, giving her team a 5-0 lead.

Glastonbury continued to control possession and tempo in the half, and the defense was again able to keep Newington from finding open spaces and generating good shots, despite the Indians best efforts to open up the field. Freshman Leah Barbieri and Cosentino scored the Tomahawks final two goals with 7:18 and 3:10 remaining.

Finocchiaro and Cosentino said the offense’s depth and versatility allows it to be successful.

“All season long, we’ve had multiple guys contributing in games. There’s never been one player teams can focus on,” Finocchiaro said. “Our goals are evenly distributed between a group of players, and we always have lots of options up top.”

“On offense, we like to play varied,” Cosentino said. “Sometimes we like to just go up the middle and sometimes we go wide and cross the ball to the middle, and switching back and forth like that keeps a defense on their heels and not knowing what we’ll do.”

Cosentino’s face broke into a wide smile when she was asked how rewarding it was to win the conference tournament.

“It feels great to win, and it’s just amazing how well our team came together in this game,” she said. “We knew it was going to be challenging and that we had to come together to get through it and win.”

Glastonbury will be the number one seed in the state Class LL Tournament, which begins on November 9th. It will play either Darien or Staples High in its first game. Finocchiaro said his team must remain focused to go on a deep tournament run and repeat last season’s success, when it won the tournament.

“We’re going to look at things one game at a time,” he said. “We know our first round game is going to be tough. We’re going to enjoy this, take a day off and get refocused. They’re ready to go and have been waiting for this.”

“We’re just going to try and keep the momentum going and continue playing together in states,” Cosentino said. “We’re gonna do our best and work as hard as we can.”

Boys lose to Wethersfield in Overtime

Glastonbury lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to rival Wethersfield, with the game-winning goal coming midway through the second overtime. The second-seeded Eagles (16-2-1) got revenge on the Tomahawks after they lost 4-0 to them early in the season.

After more than 74 minutes of fast-paced and physical play that saw Glastonbury just miss on a number of scoring opportunities, senior Nick Kapelewski tied the score with 5:18 remaining in regulation by burying a penalty kick past goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton. While he visibly gave the Tomahawks new life, they were ultimately unable to obtain any good shots on goal in the final minutes of regulation or the first overtime.

In both the first overtime and early in the second, Wethersfield was successfully able to push the tempo and move the ball and obtained a few good looks at the goal, including two shots by Lucas Syzmecki that went wide of the net. He and his teammate’s hard work eventually paid off, as Wethersfield forced a penalty kick with 6:05 remaining when Glastonbury committed a foul in the box. Syzmecki, who scored the Eagles first goal, took the shot and buried it past goalie Sean Lindsey in his left-hand corner.

In the final six minutes of overtime, Wethersfield did a good job of playing keep-away with the Tomahawks defenders despite the fast pace. When the offense occasionally obtained the ball, it struggled to move it. Glastonbury did take one final good shot with 1:41 left, but it went above the net.

“We didn’t play as well as we could have tonight,” Glastonbury head coach Mark Landers said. “We seem to have some trouble in these conference tournaments and I’m not sure why. The bottom line is that we have to get focused and ready for the state tournament.”

The first half was fast-paced and back and forth throughout, as well as highly physical. The Eagles gained some momentum early when Syzmecki scored just three minutes into the game off a pass from Brendan Berry and a Tomahawks goal was called off 9:25 in due to them being offside. From there, neither team was able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities. Lindsey and Slaton both made a series of impressive saves and the offenses were inaccurate on some passes and good looks.

Glastonbury suffered a devastating injury when team leader Freddy Clark was hurt late in the first. A couple of other players were injured throughout the game.

“I think our offense was flat out lazy,” Landers said. “We were lazy up top and didn’t make runs. When you’re going against a great goalie like that, you need to generate good opportunities.”

The game continued to be highly intense in the second half. Both defenses played very well, with the Tomahawks doing an excellent job of cutting off passes and surrounding Wethersfield players when they were near the goal. When the offenses broke through, Lindsey and Slaton were there to make impressive saves.

Landers said he was pleased with his defense’s performance.

“Our defense hung together well,” he said. “We had to move some guys around to put band-aids on things back there and get through some injuries, and they did a good job with that.”

Despite the loss, Glastonbury will be the number one side in the Class LL Tournament. Last year’s squad won the championship by beating Farmington.
“We gotta get healthy for the tournament,” Landers said. “The players need to be focused and prepared to compete.”

 

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