Glastonbury Takes LL Title

By Matt Stevens

NEW BRITAIN – Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest goal of the season came from a familiar source. Glastonbury senior striker Sebby Sanzaro set off a Tomahawks celebration by scoring with 17:41 remaining in the second half to help Glastonbury to a 1-0 victory over top seeded Naugatuck in the CIAC Class LL boys soccer tournament championship Saturday at Willow Brook Park.

The title was the fourth title in five years for Glastonbury which began the tournament as the No 2 seed.

Sanzero had scored in each of Glastonbury’s tournament games, after spending 9 games of the regular season on the sideline with an injury. He returned just in time – only 3 games before the postseason began.

 

For the first half of the game, the two powerhouse teams matched up well, and kept each other in check. Each side had its chances, but the other clamped down in the 6-yard box, and both goalies played well.

 

“I think the state championship day got us a little rattled in the first 25 minutes,” said GHS coach Mark Landers. “Then we started to settle in.”

Sanzaro’s goal came on a cross that rattled around in front of the net box, then fell at his feet about four yards out – a dangerous place for a ball to be. He ripped it into the top corner with relative ease.

“I think there was cross, and a lay-off, and I was right there to finish it, upper right corner,” Sanzaro said.

“We wanted to try to possess and hopefully break something. If he get free one time, he can hurt you. He put up a beautiful shot. It was great. There was also a lot of hard work [by other players] in that box, to keep that ball alive, and to get it to him,” Landers said. “He’s had an amazing tournament. He came up big again today.”

Glastonbury had to clamp down and play defense late and got some stellar play from senior goalkeeper Bennett Cole.

“Bennett’s been a rock for us the entire year,” Landers said. “He’s been tremendous. It starts back there with him, and goes straight up to everyone on the team.”

Landers added that he was proud of how his players kept their heads, especially when play got quite physical, after the goal.

“When there were fouls, we tried to maintain our composure, and I thought we did a pretty good job. That’s going to happen when you’re up a goal and the other team is trying to press a bit,” he said

“I can’t say enough about these kids and our town, and our community,” Landers said. “We’re a great family – all these students who are here today, and the parents – it’s just a terrific soccer community and it’s just a wonderful place to work and be a part of.”

“I never, in my dreams would expect to have three championships under my belt,” said Sanzaro, the four-year varsity player who also helped the team earn its 2015 and 2014 titles. “It’s really great.”

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