TRUMBULL — Ahead 2-0 at break and 3-0 less than five minutes into the second half, the Trumbull girls soccer team felt pretty good about its chances for taking three points off Darien Tuesday afternoon.
That said, in FCIAC girls soccer few leads are ever all that safe.
And almost on cue, the Blue Wave rallied with a pair of goals barely a minute apart to make the final half hour quite interesting. In the end, Trumbull managed to hold off the Darien comeback and won 3-2.
“All the teams in the FCIAC are really strong so we expect every game to be a fight,” said Trumbull senior Daniella Milovanov, who scored her team’s third goal.
The Eagles improved to 2-0, while the Blue Wave fell to 1-1. Trumbull travels to play defending Class LL champion Ridgefield on Thursday.
“It’s just frustrating to leave not getting anything because it feels like we deserved at least a point,” Darien coach Leigh Parsons said.
Trumbull opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Gianna DiBello latched onto a pass from Grace Lesko up the right side and beat Darien keeper Caroline Orphanos at the near post.
Skylar Jorge doubled the Eagles’ lead 15 minutes later thanks to a superb individual run. Jorge collected the ball about 25 yards out and ran through a series of Darien challenges, holding onto the ball and finally taking an off-balance shot from the top of the box that made it 2-0.
“She made the right decision in the end,” first-year Trumbull coach Rich Sutherland said. “It was a great goal.”
Although Trumbull led by two, the game remained poised to go either way. In the first half Darien came up with numerous near chances on long balls, but were unable to get a touch before Trumbull keeper Avery Rice could come off her line to thwart the threat.
Milovanov made it 3-0 five minutes into the second half on a 25-yard effort that found the bottom left corner.
Eilanna Dolan began Darien’s rally. The senior won a pair of tackles at the edge of the Trumbull box and shot past Eagles’ keeper Maryna Barone in the 50th minute.
A minute later Ellen Harnisch won a ball in a similar spot for the Blue Wave. Harnisch’s strike made it 3-2 with almost 30 minutes still to play.
“For us, we should have seen it out at 3-0. The first goal that Darien scored change the game a little bit,” Sutherland said.
Darien continued to press forward, with Trumbull dropping more players into defense. The Blue Wave tested Trumbull on some long throws and corner kicks, but never found a final clear-cut chance to level the score.
“At halftime we said we wanted to get a goal in the first 10 minutes,” Parsons said. “We did that, but we let in a goal in the first five minutes. It’s a weird one. I’m not leaving this game with a feeling we were beat, so to speak, I feel like we were very in that game. With a bit of work in practice we’ll be okay.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Skylar Jorge, Trumbull — The senior snaked through seemingly the entire Darien defense and capped her brilliant run with an off-balance finish, which put her team up 2-0.
“I thought Darien were a little unlucky at the end,” Trumbull coach Rich Sutherland on his team’s 3-2 win over Darien.
TRUMBULL 3, DARIEN 2
DARIEN 0 2—2
TRUMBULL 2 1—3
Records: Darien 1-1; Trumbull 2-0
Goals: D—Eilanna Dolan, Ellen Harnisch; T—Gianna DiBello, Skylar Jorge, Daniella Milovanov; Assists: T—Grace Lesko; Goalies: D—Caroline Orphanos (7 saves); T—Avery Rice (2), Maryna Barone (2).