NEW BRITAIN—After the first few games of the season, the Glastonbury boys soccer team was not where it wanted to be, stumbling out of the gate to a 2-2 start.
Now that it is mid-November, the Tomahawks are right where they belong.
In what has become an annual rite of passage for Glastonbury soccer players, the team is heading back to the Class LL championship game, defeating No. 12 Pomperaug 5-0 at Veteran’s Stadium in New Britain Wednesday night in the semifinals.
No.8 Glastonbury returns to the Class LL championship game for the fifth time in the last six years.
Glastonbury will face the winner of the nightcap between No. 2 Hall and No 19 East Hartford Saturday in the championship game.
Back in September, getting back to the final seemed like anything but a foregone conclusion.
— Scott Ericson (@EricsonSports) November 14, 2018
“We have just been trying to work hard and get better every day. We didn’t have the greatest of regular seasons but we learned a lot from our mistakes and we have come together at the right time to get to where we are right now,” Glastonbury coach Mark Landers said. “I can reflect on a game in Farmington in September where we got absolutely man-handled. Back then, we were a selfish group of individuals and now we are playing like a team at the best possible time.”
Glastonbury broke through what had been a conservatively played first half with Zach Gardner putting home a cross from Elliot Hokunson with 16:19 left in the first half.
Gardner struck again eight minutes later, this time on a crisp pass from Matt Carmichael.
The Tomahawks put the game out of reach with 34 seconds remaining in the half on a rocket of a shot by Matt Cosentino, going up 3-0 at the half.
— CT Sports Now (@CT_Sports_Now) November 15, 2018
Chasing goals is never an easy task against Glastonbury but being down three at the half left Pomperaug with a monumental task.
“They are tough, no doubt,” Pomperaug coach Joe Mancini said. “They won every single ball, they tackled every time we had the ball. We didn’t play our game, that’s for sure. We were a better team and I’m not sure if it was the cold or the coaching today but we just weren’t who we were. They were the better team, for sure. We played some good teams, we played Farmington and Conard but these guys were better. A lot more pressure, faster and just better.”
Glastonbury would leave no doubt as to the outcome with two more strikes in the second half, both by Alec Hughes.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Zach Gardner, Glastonbury. The sophomore scored two first two goals and assisted on another as he disrupted the Pomperaug defense all evening.
“It feels great to get back. We knew we had the talent this season and we are we are very excited we were able to put it together,” Glastonbury senior Matt Cosentino said. “I think we were a little complacent in the beginning of the year because we had won last year but we just didn’t play well enough because we weren’t focused. The seniors really wanted to keep it going and get a two-peat. That’s something we have been thinking about that we want to do and leave as a legacy for our senior class.”
GLASTONBURY 5, POMPERAUG 0
POMPERAUG 0 0–0
GLASTONBURY 3 2–5
Records: P—14-6-0; G—15-3-2
Goals: G– Zach Gardner 2, Matt Cosentino, Alec Hughes 2. Assists: G– Elliot Hokunson, Matt Carmichael, Gardner. Goalies: P—Nathan Barstrom 9 saves; G—Andrew Sinnott 2 saves, Ethan Longo 5 saves