WOODBRIDGE — The Amity and Shelton boys soccer teams may no longer be division rivals within the Southern Connecticut Conference, but the two programs will always share an important rivalry on the pitch.
The two teams opened the season Thursday afternoon and as expected, both teams are pretty equal. The only difference was a heads-up goal by Amity senior Ali Bobi in the first half. The Spartans’ defense did the rest in a 1-0 victory.
“An ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” Amity coach Mike Marchitto said. “It’s still tough playing them. I love having them on the schedule. It’s great having a tough team to start with because they are always a class program.”
Amity was able to limit Shelton’s scoring opportunities in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Adrian Gonzales was also up to the task, making six saves.
— Joe Morelli (@nhrJoeMorelli) September 13, 2019
Bobi’s goal came in the 24th minute. Shelton goalkeeper Patrick Feliciano picked up a ball that the referee ruled came outside the penalty box, therefore making it a handball.
Bobi reacted quickly, knocking the ball into the lower left corner off the restart.
“I grabbed the ball out of his hands. I just put it on the floor and I shot it before anyone was set up and it went in,” Bobi said.
Said Marchitto: “Most players, especially at our level, would just sit there and wait to get the proper play going. That’s a player who knows the game very well. … you watch, he will be one of the top forwards in our league.”
Bobi said he tried something similar in a game on his Premier team.
“It was kind of the same situation, but I hit the post instead of scoring, so I’m glad it worked out this time,” Bobi said.
Shelton coach Isaac Montalvo said after he got the explanation on what happened he said: “I asked one of the captains if that was true and he said, ‘No, the ball was right inside the box.’ There is nothing we can do, the referee made the call.
“I talked to the guys that have to be more aware, have to be up every second of the game. The keeper was upset. (I) told him have to forget this. Kids were upset to lose it that way.”
Arian Bobi, Ali’s younger brother, had a couple of opportunities at a second goal in the second half: one went wide while Feliciano saved the other one.
With Arian at center-midfield and Ali up top, the two brothers could combine a lot to give SCC teams fits this season.
“I think our connection and our chemistry will really plays a big part on how we play,” Ali Bobi said.
Said Marchitto: “Last year, I made a comment, ‘You guys are competing with each other instead of working with each other.’ This year, they want to show they can play together.”
Shelton will apparently be without the services of senior forward Erik Lorent. Montalvo referred comment on Lorent, a Register All-Area performer last season (12 goals, 15 assists), to school athletic director John Niski.
“He is not playing on the team this year,” Niski said. He had no further comment.
The two teams will meet again on Oct. 7 at Finn Stadium.
Player of the Game
Ali Bobi, Amity: heads-up play to score off a restart in the 24th minute for the only goal of the game.
“I think in the first half, we did very well when we tried to possess the ball in the middle. That’s going to be our philosophy. It didn’t happen a lot long. Then we started to play long and direct. For me, that doesn’t work. We have to play more to feet, try to find a combination of play.”
— Shelton boys soccer coach Isaac Montalvo
— Joe Morelli (@nhrJoeMorelli) September 12, 2019