MILFORD — Jonathan Law jumped to a 1-0 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half. West Haven rallied to tie in the 57th minute in this SCC boys soccer match destined to finish in a 1-1 tie on Senior Day at Lawmen Stadium on Saturday.
West Haven is 6-6-3; Law is 0-11-3.
“I thought we came out hard and scored first, which we haven’t done a lot of,” Law coach Mike Gruber said. “They got a nice goal…I thought 1-1 was a deserved result.”
Most of the match was controled by attacking midfielders.
Law’s Jon Vitale, backed by Andrew Frenzel, looked to free Cole Zamora and Freddy Rosero.
Law’s Mason Turner made a goal-line pass toward Jackson Warters and Lex Edwards that was cleared from in front by the Westies’Anthony Vendrella in the 33rd minute.
Connor DiMuro sent the ball back in from 30 yards out — that left Marcus Dostal and Westie keeper John McLaughlin in a one-on-one match by the near post. Dostal took two shots from a foot away that were repelled by McLaughlin. Dostal’s third try found the back of the net.
“From being one-nil down…We showed a lot of heart to come back,” West Haven coach Chris Cap said. “They’re (Law) a well-coached team, a disciplined team that works hard. Playing (a team) playing for pride is the hardest thing to play against.”
The Blue Devils’ Brian Rivardera was a pain in the neck for the Lawmen. The sophomore was equally adept at trapping clearing attemps and sending the ball in, as he was receiving passes in the middle and distributing on-target to the dangerous Also Barrigan, Kevin Morales, Derick Meza and Sebastian Nova.
The Westies outshot Law 16-12 (10-8) in the second half.
Meza’s equalizer was a mirror battle of attacker versus keeper as was Law’s tally.
Barrigan slotted a pass to the charging Meza, whose shot was blocked in close by Daniel Majkut. When the ball popped in the air, Meza headed it home with 18:49 remaining.
“Coach told us to work hard and pressure,” Barrigan said of his team’s marching orders down 1-0. “We made it to a tie, we wanted to win but a tie is good.”
Majkut had consecutive saves that had Cap, a former All-State keeper at Foran, nodding his head in affirmation despite the lost opportunities for his club.
Off an overlap pass from Meza to Luis Lopez, Nova found Morales in front. Majkut made a diving save in the third minute after the break.
Majkut’s next stop came barely a minute later and it was a thing of beauty.
Nova connected with Barragan on the right side inside the 18. Majkut slid right to cover; Barragan shot to the spot he had vacated. Majkut reached back with his left leg to kick it out.
“Today it was just a whole different atmosphere,” Majkut said of Senior Day. “I had my family here coming to the game. It just gave me that extra motivation to push me farther and make those saves. Once you reach out and finally get them its something else.”
With 7:10 on the clock, Law’s Zamora’s hit a shot from distance that carried just under the crossbar. Brian Carew, who had come on as the keeper for the second half, tipped the ball over his head. It was ruled he recovered it with his back to the field before it crossed the line and into the goal.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Daniel Majkut was pressured in each half and was at his best when West Haven was at its best.
“Playing (a team) playing for pride is the hardest thing to play against.” — West Haven coach Chris Cap
WEST HAVEN 1, LAW 1
West Haven 0 1 — 1
Jonathan Law 1 0 — 1
Goals: West Haven — Derick Mesa; Jonathan Law Marcus Dostal; Goalies: West Haven John McLaughlin (4 saves), Brian Carew (3 saves); Jonathan Law Daniel Majkut (9 saves). Records: West Haven 6-6-3; Jonathan Law 0-11-3