MIDDLETOWN >> This was a win that got away.
Middletown High’s boys soccer team did everything but win against Central Connecticut Conference South division champion Berlin Monday night at Rosek-Skubel Stadium. The Blue Dragons dominated play for long stretches, and had a huge advantage in shots taken, but at the end of two overtimes, had to settle for a 2-2 tie.
The tie preserved Middletown’s unbeaten streak, which has now reached nine matches (7-0-2), but MHS coach Sal Emanuele knew the win was there for the taking.
“This was a little frustrating,” Emanuele understated. “We had opportunities, we just didn’t make them count; we didn’t finish. But I thought we played a heckuva game. It was a tremendous soccer game.”
What made it all the more frustrating was that the Dragons took a 2-0 lead on goals by Logan Pingree and Lucas Saunders.
“We attacked and we had two beautiful goals,” said Emanuele. “The difference was when they had opportunities, they converted and after we had the lead, we didn’t convert ours. That really was the difference.”
Berlin (11-3-1) got a goal with 3:53 remaining in the first half from Brian Kennure, to cut the Dragons’ lead to 2-1 at the break. The Redcoats tied the game with 25 minutes, 54 seconds left in the match on a goal by Andres Sanchez.
Earlier in the half, Middletown had a chance to go up 3-1, maybe 4-1. A clear shot from 15 yards out went over the net and a shot from the left side by Saunders skipped past the front of the net with 33 and 31 minutes to play respectively.
With 3:45 left in the game, another clear Middletown shot sailed just wide of the net.
“Berlin is a very good team,” said Emanuele.”They won the CCC South for a reason. But we’re getting better and better with every game. We passed the ball well tonight and yes, we dominated at times. We’re looking to build towards the state tournament.”
Middletown (8-4-3) has long since clinched a bid to the Class L tourney.
Middletown outshot Berlin 19-7, which prompted Emanuele to say, “That tells the story.”
Middletown keeper Chris Rodo had six saves, including a very good one with 2:27 to play in the first half. Berlin keeper Brian Bostrum also had six saves.
The Blue Dragons are home with Bulkeley Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Stadium.