SHELTON — The depth of the FCIAC in girls soccer was on full display Wednesday in the Class LL state tournament second round.
The state’s top conference in the sport filled five of the eight spots in the quarterfinals. That includes No. 12 seed Trumbull, which knocked out No. 4 Shelton 3-1 Wednesday night at Finn Stadium.
“We play a lot of tough teams,” Trumbull senior Meghan Lesko said. “Even though our record doesn’t show it, we are well prepared and that (FCIAC) gets us ready to come to states.”
Trumbull (13-6) will now face fellow FCIAC-mate Staples, the No. 5 seed, in the quarterfinals Friday at Westport.
As for the Gaels (17-2-1), the reigning Southern Connecticut Conference tournament champion, its the fifth straight year they have bowed out in the Class LL second round.
“I take nothing away from those guys, they played a fine game, but we came in a little nicked up and it showed pretty early,” Shelton coach Marvin Miller said. “We lost (Heather) Garrett (to injury), (Esabel) Rosa never got on the field, (Cassie) Beachem only played limited and (Erin) Keary and (Zoe) Rogers both went down in the game. I’m proud of our sophomores, they stepped up and filled the void, but it was one of those days we needed to be at our best because they played really good soccer.”
Lesko was a part of all three goals for Trumbull, scoring twice in the second half.
“She was just persistent,” Trumbull coach Richard Sutherland said about Lesko.
Christina Lewis scored the first goal for Trumbull with just over 11 minutes to go in the first half. Lesko slipped the ball into Lewis who was able to knock it past Shelton goalkeeper Arianna Malick.
“It was going to go out of bounds so I wanted to play it back into the box because I knew someone would be running in,” Lesko said. “Christina got on the end of it and finished it.”
Lesko scored less than a minute into the second half to make it 2-0 Golden Eagles.
“The second half is an important half for us because we want to come out strong,” Lesko said.
Shelton answered right back less than 3 minutes later when Leya Vohra, off Maggie Howard’s corner kick, cut it to 2-1.
The Gaels had a couple of chances at the equalizer, but couldn’t cash in.
Lesko had three consecutive cracks on its third goal. Marrick and a defender saved the first two before Lesko found the open net.
“I kicked it twice before so I had to make the goal,” Lesko said.
Said Miller: “We had our chances, but they came at us pretty hard and give them credit. We made more mistakes tonight.”
Shelton loses seven seniors, including Haley Adcox, who played several different roles Wednesday because of the injuries.
“She played a great game for us,” Miller said.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Meghan Lasko, Trumbull: Master of the obvious here, but the senior played a part in all three goals (two goals and an assist) for the Golden Eagles.
“I thought we were great from start to finish and to be honest, I thought we deserved to win the game,” Trumbull coach Richard Sutherland said.
Trumbull 3, Shelton 1
Trumbull 1 2 — 3
Shelton 0 1 — 1
Goals: Trumbull: Christina Lewis (from Meghan Lesko), 28:56.Trumbull: Meghan Lesko, 40:46. Shelton: Leya Vohra (from Maggie Howard), 43:20. Shelton: Leya Vohra (from Maggie Howard), 43:20. Trumbull: Meghan Lesko, 63:22.
Shots: Trumbull 9, Shelton 7