WATERTOWN >> Torrington High School’s boys soccer team (16-1) brought its A game to Watertown High School for a 5-0 win over Wilby (9-8) in the first round of the NVL Tournament Saturday evening.
“They played exceptionally well,” said Wilby coach Antonio Ursino. “It was one of the best showings I’ve seen all year.”
Wilby, the tournament’s No. 7 seed, held No. 2 seed Torrington and top seed Naugatuck to 1-0 wins during the regular season.
The difference Saturday night?
“We were focusing on this game only,” said Ethan Barbieri, with the game’s second goal.
“It’s a better field (than Wilby’s, where the Raiders won the regular season game),” said Coach Mike Fritch. “This one is wider and longer. Both of those things play in our favor.”
An overtime loss in the finals to last year’s NVL champion, Watertown, adds extra incentive to this year’s game-by-game focus.
“We played a complete game,” said Fritch. “We shared the ball, passed it and worked it around. The results came.”
The first of them came midway through the first half.
The Raiders dominated for 20 minutes, but Wilby re-established itself as a fast, athletic team.
Its hard to out-run them, but, 20 minutes in, junior center midfielder Kevin Vaca found he could out-position them.
Parratta pounded a hard shot off Wildcat goalkeeper Gionni Rosario (12 saves) from the 18. Vaca took the rebound by the left post, then slammed it in, 1-0.
Nine minutes later, Shane Bierfeldt and Barbieri worked the same trick.
Bierfeldt’s shot rebounded off Rosario. Barbieri tucked it in from the right post.
Torrington’s first-half focus lasered through a Bierfeldt shot off the post, a couple of great saves by Rosario and another open Raider shot over the net.
Wilby had just one shot for the half – and, ultimately, for the game.
The 2-0 lead sharpened Torrington’s appetite in the second half.
Five minutes in, Parrotta served Vaca, 15 yards left of the goal. Vaca wheeled a line drive into the net, left-footed.
Wilby took its first corner kick of the game 13 minutes in. The Raiders were more dominant than ever.
Bierfeldt sent a corner kick into the box in the 14th minute. Parrotta soared for a header, 4-0.
Vaca sent it to Parrotta on the left side, 26 minutes into the period. Parrotta drove in for the game’s final goal.
The Raiders meet No. 3 seed St. Paul in Monday’s semi-finals.
Torrington beat the Raiders 2-1 early in the regular season.
No. 2 Torrington 5, No. 7 Wilby 0
At Watertown High School
Wilby 0 0-0
Torrington 2 3-5
Goals: T-Kevin Vaca 2; Ethan Barbieri; Chris Parrotta 2. Assists: T-Parrotta; Shane Bierfeldt. Shots: 12-1 Torrington. Saves: W-Gionni Rosario 12. T-Zack Paniati 1.
Records: Wilby 9-8; Torrington 16-1.