TORRINGTON >> After stomping a small young Wolcott team Monday, Torrington’s boys soccer team met its match in size and talent Thursday in a 2-1 Crosby win at the Robert H. Frost Sports Complex.
“In spite of our opening loss to St. Paul (3-1), this is the most talented team I’ve had in my eight years at Crosby,” said Coach Mike Sullivan. “We have height and athleticism.”
The Bulldogs last beat Torrington in 2011, but this year’s team is riddled with seniors, including a few first-year players from Crosby’s championship basketball team.
“We just wanted to come out and get this one,” said senior midfielder Gregory Lormilien, who scored the winning goal in an empty net 14 minutes into the second half.
Javy Guevera-Bueso, a junior second-year player arriving from Honduras a year-and-a-half ago put the Red Raiders on notice just two minutes into the game that this was a far match than Monday’s relative cakewalk.
The first Bulldog goal was overwhelming.
“We did a good job of building,” said Sullivan.
In some ways, the even game from there made Torrington a better team.
Monday, the Raiders came alive in the second half when talented ball-handlers passed to teammates instead of staging solo footwork shows.
Thursday, they were passers from the start.
“We passed the ball, but we didn’t create opportunities,” said Coach Mike Fritch Jr. “We’re not the team we were two weeks ago (in pre-season).”
Nevertheless, the Raiders had opportunities after the opening goal by Lormilien.
Five minutes in, Torrington sophomore Alex Segovia shot at Crosby goalkeeper Damon Bultron from five yards out. The sophomore Bulldog keeper, an All-Brass Division selection last year as a freshman, fell on the ball for the best save of the night.
“He’s another basketball player,” said Sullivan. “He’s 6-2 and he can dunk.”
Dan Jones, a senior Bulldog basketball player out for the team in his first season, as a defender, threw the ball into the box as another Crosby weapon.
“He was a great pickup for us,” said Sullivan.
Huge, senior midfielder Zeltine Dos Santos slid a shot across the Torrington goal in the 16th minute, evening up the “almost’s.”
Two minutes later, Segovia took a pass from Nick DallaValle in the middle, worked it close again, tapping it into the left corner this time, 1-1.
The Raiders held a slight edge in the first half’s last 10 minutes. A tap-in went just wide; sophomore Nasseem Thompson got off a shot in traffic; junior Ryan Nader kicked a glorious lead for Segovia with 30 seconds left. Goalkeeper Bultron got to it first.
“We knew we had to bring our A Game and we did,” said Coach Sullivan. “Segovia and Thompson are lightning quick.”
The Crosby A Game turned A+ in the opening minutes of the second half. In the third minute, Torrington goalkeeper Aiden Mattiello got to a Crosby lead two steps before the Bulldog striker.
A minute later, Crosby freshman striker Anthony Orellana banged a shot off the Torrington post.
Fourteen minutes in, the Bulldogs attacked again. Mattiello came off the line for a clear. The ball deflected off a Crosby player. Lormilien was there for an unchallenged shot at the empty goal eight yards away.
“After the goal, we just played four flat across the backfield,” said Sullivan. “We didn’t want to risk Segovia and Thompson getting away from us.”
With the Bulldog defense packed in, the Raiders endured 26 minutes of frustration – possessing the ball for most of the remaining minutes, unable to get it past the Bulldog wall.
“We made two mistakes,” said Coach Fritch, agreeing that it was an even game (8-7 Crosby in shots).
Torrington, now 1-2, hosts 2-0 St. Paul Monday at 6 p.m.
Crosby, 2-1, has 1-1 Holy Cross Monday at 3:45 p.m.
Crosby 2, Torrington 1
At Torrington High School
Crosby 1 1 – 2
Torrington 1 0 – 1
Goals: C – Javy Guevara-Bueso; Gregory Lormillien. T – Alex Segovia. Assists: C – Dondre Johnson. T – Nick DallaValle. Shots: 8-7 Crosby. Saves: C – Damon Bultron 5. T – Aiden Mattiello 6.
Records: Crosby 2-1; Torrington 1-2.