TORRINGTON >> A young and undermanned Derby boys soccer team (1-6) was an easy mark, Friday, for Torrington’s recovery from a tough loss against Naugatuck on Wednesday.
Friday, at the Robert H. Frost Sports Complex, the Red Raiders (6-1) scored early and often in a 7-0 rout that allowed starters to work on formation and style options, while some of the bench players auditioned for next year.
Amar Suljic scored twice, along with single goals from Chris Parrotta, Seth Gesmondi, Shane Bierfeldt, Alex Church and Nick Mancini.
Still, if this game were only about scoring, it would have been a waste of time.
Coach Mike Fritch Jr. and his players thought they should have played more possession (vs. long sends forward) against Naugatuck.
“We knew we probably weren’t going to be in (Friday’s game against Derby) very long, so we wanted to build an early lead,” said midfielder Shane Bierfeldt.
“After the first few goals, we gave up our egos and tried for a lot more possession,” said forward Amar Suljic.
Parrotta scored four minutes into the game. Torrington led 5-0 by the middle of the first half, when Fritch cleared his bench.
“It was nice to be able to get people in to play. Varsity is a lot different than JV,” said Coach Fritch, who brought up JV players just for the experience Friday.
The varsity/JV difference has haunted Derby’s Red Raiders all year.
“We always fight to the end. That’s what I love about this team,” said first-year coach Chris Kalesavich.
Still, in addition to his team’s youth (just one senior), they’re also riddled with injuries.
“My best ball handler has a concussion,” said Kalesavich.
Friday’s game was another long, hard lesson, in Derby’s worst loss of the season so far.
For Torrington, it was one set of objectives after another.
In the early minutes, Torrington Raider focused on playing the ball back, starting the offense from the backfield.
Up front, Bierfeldt tapped a perfect serve across the box, only to see a teammate miss the gimme, three minutes into the game.
A minute later, Bierfeldt passed to Parrotta, sprinting up the left sideline. The big senior carried it to the box, where Eric Hicks, playing in goal for just the second time, came out to meet him. Parrotta slid a shot past him into the far corner of the net.
Suljic pounded his first goal home from 10 yards out, 15 minutes in.
In the 17th minute, Seth Gesmondi took a pass in the box from Bierfeldt, shuttling his first goal of the season into the net with the outside of his foot. Bierfeldt got his shot in the 19th minute on a pass from Suljic. The senior midfielder unloaded at point blank range, 4-0.
Suljic got his second goal from 15 yards out, just 23 minutes into the game.
Goalkeeper Zack Paniati stayed in the net, but everyone else gained experience for the rest of the half.
It led to interesting scrambles for Paniati in the 27th minute, dangerous balls bouncing free in the box.
It also saved Derby from a worse half-time spread, a Torrington player missing another gimme eight minutes from the break.
Torrington starters worked on their passing at the beginning of the second half.
Alex Church carried a pass from Parrotta into the goal in the third minute.
Derby’s Jehon Balidemaj took a turn in goal, snatching the ball from a crowd of Raiders in the fifth minute.
Nick Mancini carried the game’s final goal in the 19th.
Colin Genovese took over the Torrington net halfway through the period.
Paniati moved up front as a huge presence on offense.
“He has good foot skills. We’re trying to get him to play more with his feet when he’s in goal,” said Fritch.
In the 27th minute, Paniati, trying for a goal, ran over a Derby defender.
“C’mon guys; he’s a goalie!” roared a disgruntled injured player on the sidelines.
Torrington goes to 3-3 Wolcott Tuesday.
Life gets no better for Derby, hosting 6-1 St. Paul Catholic.
Torrington 7, Derby 0
At Torrington High School
Derby 0 0-0
Torrington 5 2-7
Goals: T-Chris Parrotta; Amar Suljic 2; Seth Gesmondi; Shane Bierfeldt; Alex Church; Nick Mancini. Assists: Bierfeldt 2; Suljic; Parrotta. Shots: 11-2 Torrington. Saves: D-Eric Hicks; Jehon Balidemaj 4. T-Zack Paniati; Colin Genovese 2.
Records: Derby 1-6; Torrington 6-1.