GREENWICH — Entering Tuesday’s game against FCIAC boys soccer rival Trumbull, Greenwich had yielded only four goals all season, yet thanks to Tiago Frazao, the Eagles didn’t follow the same pattern as the Cardinals’ previous foes.
Frazao recorded a hat trick for Trumbull, which used a four-goal first half to continue its late-season surge.
Behind the offensive efforts of Frazao and senior Justin Horvath, Trumbull topped Greenwich for the first time since the 2011 season, posting a 4-1 win at rainy Cardinal Stadium.
“I wasn’t expecting to come here to play to a 4-1 win,” Eagles coach Silverio Vitiello said. “We try to approach every game the same way, but this does mean something extra to us, because we haven’t beaten these guys since 2011, they have had our number.”
Included in Greenwich’s unbeaten streak against Trumbull prior to Tuesday’s matchup was a tie between the squads in the 2016 FCIAC Tournament final and a victory by the Cardinals over the Eagles in the 2017 conference title game.
“For today, we took advantage of our chances,” Vitiello said. “We were more opportunistic than they were, so it’s a good win and we move on from there.”
With the triumph, Trumbull raised its record to 8-2-4 and upped its point total to 28 points in the FCIAC West Division — good for second place. Greenwich, which went into the game in second place in the West Division with 26 points, has a record of 8-3-2.
“We just got caught ball watching and we were not winning enough first balls,” said Cardinals coach Kurt Putnam, who noted his squad utilized a 3-5-2 system, instead of a 4-4-2, or 4-5-1. “It’s a learning experience. We tried to do something that would be beneficial to the team and it didn’t work.”
Frazao scored the game’s first goal in the 12th minute. Gathering a pass from Horvath, Frazao worked his past the a defender and found himself in a 1-on-1 situation with GHS senior goalie Padraig Colligan. Frazao was able to knock a shot by Colligan, who slid out of the goal to retrieve the ball.
“To get a win against them for the first time since 2011 is very important,” Frazao said. “Especially for FCIACs, we want to try and get a home game.”
Greenwich knotted the score at 1-1 in the 15th minute. In his first game back from a shoulder injury, senior Francisco Liguori converted a shot after receiving a pass from junior Matias Lew.
The visitors quickly responded, with Horvath booting a shot from 25 yards inside the right post. Frazao gave the Eagles a two-goal lead, scoring on a header off a pass from senior David Tucker. Completing his hat trick late in the opening half, Frazao put the Cards in a 4-1 hole.
“That last goal was a special one, it was my first high school hat trick,” Frazao said. “The angle was too tight, so I faked a shot to create a tap in.”
Colligan made four saves in the first half and senior Aidan Munoz played in goal during the second half for the Cardinals.
Goalie Nicholas Grassi, a senior, stopped three shots for Trumbull, which was paced defensively by junior Carrigan Cullinan and Matheus Martins.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Frazao’s three goals gives him 13 for the season.
“Tiago has been doing that all season for us,” Vitiello said.
“Greenwich had only conceded four goals this season and we scored four in the first half, which is a great accomplishment for us,” Horvath said. “We are very versatile with our scoring, with two wingers who are fast and solid midfielders.”
Liguori sustained a shoulder injury in the Greenwich rugby team’s state championship game this past May and made his return on Tuesday.
“It feels great to be back,” Liguori said. “I’ve been a part of this program for four years. These are the kids I grew up with back in my youth soccer days. It’s nice to be back helping the team.”
Liguori spent six months in physical therapy recovering from his shoulder injury.
“Physical therapy helped my mental state, now I need to work on my physical state and I have to get in shape to play 80 minutes.”
Said Putnam: “It’s nice to have Francisco back. He gives us a physical presence, an edge and he’s going to score goals.”
Trumbull hosts Bridgeport Central on Thursday. Greenwich plays visiting Trinity Catholic on Thursday.
“We started off the season a little bit slow and were a little back in the standings, but we played four teams in front of us the past week or so and we have gotten results, which is very important,” Frazao said.
TRUMBULL 4, GREENWICH 1
TRUMBULL 4 0 – 4
GREENWICH 1 0 – 1
Records: Trumbull 8-2-4; Greenwich 8-3-2; Goals: T – Tiago Frazao 3, Justin Horvath; G – Francisco Liguori; Assists: T – Horvath, David Tucker, Brendan Phelan; G – Matias Lew; Goalies: T – Nicholas Grassi (3 saves); G – Padraig Colligan (5 saves), Aidan Munoz (2 saves).