TRUMBULL — After stewing over their tough FCIAC first-round playoff loss for the last 10 days, the Trumbull girls soccer team figured it deserved at least a soothing 10-minute break during halftime of Monday’s Class LL first round girls soccer game against Cheshire.
Thanks to Erin Melia’s goal, set up beautifully by Simone Dewar 34 seconds before intermission, the Eagles got their wish.
“The third goal (giving Trumbull a 3-1 lead before halftime) was massive for us,” Trumbull’s first-year coach Rich Sutherland said after his team’s 5-1 victory. “At 2-1, it’s a tough game. At 3-1 it changed the game and had (Cheshire) hanging their heads. It was a good time for us to score.”
With Skylar Jorge scoring three goals, including two by penalty kick, the 13th seed Eagles (12-6) advanced to Wednesday’s second-round game at No. 4 Shelton at 2 p.m. The win helped erase the memory of Trumbull’s 4-0 FCIAC quarterfinal loss to eventual champ Ridgefield back on Oct. 26.
“Ten days is a long time to be thinking about that game,” Sutherland said. “That loss was tough to take because it was much closer than the final score. So today we went out and controlled the play throughout.”
While Melia’s goal just before halftime virtually sealed it, Jorge’s first goal 13 minutes into the contest set the tone. The senior forward, who usually plays on the left side, was to the right of the goal at a sharp angle from about 20 yards out. Her boot was high enough to get over Cheshire goalie Seymone Rosenberg (seven saves) and into the left corner of the net.
“I’ve tried that shot from there once or twice before and missed each time,” Jorge said. “It felt a lot different but it was great to get that first goal. It really boosted our confidence after (the loss to Ridgefield).”
Six minutes later the Eagles were up two goals when Cheshire’s Annie Acquavita knocked Melia down inside the box leading to a penalty kick, which Jorge converted.
However, when Ellie Pergolotti knocked a 20-yarder past Trumbull goalie Avery Rice (four saves) with 11 minutes remaining in the half, No. 20 Cheshire (7-6-4) was within 2-1.
It would have been a much more somber halftime break for the Eagles with a one-goal lead. So in the final minute Dewar possessed the ball to the right of the goal, fought off two defenders and then lofted a perfect cross in front of the goal where Melia tapped it in.
“That third goal for us was pure heart and desire by Simone,” Jorge said. “She worked so hard on that play and really deserved that moment.”
If the goal in the final minute of the half didn’t demoralize the Rams enough, then Meghan Lesko’s long boot that bounced over Rosenberg before rolling into the net certainly did it eight minutes into the second half.
Jorge, who now has 10 goals in 18 games, then converted on her second penalty kick with 15 minutes remaining to complete scoring.
“We were trying to make amends for what happened to us 10 days ago, Sutherland said, “and I think we did that.”
TRUMBULL 5, CHESHIRE 1
CHESHIRE 1 0 — 1
TRUMBULL 3 2 — 5
Goals: C – Ellie Pergolotti; T – Skylar Jorge 3, Erin Melia, Meghan Lesko. Assists: C—none; T – Simone Dewar. Goalie saves: C – Seymone Rosenberg 7, T – Avery Rice 4.
Records: C – 7-6-4, T 12-6