dominated possession in its CIAC Class LL boys soccer championship game with Farmington Saturday. Farmington
won the game, 2-1.
The Wreckers took 13 shots, five on goal and converted one by Court Lake
off a corner kick to even the match with 18:25 left. Farmington took only two shots on goal and made both.
The first came with 10:54 left in the first half on an Adrian Kukula
shot into the right corner from a Kevin Michalak
cross; the second and winner came on Michalak's untouched free kick from 28 yards over defenders and into the top left corner at 14:07 of the second half.
"We had a pretty structured defensive unit and that helped us survive," Farmington head coach Steve Waters said. "We knew with the size of the field that we were going to have to defend our box a lot, so we were prepared to do that. Staples is a quality program and great players and they're well-trained. Some of our passion and determination and character withstood their technical attacks."
The Indians (17-2-3), who won their ninth class championship and second in three years, were prepared for the Wreckers' (17-3-1) offensive pressure.
"They took some shots from deep but that was OK," said Waters, who earned his sixth title in 10 final appearances during his 28 seasons at Farmington. "We talked about it pregame. They're going to shoot from outside the 25, that's fine because our goalkeeper (Austin Peluso
) is good. We should be able to handle that and if they put one in from outside the 25, it was a great shot, and what are you going to do."
Waters said his senior middle defenders, Michael Ditomasso
and Colin Troxell
, were "tireless workers" as well as the main players on the flanks, sophomore Danny Manfredi
and junior Julian Rose
, and senior defensive midfielder Max Cohn
, who "probably had his best game of the season."
"Cohen disrupted a lot of Staples attacks," Waters said.
Waters said the winning shot by Michalak, who will attend Yale next fall, was something Farmington has done before.
"This one was perfectly struck," Waters said.
Farmington, which was fifth in the last coaches regular season poll and will likely finish No. 1 after this week's vote, had a few bumps early in the season. After defeating Central Connecticut Conference rival and Top 10 team Glastonbury 1-0 in its opener, Farmington dropped a 1-0 decision to New Britain and tied Hall (West Hartford) 1-1 to start the season 1-1-1.
The Indians then won nine of 10, the only blemish a 1-0 loss to Tolland, and tied two of their last three with Southington and Simsbury sandwiched around a 3-1 victory over Conard (West Hartford). The Simsbury tie gave Farmington the CCC West title.
"We played a lot of Top 10 teams," Waters said. "We were 5-0-2 against regularly Top 10 rated teams. Staples was a white collar team from a white collar town and we were from a white collar town and had a blue collar work ethic, attitude during the tournament. Every game we played was a one-goal game or penalty kicks with Glastonbury."
In other boys soccer championships, New Canaan
defeated Bunnell (Stratford) 2-0 in Class L; Montville (Oakdale)
shared the M title after a 1-1 tie; and Suffield (West Suffield)
, the likely small school coaches No. 1, defeated Valley Regional (Deep River) 3-1 in S.GIRLS TITLES HANDED OUT AS WELL
In girls soccer, Shelton
won its first title with a 1-0 victory over defending champ Westhill (Stamford) on Alexandra Farley's
goal; In Class L, RHAM (Hebron)
beat Avon 2-1; Suffield (West Suffield)
, likely small school No. 1, won its second title in a row with a 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Lewis Mills (Burlington) when Stephanie Guminiak
scored off a free kick with three seconds left; and Danbury
defeated Morgan (Clinton) 1-0 in Class S.Paul Rosano, the former assistant sport editor of The Hartford Courant and sports editor of The New Haven Register, covers Connecticut for MaxPreps.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.