Big games on deck for THS boys soccer after 1-1 tie with Seymour.
TORRINGTON: In a battle of two Naugatuck Valley League teams looking to improve as the season rounds into the home stretch (six regular season games to go), nobody went home completely happy or very sad.
The Torrington Raiders and Seymour Wildcats played a tough, physical game and came away with a point each after a 1-1 final.
Janos Herczeg scored on a penalty kick for the home team at the 12:14 mark of the second half to balance the stat sheet after Josh Lanzieri had scored for the Wildcats with just 3:02 left in the first half for the visitor’s lone tally.
Torrington has played well the past two games, despite being without standout, Xavier Rodas who injured his foot a week ago and whose absence is felt, especially on the offensive side of the field.
They got past Ansonia on Friday by a 5-1 final, a win that snapped a three-game losing streak and tonight, against a team they matched up with in similar skills, more than held their own, especially in the final 60-minutes.
It took the home team a while to get going, blame the day off from school which always seems to throw players out of their routines, and that slow start cost them a potential goal three minutes in when a loose ball hung around the goal line for what seemed like an eternity with three Raiders having a shot but none could convert.
The Wildcats were relying on multiple long passes that resulted in several chance but were turned away by Raider goalie Kevin Hidrovo.
Torrington nearly found the back of the net with under ten left in the half when senior Neyger Atariguana took a great pass from Herczeg but his shot went just wide to the left.
As the first half wound down, a great individual effort by Wildcat Oleh Stasyuk driving the ball down the left side resulted in a pass to an open Lanzieri who put it past Hidrovo with just over three to play in the first half.
In the second half, the Raiders began controlling the action at midfield which limited any chances the Wildcats might have had.
“We dominated the final 40-minutes,” head coach Mike Fritch said. “As I just told them every player we put out there, did the job we asked them to.”
That perseverance and pressure paid off when a foul inside the penalty box on a take-down resulted in a penalty kick that Herczeg slammed home off Nick Caruso for the game tying goal.
Next up for the Raiders will be a tough road game on Wednesday at Holy Cross, who lost their first game of the year Monday night, 2-1 to Naugatuck, the team that sits atop the NVL right now with a perfect 9-0 mark (9-1-1 overall as the Greyhounds have an out of conference loss to Newton and a tie with Joel Barlow).
Torrington will be home on Friday to host Woodland (8-2) in a critical game that should feature Rodas, at least for some minutes as he works back.
So, at 5-4-1, the Raiders find themselves in a good place with tough challenges ahead though but happy that three game losing streak came when it did.
“I’d always rather have that kind of streak when we did in October,” Fritch said. “Instead of in late November. We have been playing well and with getting Rodas back, should get even better.”
Torrington 1, Seymour 1
Seymour 1 0 1
Torrington 0 1 1
(S): Josh Lanzieri. (36:57)
(T): Janos Herczeg (PK): (12:14)
Assists: (S): Oleh Stasyuk
Records: Seymour 4-4-2, Torrington 5-4-1