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Missed opportunities haunt Torrington boys in loss to Watertown. Story by John Nestor.
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TORRINGTON - The Torrington High School boys soccer team has hit a dry spell when it comes to scoring goals and that drought continued and cost them dearly Thursday night against Watertown.
The Raiders dictated play for the first half but still found themselves down a goal to the defending NVL champs and Watertown went on to post a 2-0 victory under the lights at Torrington High.
A pair of preventable goals and the fact that the Raiders can't buy a goal right now was the difference in a tightly-contested matchup.
"We just can't score a goal right now," torrington coach Michael Fritch said. "We just can't find the back of the net right now. For whatever reason, we're struggling to find the back of the net."
Coming off a 1-0 loss at Wolcott on Wednesday in which it dominated possession and still came up empty, Torrington came out on a mission and appeared determined to break through against Watertown. The Red Raiders were getting the better of the run of play early on but it was the Indians that got the all-important first goal.
A missed clear by the Torrington defense led to an opening for Watertown's Chris Spagnoletti, who converted from just inside the box just over seven minutes into the game to make it 1-0.
The goal was deflating but give Torrington credit, they responded by turning up the pressure even more. Eric Rinaldi and Jairo Borja kept up the attack and the Raiders seemed as though they were going to break through for an equalizer any minute but it never came.
The were oh so close though.
Jesse Rosengrant blasted one off the right post with 20 minutes left in the first half that he surely would like to have back. Good work by the Red Raiders forwards kept the ball deep in the Watertown end and they worked it to Rosengrant, who made a nice run and had an open net but just couldn't put the ball in the back of it.
It was an example of what coach Fritch was talking about and it kept the game in the Indians' favor.
About a minute later Torrington again came agonizingly close to tying the game up off a corner but as the ball was heading into the open net an Indians defender just got a head on it to keep the Raiders off the scoreboard.
A little luck, or if they were a team on a roll, it's 2-1 Torrington at least. Instead they were left to wonder what might have been as the Indians held a 1-0 lead at the half.
"They came out and took it to us and controlled the first half,"Watertown coach Dane Street said. "It might have brought them down a bit to have had the run of play and still been down a goal at the half."
Torrington (4-5) may have been a little down, but Watertown (5-1-3) stepped things up in the second half, something that coach Street has been wanting to see from the Indians all season. Torrington wasn't able to possess the ball as long and the passing lanes weren't as easy to find then a shot by Watertown's Enri Duka looked like it was going to be saved by Torrington goalie Zack Paniatti, but it squirted under him for a 2-0 lead with 31:02 to play.
"That was the first time this season we talked about something at half time and went out and executed it in the second half," Street said. "We marked them tighter, controlled their forwards a little better and just played a better 40 minutes than we did in the first half."
Torrington battled to the end but was unable to break through and while the result was disappointing, Fritch was not disappointed with the effort.
"I can't sit here and complain about how we played, they played hard, great effort, just unlucky," Fritch said. "A couple mistakes and they have two goals, we make that clear and then hit the net instead of the post and we're up 1-0, then it's a totally different game."
But on this night it was not to be for Torrington on the offensive end and that's a game they are all too familiar with right now.