Rich nets a pair as OWTS moves on in Class M boys soccer.
TORRINGTON: November 11 must be a lucky day for the Wolcott Tech boys’ soccer team.
It was eight years ago to the day, November 11, 2011 (far too many 11’s) since the Wildcats had last won a home State Tournament game when they beat O’Brien Tech by a 2-1 final on their home field.
Flash forward to today and after a dominating 5-1 win over Naugatuck Valley League foe, Waterbury Career Academy, Tech move on to play the No 2 seed, Stonington on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Monday didn’t mark the last time the ‘Cats won a first-round game though. They beat Bullard Haven Tech by a 2-1 final in 2012 but the game was played at Cheney Tech.
Home felt good on a warm Veterans Day that brought out a good crowd who had just settled in when the home team got on the board.
Marc Rich, simply a threat to score every time he touches the ball, put his team up 1-0 after a shot rebounded off Spartan goalie, Presley Anthony just over a minute into play and the senior standout didn’t let the opportunity go to waste.
Getting the lead early was huge for the Wildcats.
“It was really important to us to get off to a fast start.” Rich said. “The past couple of games we had other teams scoring on us first in the first five minutes so for us to do it to them, I’m sure it was pretty demoralizing.”
WCA had played the Wildcats neighbors, Torrington High School during the regular season and had lost 5-3 but brought with them a 9-5-2 mark and senior Jonathan Edwards who had notched a hat trick against the Raiders.
The ‘Cats though, have Sean Arigoni, the calming influence at stopper who came up with big stop after big stop throughout the game. Arigoni had missed time due to injury but was a welcome addition back to the lineup on Monday.
“Sean makes such a big difference when he’s playing,” head coach Vincenzo Viscariello said. “He helps control things.”
Rich and fellow senior Seth Norton would team up to double the home teams lead midway through the first half on a goal started by a defensive stop by senior Jon Chimbo.
Chimbo picked the pocket of Edwards with a well-timed touch and put a perfect lead pass out to Norton who found Rich with a cross for the 2-0 lead.
WCA would net their only score on a penalty kick by Brandon Lage after a Tech foul inside the box.
It would be the only blemish on the record of Tech goalie Austin Ferrier who takes charge of the pitch the way good goal keeps do. Loud and aggressive. His timing was perfect all game whenever the Spartans had a scoring opportunity.
Norton would put the lead back up to two at 3-1 with five minutes left in the half when he cleaned up a crossing ball sent in by Rich who seems to be in every scoring play the Wildcats have.
A minute into the second half, Rich was at it again, this time to the benefit of junior Luis Sanchez, who made it a 4-1 game.
Tech would continue to dominate the remainder of the half with Chimbo capping a terrific day with his teams fifth goal with just over two minutes to play.
Rich was grateful for the support he and his teammates received on Monday.
“This game meant a lot to us,” Rich said,” We had more people here than we had ever had and to get the win in my senior year was really special.”
So how about the fact that their reward is a matchup with the No 2 seed from Stonington?
You have to love the confidence from a senior who has had some kind of season and some kind of career at Tech.
“Stonington doesn’t know what’s coming.”
Hey, stranger things have happened.
Class M State Tournament First Round
Wolcott Tech 5, WCA 1
At Oliver Wolcott Tech
WCA 1 0 1
OWTS 3 2 5
(WT): Marc Rich (2), Seth Norton, Luis Sanchez, Jon Chimbo
(WCA): Brandon Lage
Records: WCA 9-6-2, OWTS 11-6
Next Game: No 15 OWTS at No 2 Stonington 11/13 at 2 p.m.