TORRINGTON: The Torrington boys soccer team is living right at the moment, having won four in a row to even their season record at 5-5-2 with four to play.
They face a tough test against another Naugatuck Valley League foe, Waterbury Career Academy, on Friday night at 6:30.
It’ll be Senior Night for the Raiders who have used that ultimate combination of youth and experience to get themselves in position for an important final quarter of the 2023 campaign.
“We’re not where I want us to be at the moment,” first year head coach Jason Apruzzese said, “But we are definitely heading in the right direction.”
WCA sits just ahead of the Raiders for a spot in the team’s first goal; the NVL Tournament. The top eight make the tournament. THS is in the ninth spot, WCA in eighth.
We’ve set our goals one step at a time,” Apruzzese said, “They are not thinking about the states yet. One thing at a time.”
From the very start of this campaign, the Raiders have shown they can play with anyone, despite that early season 1-4-2 start.
In those matches were a couple that got away from them late (2-1 losses to Woodland and Watertown) and a hard fought 2-0 loss to Naugatuck, a match that was 0-0 after 40-minutes.
Torrington has not given up more than three goals in any games this year and the two games in which they did were their first two of the season.
They are fortunate to have one of the best goalies in the league in junior Logan Tucciarone and sweeper, senior Ben Carlson.
“Those two have kept us in so many games,” Apruzzese said. “How they go, we go on the defensive end.”
Up front, a player who may not light up the score sheet, Ariel Astudillo Carchipulla, a junior, has done everything his coaches have asked of him.
“He’s always in the right place at the right time,” his coach noted. “He may be one of the best overall players in the league.”
High praise indeed but the talented eleventh grader is not alone up front, getting help from Richard Penaranda and Mateo Scotto Daniello who cause all kinds of chaos for opposing defenses.
Torrington has pitched two shutouts so far this season has given up just two goals in five games.
Their two ties came at Lewis Mills and at home against Seymour at the Robert H Frost Complex.
After the Spartans Friday night, two bug road game loom.
At Municipal Stadium against Holy Cross (9-2-1) and a tough out of conference match at Suffield (10-0-3).
They wrap the regular season at home against Kennedy next Wednesday at 4 p.m.
How does the first-year head coach feel the year has been to date?
“I feel great,” Apruzzese said, “I would love to have a couple of those early season losses back, but I can’t say enough about the character of these kids. They are great roles models and I’m very proud of them for that.”