TORRINGTON: As the chances kept coming and going for the Torrington boys’ soccer team in the first half of their match against visiting St Paul, you had to wonder how the missed opportunities might catch up to them.
After all, the home standing Raiders were dominating play in the Falcons end with shot after shot that either just missed, went off the side of a player’s foot or was stopped by the St Paul goalie.
Finally, with just under 16 to play, senior captain Jahmario Seville made his left footed shot count for the 1-0 lead.
It’s been such a strange and unprecedented 2020 in so many ways. By this time in a regular year, both teams would be approaching the midway point of their schedules, instead, Torrington was playing just their second match due to a 10-day closing just as the season was scheduled to start.
“If you think about it,” head coach Mike Fritch Jr said. “We just haven’t had much time on the field so far. We were not into the game in the first half and still had a lot of chances.”
For the longest time, none of us even knew if their would be any kind of season so we can forgive the players for needing some time to get their collective engines going, which the Raiders did in the second half behind the play of a talented junior.
Brayden Nietch was a player who got himself noticed during his sophomore year and his skill sets have matured as he enters his 2020 campaign.
With speed to spare, Nietch is one athlete opposing teams won’t want to let get wide (which he did a lot on Thursday) because of the opportunities he can create for his teammates.
In the space of a little over two minutes in the second half, Nietch put this match out of reach.
His broke the 1-1 tie by cleaning up a rebound off a play that started as a corner and ended in the back of the net.
Being in the right place at the right time boded well for Nietch and his Raider teammates who went up by two goals when the junior forward cashed in off of a direct kick from just outside the box.
This was the Raiders home opener and considering how little time they had together to work on anything, the passing and spacing, especially in the second half was terrific.
The ball found its way to the outsides and from side to side with ease, a good omen for the future if it keeps up.
Seville is a weapon up front for Fritch Jr. who may have had a hat trick if things broke a little different for him.
Jack Delmonico, a junior, was solid in goal but also got tremendous help from a stingy defense that didn’t allow the Falcons many chances in the second half.
Torrington improves to 1-1 while the Falcons fall to 1-3.
The Raiders are back in action next Tuesday when they face Wolcott at 5 p.m.