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Crosby keeps working and takes one from Torrington boys soccer squad. By John Nestor
TORRINGTON - Crosby and Torrington were two teams coming off rough defeats at the hands of league favorites and it seemed it was better to get right back at it then it was to stew over a loss.
Despite being defeated by seven goals in its previous game just a day before, Crosby kept pushing and pushing and pushing until it broke through for a pair of second half goals in a 2-1 victory over Torrington on Tuesday afternoon at Torrington High School.
The win left Crosby coach Mike Sullivan praising his team's resilience while Torrington coach Mike Fritch was lamenting his team's lack of fight.
Crosby (2-3) was coming off a 9-2 pasting at the hands of NVL power Naugatuck on Monday and the quick turnaround may have worked in the Bulldogs' favor. There was no time to do anything but to get ready for the next game and Crosby got the better of the play for the most part.
"That's the great thing about sports," Sullivan said. "There's always another day, another game. We didn't have any time to think about the game against Naugatuck. We just had to get right back at it and focus on playing the nect game and I think our kids responded brilliantly."
Torrington goalie Zack Paniatti was brilliant early on, making a pair of diving stops on Crosby forward Kevin Aguirre to keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard.
While Paniatti was sharp, the Bulldogs defense had a few problems in the early going and one of their miscues ended up in the back of the net.
Torrington junior forward Jairo Borja corraled an errant Crosby clearing attempt and confidently struck a shot from just outside the box into an open net to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
That would be the only highlight for Torrington on an otherwise lost afternoon.
The Red Raiders (2-3) were also coming off a loss to an NVL heavyweight, a 4-0 setback against Woodland on Wednesday. The Red Raiders had some time to dwell on their loss and for some reason they came out flat rather than inspired.
It was a reaction that was not surprising to Torrington coach Fritch, but that didn't make it any less frustrating.
"We couldn't do anything today, we couldn't put a pass together," Fritch said. "We've been a little flat not just today, but all year. We're young, but I don't know exactly what it is. We just didn't play well today. Every time we had possession we kicked it to them."
Despite not being at their best, Torrington was able to nurse it's lead well into the second half before Crosby struck for the equalizer. Kenneth Ryan got in between a pair of Torrington defenders and found Victor Aguilar who blasted a shot from close range into the net to tie the game, 1-1.
The momentum had been in Crosby's favor for a while before the tying goal and it seemed to be just a matter of time before they scored another. It turned out to be a matter of about four minutes.
Emboldened by the tying goal, the Bulldogs kept up the attack while the Raiders continued to struggle. Crosby earned a corner and Aguirre was finally rewarded for his hard work, as he got to the far post on a the corner kick and put home a ball that found its way through traffic to give Crosby a 2-1 lead.
Torrington had a couple chances and Borja just missed sending the game to overtime with a shot from outside the box that just curled around the far post, but the Raiders were left to rue one that got away.
"I think this one was more our doing than anything," Fritch said. "I feel like we lack a will to win, a hunger to win, I don't know how you want to say it, but it's like we fade in and out sometimes from what's going on round us. Something has got to click with this group, we need that lightbulb to go on."
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