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Otis leads Raiders past Falcons. Story by John Nestor.
TORRINGTON - The Torrington High School girls soccer team is young and talented. It's also a little lucky to have an experienced standout to show them the way.
After failing to find the back of the net nearly as often as they should have in their season opener, the Red Raiders got a hat trick from senior Alyssa Otis and cruised to a 5-2 victory over St. Paul's on Monday afternoon at Torrington High School.
Coach Mario Longobucco's squad has just four seniors, his captains, on a young squad that will need contributions from a number of young players, including a handful of freshment. Wether it was first game jitters and nerves or just one of those days, Torrington managed just one goal on 25 shots in a 1-0 season-opening win over Seymour.
On Monday Otis scored more goals before the half.
"In our opener we had plenty of opportunities, we got off 25 shots, we just didn't finish," coach Mario Longobucco said. "We had the better of the play today and we finished more of our opportunities."
Otis finished her first with 28:40 left in the first half. She split a pair of St. Paul's defenders and went in alone on goalie Mary Ranagan, beating her with a hard, low shot to the right to give the Red Raiders a 1-0 lead.
It took about 20 more minutes before Otis doubled the advantage with the help of a miscue by the St. Paul's defense.
After a St. Paul defender misplayed the ball near the top of the box, Otis stepped in to gain control. Ranagan was already moving out and was caught in no-mans land and Otis settled, made one move to her left and then deposited the ball into the open net for an easy goal and a 2-0 lead.
"It's nice to have some experienced leaders because we have a really young team and we have to get some of these girls playing time," Longobuco said. "We have about six freshmen playing and a bunch of inexperienced sophomores that cameinto the program this season so we have a lot of learning to do."
Otis completed her hat trick with 29:49 left in the game when she headed home a beautiful cross by junior Olivia Morrison, who had scored earlier in the second half to put Torrington on top, 3-0. Taylor Pestritto scored Torrington's last goal in the final minute.
Julia D'Abrams and Emilie Nowakowski scored for St. Paul's late in the second half.
Otis now has four goals for Torrington (2-0) this season and is poised for a big season.
"Aly is just bigger and faster and stronger than a lot of people," Longobucco said. "Now she's even more experienced from playing premiere league's, she's good with he left foot and could strike it with her right, excellent with her head. She's going to be a force to be reckoned with this season."
And so too might Torrington if Otis stays on her goal-scoring tear and the young players come along, which they will need to down the road according to the coach.
"We have some tough games coming up with Woodland and Naugatuck so we will have to play better," Longobucco said. "We played well today and I'm happy we finished better but when we play Woodland and Naugatuck it will be tougher so we'll have to play better."
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