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Raiders fall to Greyhounds, 1-0 in terrific match.

POSTED September 24, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Save one momentary lapse in goal on Monday night, the Torrington boys soccer team stayed right with their rivals from Naugatuck, falling 1-0 in a classic Naugatuck Valley League contest.

Senior Lucas Silva scored just under 10-minutes into the first half for the games only score and the rest of the game, if you’re a true fan of soccer, was about as good as it gets.

In their first three games, the Raiders had not really been tested in beating Wolcott 10-1, Kennedy 9-2 and Sacred Heart 3-1.

They knew that would change with the speedy and talented Greyhounds in town and much was learned about this year’s team in the loss.

First their defense, which had not faced the kind of sustained pressure from a relentless Greyhound offense that they did in the first half and except for one sequence, they were up to the test.

“I love how the four or five defenders we have been using played,” head coach Mike Fritch said. “I’ve got no complaints about how they responded.”

 The Raiders had the games first real pressure opportunity six minutes in when senior Janos Herczeg made a nice run down the left side and send a crossing ball that was just off the mark.

Four minutes later, on a play that looked pretty routine, Silva took the ball at the 50-yard line and made a run right up the middle.

“We were backpedaling on the play instead of attacking the ball,” Fritch said.

As a result, Silva sent a left footed shot that looked for all the world to be a save for keeper Wilson Penaranda (who had been playing very well so far this season) but the senior goalie was caught flat footed and the ‘Hounds were on the board.

Penaranda made a terrific save later in the half as the visitors were applying massive pressure.

While the first half was mostly controlled by Naugatuck, the Raiders offense was getting opportunities but where not able to find that magic touch.

“You only get so many chances in game,” Fritch said. “We just weren’t able to capitalize”

On a free kick with just over 18 left in the half, the Raiders were awarded a free kick. Senior Ben Sisic just missed connecting with teammate Brayden Nietch in front of the net.

As the half ran out, Kevin Hidrovo (last years starting goalie, who replaced Penaranda at the 18-minute mark), made a diving save on a ball destined for the back of the net to keep things where they were at 1-0.

The Raiders controlled much of the pace in the second 20 minutes of the first half, so much so that at one point they had five corners in a four-minute span but were just off on each.

In the second half, the action was tough and physical, as you would expect when these two teams meet.

Torrington’s defense was up to the task of thwarting each and every chance the Greyhounds had while the offense kept looking for the equalizer that never came.

Games like this are good for both teams. Sure, one gets the “W”, the other the “L” but the lessons learned will help both be more dangerous down the line.

As Fritch told his team afterwards.

“It’s just one game out of 16.”

Naugatuck 1, Torrington 0

Naugatuck   1  0  1

Torrington   0  0  0

Goals: (N) Lucas Silva 30:28

Shots: Naugatuck 12, Torrington 7

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