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State Tournament action begins in local soccer.
IT’S STATES TIME!
All around the Northwest Corner, it’s that special time of the year when everybody gets to dream big and hope for a chance at the ultimate prize: a State Championship.
Action gets underway on Thursday with 16 local soccer teams ready to take to the pitch. Here’s a look at who’s, got who, and when.
Class L Girls: The Torrington girls earned a home game in round one and will take their # 13 ranking and 10-6 regular season record into a match up against # 20, Woodstock Academy (7-6-3).
The Raiders started the season slowly, losing four of their first six but turned it on after that by winning eight of their last ten including six of their last seven.
Alyssa Otis (20 goals, 10 assists) anchored a young team that started to find their way mid-season and jelled at just the right time. Mariah Cerruto held the defense together and Otis got offensive help from sophomore Caroline Teti and others late in the year.
A freshman keeper, Taylor Howe, got stronger as the year progressed.
The Centaurs (clearly one of the best nicknames out there) play in the Eastern Connecticut Conference and have seven seniors and seven juniors on their roster.
Head coach Mario Longobucco hasn’t heard much about his round one opponent but feels his team will be ready.
“It’s going to be two evenly matched teams on Thursday,” Longobucco said, “It’s a game we could win if we play our game.”
Class M Girls: The Berkshire League champion Nonnewaug Chief’s are in action against a familiar foe on Thursday when they host Northwestern in Woodbury at 2 p.m.
The Chief’s sported a 14-0-2 record, good for a # 3 seed and during the regular season allowed just three goals while posting 13 shutouts.
During the regular season, Nonnewaug beat the Highlanders twice, both by 5-0 scores.
Northwestern comes in as the # 30 seed with a 6-9-0 mark.
The Lewis Mills girls, ranked # 5 with a 13-1-1 record (their loss and tie both came against Nonnewaug) host # 28 Weston at 2 p.m. Never count a Dennis Fowler team out of any tournament.
Class S Girls: 11 first round bye’s will keep the three local who qualified practicing until they start action in the second round which starts on Saturday.
Two BL team hook up in one when # 7 Litchfield (9-4-2) host # 10 Shepaug at 2 p.m. The Cowboys, who have played well against the best teams in the BL throughout the season (a 0-0 tie against Nonnewaug in the next to the last game of the season), battled with Shepaug twice during this year.
A 2-2 tie on the road was followed up by a 3-2 overtime win in Litchfield the second time around.
The Wamogo Warriors (# 11, 8-7) will go on the road on Saturday to play Old Saybrook (# 6, 10-4-2)
Class L Boys: The Torrington Raiders face a tough round one foe when they go on the road to take on Bunnel on Friday at 2 p.m.
Torrington is ranked # 29 with a 6-9-1 that should have been better, according to their head coach Mike Fritch Jr.
“We didn’t show up for a few games this year and it cost us.” Fritch said, “Take the two or three games we should have had and we wouldn’t find ourselves in this position. We will do the best we can and try to take away their threats.”
Class M Boys: Four teams get the opportunity to play in the second season and for one, a remarkable season continues.
The Nonnewaug Chief’s. who won the Berkshire League championship with a thrilling 1-0 win over Housatonic on Tuesday afternoon, will be in action on Friday when they host Foran.
Nonnewaug (# 5, 10-0-6) take on a team from Foran (# 28, 7-8-1) who may fall under the post season category of don’t let the records fool you.
At this stage of the game, records can sometimes be deceiving, count on the Chief’s to ignore the regular season marks.
A second tremendous story comes out of Torrington as the Wolcott Tech Wildcats will host a State Tournament game when they take on O’Brien Tech on Friday at noon.
The Wildcats (# 11, 11-4-1) take on a fellow technical school in O’Brien Tech (# 22, 9-6-1) that they beat 3-2 and tied 1-1 during the regular season.
Wolcott Tech can play defense, they posted seven shutouts along the way to one of the most memorable seasons in school history.
Two other schools, # 23 Northwestern (7-5-2) and # 25 Lewis Mills (7-6-2) also get underway on Friday.
The Highlanders travel to take on # 10 Watertown (10-3-3) at 2 p.m. while the Spartans hit the road to face # 8 Ledyard (12-4-0).
Class S Boys: Those above mentioned Housatonic Mountaineers earned a bye with their remarkable 10-1-4 season. Their second round game will be played in Falls Village on Monday the 14th at 2 p.m.. They will get the winner of the Bloomfield/Morgan match up.
A third round of one of the best rivalries in the area will take place on Friday when the Warriors and Cowboys lock up again on the pitch.
Wamogo against Litchfield, doesn’t matter the records, this will be some game.
Litchfield is ranked a bit higher (# 14, 7-6-2) but Wamogo is right there (# 19, 7-7-2).
The two split their regular season battles on their home turf, Litchfield prevailed 3-2 while Wamogo took home a 4-3 win on the last day of the season.
Thomaston will also be in action on the road on Friday when they travel to face East Catholic at 2 p.m.
The Golden Bears earned a # 18 seed with their 8-7-1 record while Eagles are ranked # 15 with an 8-7-0 mark.