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Torrington boys soccer struggling, looking for fire. Drop 2-1 decision to Crosby.

POSTED September 19, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: The Crosby Bulldogs boys’ soccer team made their way across the Robert H. Frost Complex with passion and emotion, fresh off their first win against a Torrington Raiders team since 2011.

Torrington head coach Mike Fritch Jr. had a hard time talking to his team right after this one, not just because they dropped a 2-1 decision to a good Crosby team that won eight games a year ago.

It was manner in which they lost.

If you have been watching long enough, you know the trademark of any Raiders team is effort, hustle and teamwork. None of those things were on display on Thursday night and that’s what bothered the head coach the most.

“The effort’s not there,” Fritch said, “They have effort (the Bulldogs) but we don’t. We have had no intensity the first three games.”

Torrington sits surprisingly at 1-2 after also dropping a 3-1 decision to Ansonia in their season opener before beating Wolcott by a 4-0 final on Monday night.

The Chargers had not come out on the winning side of a game against Torrington since all the way back in September of 2008 when the blanked the Raiders by a 1-0 score.

So when the clock struck zero, the Bulldogs and Ansonia had gotten the monkey off their back and the Raiders are left wondering where passion is going to come from.

“It can’t come from me.” Fritch said, “It’s going to be a long year if we don’t figure it out.”

Watching the game, you would never have known which team had dominated the other for so long, the Bulldogs were winning anything close to a 50-50 ball while breaking onto the scoreboard just 80-seconds into the game.

Junior forward Jacob Irizarry sent a pretty cross that senior Gregory Lormilien drilled past Raider goal keep Aiden Mattiello for a lightning fast 1-0 lead.

Chemistry is a strange but hugely important part of any team, anywhere and three games in, it appears the Raiders are still trying to mix beakers to see what theirs will look like.

It’s somewhat confusing and certainly maddening to a coach like Fritch who, like his father Mike Sr, knew only a couple of ways to play. Together and hard all the time.

No coach will lose sleep over a hard fought loss, it’s the ones that his team does not give it their all that makes them watch far too much late night television.

18 minutes into the match with Crosby applying all the pressure, the home team found a little magic when sophomore Alex Segovia took a pass from fellow tenth grader Jacob Pestritto that split the Bulldogs last line of defense and put it away.

Signs of life after a lackluster first 20 minutes started to appear as the home team started working better together, especially in the middle of the field but the outside runs towards the corner were conspicuously missing.

Far too often, the ball would stay in the middle of the field instead of working the outsides for a crossing pass.

The teams went to the tied at a goal apiece but the Bulldogs would take advantage of a non-clear by Mattiello to take the lead with 26:43 left in the game when a ball deflected off a Crosby defender back towards the Raiders goalie but the attempted clear went off Lormilien who kept moving forward and found himself with an empty net and a 2-1 lead.

This fall season is not a long one, goes by pretty quick. Torrington is back home next Tuesday taking on St Paul, a team that beat the Bulldogs 3-0 in their first game of the year and are 2-0 coming in.

Sometimes team never find their identity until it is too late. Chemistry can’t be forced or taught, it’s just got to develop.

Let’s hope this Raider team can figure it out.

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