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Torrington girls soccer beats Derby, 1-0. But that's not the story.

POSTED September 26, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: The Torrington girls soccer team got by Derby, 1-0 on Wednesday night on a goal off a penalty kick by Payton Graham with 27:13 left in the second half.

A game with between two struggling teams trying to get better.

Derby has yet to score a goal in 2019 and is 0-4-1 while Torrington has posted a 2-2 record with wins over Sacred Heart and now the other Raiders in the Naugatuck Valley League.

What transpired with 1:24 to play in the game that caused the game to end early was what really disturbed anyone who was watching.

Torrington sophomore, Allison Dudek, who had earlier been leveled in the penalty box, leading to the games only goal, was battling for the ball with a Derby defender, when it turned into a shoving match that left both players on the ground.

With the two players on the ground, a second Derby player, Riley Miller, got into the mix by grabbing a defenseless Dudek by the hair, while throwing punches to her face and head.

Actions like that, if done on a sidewalk or anywhere else in public would surely lead to a visit to the back of a patrol car but in this case, it didn’t even lead to a yellow or red card to anyone.

It’s simple.

First two in the mix, yellow cards.

The third in, a red and in this case because of the violent nature of the attack, a removal from the game and maybe even additional time away from the game so as to understand that actions have consequences.

I go back though, to the first Torrington game that I covered earlier this month against Wolcott.

The Eagles were a skilled team but the Raiders were keeping pace, down just 2-0 at the half and showing some grit.

It wasn’t a particularly physical game at that point but on an offensive possession for the home team, a Torrington player was knocked to the ground hard with no foul being called.

Moments later, a Wolcott player hit the deck and the Torrington defender was called for the foul and given a yellow card.

When head coach Mario Longobucco expressed his displeasure with the call, the referee, one I had not seen before, seemed indignant that a coach would question his judgement and yelled to Longobucco that “I’m not afraid of you!”.

Truly, one of the most remarkable (and strange) things I have ever heard come out of a referee’s mouth in my 20-years of listening to the banter between coach and arbiter.

I just wasn’t sure why his lack of fear of a head coach mattered at that moment.

If he was afraid, would he have paid more attention to what was going on around him?

That would have been good.

Hey, being a referee or umpire is a thankless job. Somebody is always going to think you’re wrong but what you owe the athletes you are covering is a 100 percent effort at doing your job.

I don’t care what level you are working. You owe it to the participants.

Now I understand that in most cases, we don’t notice the folks running the game and that’s truly a good thing.

Last night the bumping and shoving and elbows started to appear more and more as the game went on, by both teams.

A stoppage of play early with a card or two taken out of ones pocket may have reminded the participants that they were being warned.

Knock it off or you will be sent off.

By not reeling in the nonsense, last nights game was allowed to spiral to the point in which an assault on a tenth grader occurred on the field without consequence except for ending the game early.

We as adults need to do better.


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