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Torrington Girls Soccer beats rival Naugatuck, improves to 7-0.

POSTED October 05, 2010
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON- The Streak is over. 

After more than a decade of not beating their top rival, the Torrington girls soccer team jumped out to a fast lead, then held on to beat the Naugatuck Greyhounds in the first of three key match ups for the Raiders this week.

On Wednesday, Torrington travels to take on the Watertown Indians in another key Naugatuck Valley contest followed by a re-match in Naugatuck on Friday.

All that can wait though; this game was about a team believing in their first year head coach, Mario Longobucco and themselves.

The Greyhounds had been the last hurdle for a team that has always been able to get near the top of the Copper Division but had never been able to break though the ceiling.

The win puts Torrington alone in first with a 7-0 record and was accomplished through some hard defensive work by a junior and some key plays from two seniors who wanted this one bad.

When you talk Greyhound soccer, the name that comes to mind is senior Stephanie Santos.

The job of guarding Santos went to junior Mariah Cerruto, who cemented her reputation as one of the toughest defenders in the NVL.

“Mariah did a great job on Santos,” Longobucco said, “She had her blanketed all night.”

Santos did manage a goal in the second half that brought the visitors to within one goal at 3-2 but was harassed al game by Cerruto and the Raiders sweeper, Brittany Kackowski.

The home team broke through first, when senior Taylor Christiano (a hat trick on the night) used her speed to move through the Greyhounds defenders for a 1-0 lead.

Sarah Royals, who had a goal on a penalty kick with five minutes to go in the game to seal things, added two assists including one on a terrific set play.

“We scored off a set play when Royals put the ball in the box to Alyssa Otis who found Christiano open for the goal,” Longobucco said, “The ball never hit the ground.”

Christiano also scored on a breakaway in the second half after the Greyhounds had scored four minutes into the second half to cut the Torrington lead at the time to 2-1.

You can’t understate how big a win this was for the Raiders and Longobucco, who has coached most of these players since they were in grammar school.

To score four goals on a Naugatuck (5-1) team that had given up just three all year is tremendous.

Sarah Perrota pitched in with an assist for the Raiders, who don’t have a long time to celebrate this win.

Not with the Indians waiting in the wings on Wednesday, but for tonight, it’s another goal reached on a team that is truly believing in themselves.

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