Boys’ soccer at Glastonbury High School pushed undefeated and top-seed Xavier to the brink last Thursday (Nov. 11) before losing 2-1 in penalty kicks (4-2) at Xavier High School, eliminating the Guardians from the Class LL tournament.
First-year head coach Chris Vozzolo credited both teams for enduring the epic two and a half hour slugfest, “Tip our cap to our guys and those guys as well. [Xavier] is a great team and we felt like we went punch for punch all night long. Sometimes it goes into PKs and anything can happen.”
Vozzolo’s team, which entered the tournament ranked #16, was every bit as good as the home Falcons, going shot for shot with the team many considered the best in the state.
Glastonbury’s Will Greelish broke a scoreless tie in the 32nd minute, weaving through the Falcons defense and firing a left-footed blast past goalie Spencer Misenti.
The Guardians would maintain the lead until Xavier’s Jack Polke tied it up with a penalty kick in the 68th minute.
The game remained 1-1 through regulation and two overtime periods.
After 100 minutes of back and forth action, the game was ultimately decided by penalty kicks with Xavier converting four straight and Glastonbury converting only two.
Despite being on the losing end, senior goalie Josh Patermo was incredible through the marathon match, saving eight shots.
It was a tough pill to swallow for a team that came together as a team and as brothers.
“It’s more than the soccer game; it’s more than the result. We promote brotherhood, we promote togetherness, and these are lifelong bonds these guys have with each other. We’ve made sure that those things will never go away,” said Vozzolo, who took over as head coach after Mark Landers (now the GHS girls’ soccer coach) held the spot for 20+ years.
It was a successful season for the Guardians, who finished the regular season 8-5-3 and dominated Enfield 5-0 at GHS in the opening round of the tourney. Senior Ali Taleb scored three goals in the win over Enfield, which set up the date with Xavier.
“It was a tough transition, but the seniors welcomed me in,” added Vozzolo, who praised his assistant coaches, “Obviously coach Landers has some tough shoes to fill and it took a team effort, it took a village.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin