Senior captains (l-r) Adam Molusis, Aiden Crean, and Will Greelish have helped lead GHS boys’ soccer to an undefeated start through the first nine games.
A goal by senior captain Adam Molusis in the first half was the difference as Glastonbury boys’ soccer defeated Newington 1-0 on Oct. 6 in a much-anticipated Central Connecticut Conference clash between the two of the conference’s best.
Both Class LL teams stepped onto the field turf at GHS without a loss with Newington coming in with a record of 6-0, having outscored their first half dozen opponents by a combined score 23-2.
Behind Molusis’ goal and an outstanding performance on the defensive end, the Guardian remained unbeaten and dealt the Nor’easter their first loss.
“We were very motivated,” senior captain Will Greelish said of the team’s mindset prior to the game. “They were placed ahead of us in the standings, so we wanted to prove ourselves and show that we were the better team.”
Glastonbury was the more aggressive team in the first half, peppering Newington’s goalie Dakota Hawes with several shots. Molusis had a shot attempt go wide right (25th minute) and another wide left (27th minute) before he found his range in the 36th minute when he let the defense clear and found the bottom right hand corner of the net.
“I was going to shoot it and then someone stepped in,” recalled Molusis. “So I did a fake shot and took a touch to the side and shot it in.”
Molusis’ goal proved to be the game winning as the home team blanked a Newington offense that had scored at least two goals in each of the first six games.
Senior Aiden Crean, who is captaining the backend, made a crucial sliding stop with less than ten minutes remaining in regulation to thwart a Newington scoring opportunity.
“In these late games we just have to stay composed,” said Crean, “We know that all we need is one goal to win and we have confidence in ourselves.”
Sophomore goalie Patrick Butler kept the net empty, making a handful of saves. After a relatively quiet first half, Butler faced a fierce Newington attack in the second half and turned away every attempt, making an athletic diving save midway through the second half and another with 6:39 remaining in regulation.
Greelish, a captain on the midfield with Molusis, also cleared an attack with four minutes left as Newington controlled the ball for a majority of the final eight minutes, but was unable to get the equalizer.
The victory was the eighth for the Guardians this year, which matches the team’s regular season win total from a year ago.
Greelish said the experience the player’s received last season is paying dividends this fall, adding the team is still motivated by last season’s heartbreaking tournament loss to Xavier in overtime.
“We have a chip on our shoulder now,” stated Greelish. “A lot of the players in our starting lineup are returners and played a lot last year. We want to win it this year.”
Through the first nine games, the Guardians have only surrendered only two goals and the shutout of Newington was the seventh time they have held an opponent to a goose egg on the scoreboard.
Crean credited the chemistry on the defensive end, adding, “When we’re communicating and moving the ball side to side, we’re really tough to beat.”
The team is satisfied with start, yet it’s the 1-1-tie against Hall on Sept. 27, that has kept them grounded. In the draw, the Guardians were unable to capitalize on over a dozen corner kicks.
“We left a lot on the table that game,” said Crean. “We have since corrected those minor mistakes and we’ve learned a lot from that game.”
Molusis added, “It helps us because we know we are vulnerable and we still need to come out every game and go 100% or it might not turn out the way we want it to go.”
Entering the week, the Guardians are one of five Class LL teams without a loss. Trumbull, Hall, Shelton, and South Windsor the four other undefeated teams.
The Guardians next welcome Bristol Central to GHS on Thursday, Oct 13 (tonight) for a game under the lights, starting at 6:00 p.m.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin