After dropping a pair of games last week, the boys soccer team at Cromwell High School turns their attention to the state tournament next week.
Last Friday, the team fell to East Hampton (1-0) in the regular season finale and CHS head coach Angelo Morello said his young team is fighting from the first whistle to the last.
“I thought the second half was a lot better than the first half,” added Morello, who called East Hampton the best team in the conference.
A goal by East Hampton senior Ethan Marshall midway through the first half proved to be the difference as Cromwell was unable to generate the equalizer despite having scoring opportunities throughout, particularly over the final 40 minutes.
After allowing a goal to Marshall, Cromwell goalie Thomas Fenton was spectacular, making several diving saves to keep the Panthers within a goal.
“That’s what he did a year ago and we need him to be like that as we go forward,” Morello said of his all-conference keeper. “He came up big today and he’s meant a lot to us for the last two years. The guys in front of him have been just as good.”
Fenton is captaining the team with fellow seniors Ace Kenney, Mitchell Botelho, and Darragh McNeil.
The key for the Panthers will be finding scoring opportunities. After scoring three or more goals in five straight games, Cromwell was held scoreless over the last two contests – including a 6-0 loss to Haddam-Killingworth in the Shoreline Conference (SLC) tournament last Saturday.
Morello is relying on a young cast of characters on the offensive end, featuring sophomore Julian Tuminski and Ben Burdick, a freshman who was brought up to varsity midway through the season and has made a splash by scoring seven goals.
“They play extremely well and they play together,” Morello said of his team, who finished the regular season 9-5-2. “We just have to find a way to score goals; that will be the key. Right now it’s goals by committee.”
Visits ciacsports.com for a complete list of all of the high school sports state tournaments.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin