Stamford boys trim Norwalk
STAMFORD — After missing a few first-half opportunities, the Stamford High boys soccer team didn’t squander any second-half chances.
The Black Knights took a two-goal lead on Norwalk in the second half and squashed any chances of a Bears’ comeback with a late tally en route to a 3-1 FCIAC victory in a physical, hard-fought battle Tuesday night at Testa Field.
“It’s one of those games where you have to understand there’s going to be a lot of time left,” Stamford coach Mario Caminitisaid. “You have to stay patient and try to create as much as you possibly can. A few opportunities that we had we capitalized and I thought in the second half we had the upper hand.”
The Black Knights (3-1-1) hit the post twice on shots in a mostly defensive first half, by Anthony Oliveros in the 17th minute and by Federico Marin in the 38th.
What got them going in the second half was an own goal in the 45th minute as a Norwalk player ran into the path of the ball and it went into the bottom left corner of the net. The tally gave Stamford a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“I thought we came out flat in the second half,” Norwalk coach Chris Laughton said. “They made us pay with the two goals. Unfortunately, it took the second goal for us to wake up and then we started to fight and compete after that, but the kids have to learn from this. It’s two games in a row we’ve given up three goals in the second half, which is unacceptable.”
Stamford earned its second goal and came about on a short corner pass by Uriy Yosypiv to Jason Martinez, who headed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net past goalie Cole Judkins in the 58th minute.
“This is a big win and it’s hard to win here on their home field,” said Martinez, who has three goals this season. “We had opportunities in the first half and thought we should score more. We gave everything we had to get this win.”
The Bears answered about a minute later to cut the lead to 2-1 when Michael Hidalgo scored off a scramble as he booted the ball past Stamford goalie Alex Grabar and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Unfortunately for Norwalk, that was as close as it would get because Stamford’s Patryk Tomczak netted an insurance goal off his own rebound following a save by Judkins with 3:54 remaining in the game.
“We came out with a better focus, better purpose in the second half,” Caminiti said. “Norwalk gave us a run for our money but I’m glad we came out on top. The boys worked hard together.”
STAMFORD 3, NORWALK 1
STAMFORD 0 3—3
NORWALK 0 1—1
Records: Stamford 3-1-1; Norwalk 2-3-0. Goals: S—own goal; Jason Martinez, Patryk Tomczak; N—Michael Hidalgo. Goalies: S—Alex Grabar (4 saves); N—Cole Judkins (4).
By Steve Geoghegan