Norwalk slips past McMahon
By MIKE MADAR
NORWALK — The Norwalk boys soccer team scored the go-ahead goal with 23 seconds to play in the first half and made it stand up, capturing the city title with a 2-1 win over Brien McMahon at Testa Field Tuesday night.
“It’s always nice to beat your rival,” Norwalk head coach Chris Laughton said. “They are well coached and put up a good fight.”
With the win, Norwalk, unbeaten in its last four, improved to 5-3-4, staying right in the thick of the FCIAC playoff race. The loss put the Senators’ FCIAC playoff hopes in serious jeopardy as they dropped their third straight to fall to 5-8.
Norwalk got on the board first, when on a break, Chris Puente found junior striker Andres Torres streaking up the middle for a goal 28:42 in.
“It was a really good pass by Chris and I was able to score,” Torres said.
Less than four minutes later, McMahon answered by scoring on one of its few chances of the half. On the goal, Aleko Petridis found Rolando Montero on the right wing where he blistered a shot past Norwalk keeper Alex Hurd.
Norwalk would grab all the momentum late in the half when it scored with 23 seconds remaining. The play was started by Erick Romero who won possession on the Bears half and played a beautiful ball across the field, hitting Puente in stride. Puente raced down the left sideline and fed Nic Zuniga in the middle who slipped a shot inside the far post.
“Erick gave me a good ball and then I saw Nic,” Puente said. “I went behind the defense and just passed it to the middle.”
The timing of the goal was perfect for the Bears. “It was huge considering we just got a yellow card, Tyler Collins came out with a bloody nose and they had just scored,” Laughton said. ” It changed the whole dynamic of the game.”
Norwalk was able to control most of the possession as McMahon struggled to build up anycontinuous pressure.”It’s tough to keep ahand on your emotions in a game like this,” McMahon head coach Chris Bacco said. “They did a better job than us.” Norwalk, which began the day a point out of an FCIAC playoff spot, has three games remaining and as far as Laughton is concerned they are all must-wins.
“We need to win out,” Laughton said. “I think our guys were aware of that and really showed a sense of urgency (Tuesday).” With three games left, the Senators are still a win and a tie short of qualifying for the ClassLL state tournament. ” You never know what’s happening in the FCIAC this year but we still have the states (to qualify for) and we need to win.” Norwalk returns to action Thursday night when it hosts Warde. McMahon hosts Centralon Monday.
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