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WALLINGFORD — Proving it is ranked in the state coaches poll for a reason, the Cheshire boys soccer team defeated Lyman Hall 5-0 in a SCC Oronoque matchup on Tuesday.
The Rams, ranked No. 6 in Class LL/L, improved to 7-0-2 with the victory. The injury-ravaged Trojans fell to 1-6-4 with the loss.
Denys Fuentes and Matthew Mayano had two goals apiece for Cheshire. Quinn Donahue also scored.
The Rams established a 1-0 lead in the first half, then pulled away in the second.
“Lyman Hall is a very good team; they’re very tough. They’re the kind of team where we have to stay on top of them because, if you don’t, they’ll get bigger and bigger,” said Cheshire coach Artur Branco. “We were up just 1-0 at halftime and we knew that we needed to put up one or two more to kind of kill the game because they are very resilient and they have players that can really hurt a team at any given time.”
“We’ve been this way all year long. We have trouble hanging with the better teams,” said Lyman Hall coach Arnie Jandreau. “We’ve been within one goal everytime except for this one and against West Haven. We’ve been in the games, but right now we’re just trying to make the tournament. If we make the tournament, I think we could surprise a lot of people.”
On Tuesday, the first half was close throughout. Both sides had opportunities to put the ball in the net.
Cheshire connected 21 minutes into the half, with Mayano dishing to Fuentes.
Going into the second half, Cheshire went on an immediate attack. Within two minutes, Fuentes connected on his second goal of the game.
About five minutes later, Fuentes picked up an assist after setting up Donahue for the third Cheshire goal.
With a 3-0 lead, Cheshire didn’t relent on the attack. The Rams controlled the ball for the vast majority of the second half and Mayano scored twice to complete the 5-0 victory.
Ranked and still undefeated, Cheshire is poised as one of the top teams in the state.
“There’s a lot of facets of the game where we really need to get better if we want to compete with the next tier of teams,” Branco said. “We’re working towards that and, hopefully, when the time comes, if we’re lucky to be in a situation ... to compete with those teams, we’ll do well.”
On the other hand, Lyman Hall had a very respectable first half. The Trojans hung in there for the first 40 minutes, but fell apart in the second half.
Lyman Hall has been plagued by injuries, having lost three of its starters. The Trojans have also been dealing with a bear of a schedule through the early parts of the season.
“We have so many injuries right now; we’ve been hurt the past four games,” said Jandreau. “I just wanted nobody to get hurt today.
“We hung in there for a while, but we just can’t play with a team like this right now. I think they started nine seniors and I’ve got four sophomores in there. You just can’t compare it. They’re a good team, I don’t want to take anything away from them. They’re organized, well coached and our kids will get bigger and stronger. In a couple of years, we’ll see.”