MERIDEN — The Maloney boys soccer team got just the effort it needed coming off a 4-0 shutout loss to Newington, rebounding with a 2-1 victory Thursday over CCC rival Berlin on the turf at Maloney High School.
Sophomore Kayden Cyr and senior Solomon Uwusu scored the goals for the Spartans. Alejandro Garcia had the win in net as Maloney evened its record at 2-2 and knocked the Redcoats to 0-3-1.
“It was a good win,” said senior sweeper Miguel Cardona. “We played good defensively and good offensively. It was our aggression, overall, that put us over the top.”
Cyr staked the Spartans to an early 1-0 lead. He broke free down the right sideline, cut into the Berlin box and slid the ball by keeper Zachary Cancellieri for the goal. Senior Noah Lopez was credited with the assist.
Maloney made it 2-0 in the 29th minute on a counter.
It was an extended give-and-go between Owusu and fellow senior Alex Torres. Owusu fed Torres around midfield and Torres dribbled down the left sideline. Meanwhile, Owusu charged toward the center of the box and knocked in a perfect cross from Torres for his first goal of the season.
“I did what my coach always tells me to do: sprint,” Owusu said. “That goal played out perfectly.”
Berlin answered in the 33th minute on a corner kick. Ryan Garrity scored it on a header, redirecting the kick from Colby Nardelli. Garcia (4 saves) had no chance on the play.
Garcia, a junior, was in net because Maloney’s fourth-year veteran keeper Devin Juan is out indefinitely with a torn quad, a preseason injury aggravated during Tuesday’s game against Newington.
After three goals in the first half, Thursday’s game turned defensive in the second. Maloney did not have a shot on goal after halftime. Nor did Berlin — until the final minute, and that shot was reeled in by Garcia.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Maloney coach Dave Parness said. “A lot of things we didn’t do on Tuesday I thought we did a nice job on today.”
“These guys worked hard yesterday in practice. They were frustrated and wanted to play with more urgency today and they did,” Parness added. “Both of those goals were team goals. We put the ball where we needed on the sideline and guys were just in the right spot.”