WALLINGFORD — A bald eagle swept over Fitzgerald Field at halftime of the Lyman Hall-Wilbur Cross boys soccer game Saturday morning.
He should have stuck around. There was a heck of a finish.
With 1:10 left to play, Chris Soto headed home a corner kick from Mauricio Zeas Cabrera to give the Trojans a 2-1 SCC victory over the Governors.
The win, coming on the heels of Tuesday’s 2-1 upset of Xavier, puts LH at 3-1-1.
“All these wins, close games, we’re playing hard for them and working for it, and it’s doing good things for our confidence,” said senior captain midfielder Declan Turbett, who staked LH to a 1-0 lead against Cross with a breakaway goal in the first half. “We’re getting some good feelings out of the games.”
Saturday’s winning goal came on a designed play. Soto was brought up from his position on defense expressly to get up in the air in front of the net on the corner kick.
“I’ve been working on the heading part of the game for a while — over the summer, over this COVID thing, I’ve been working on it a lot,” Soto said. “You’ve got to lose the fear of getting up and just the head the ball.”
To describe the winning goal, Soto shifted to pure present tense.
“The last couple minutes, it’s do-or-die, prime time. I see my midfielder, Mauricio, cross the ball and I see it coming in the air, and I don’t have a defender on me. I jump up for it and I get the good connection on it. And once I see that ball go in the net, I just felt great.”
“That was a play we work on; that was a set play,” said LH coach Arnie Jandreau. “It was nice because we needed it.”
Indeed, because 11 minutes earlier Wilbur Cross had tied it up 1-1 on a penalty kick converted by Kevin Sian.
That ball was the only one to get past Lyman Hall rookie goaltender Dan Beverage, who played another strong game in net aided by the back line of Riley Stone, Niko Cymbala, Brendan McAvoy and Soto.
With a fairly steady breeze blowing out of the north, wind was a factor in determining territorial edge. The Governors had it at their backs in the first half, the Trojans in the second.
Despite bucking first-half headwinds, LH jumped ahead 1-0 on Turbett’s breakaway 27:26 in. Bursting through the midfield, Turbett tacked to the left, then beat the keeper with a ground ball inside the far post.
Down the homestretch, the Trojans aggressively pushed the attack behind Turbett, Edwin Lopez, Yayha Kardad, Blake Gibertoni and Morgan Stone, eventually forcing the corner kick deftly placed by Zeas Cabrera onto the curly dark locks of Soto.
Look for more on the Lyman Hall boys in Monday’s “Weekend Wrap.”
Southington 2, Bristol Central 2: The Blue Knights and Rams played to the CCC deadlock in Southington.
Liam Schroeder and Cole Marek had the goals for Southington (1-3-2), while goalie Ryan made four saves.
Schroeder got the home team out to a quick lead just 1:08 into the game, converting a through ball played in by Trevor Sousa.
Carson Rivoira pulled Bristol Central (2-0-1) even 2:16 before the break, then put his team ahead 2-1 in the opening minutes of the second half.
Marek’s equalizer came 4½ minutes later. He converted a rebound of a shot initially stopped by Central keeper Matt Beaucar (2 saves).Girls soccer
Cheshire 2, Shelton 1: The host Rams posted their fourth straight win and handed the Gaels their first loss behind first-half goals from Gabby Tirado and Izzy Pellegrino.
Pellegrino set up Tirado for the icebreaker 13 ½ minutes in, then netted what proved to be the game-winner on a free kick nine minutes before halftime.
Emily Sandin got one back for Shelton with 8:40 left in the game, but that was all the Gaels could slip past Cheshire goalie Seymone Rosenberg, who made five saves.
Saturday’s win at Alumni Field was Cheshire’s first over Shelton since 2017. The Rams are now 4-1. Shelton is 3-1-1.
Sheehan 3, North Haven 1: The Titans spotted the Indians an early goal, then grabbed a 3-1 lead before the break and never relinquished it in this SCC matchup in Wallingford.
North Haven’s Ada Foster scored 2½ minutes in, Sheehan’s Dylan Smith answered five minutes later and Sam Barone’s tally in the 29th minute put the Titans up 2-1.
Sydney Cuticelli provided the insurance 1:40 before halftime.
Sheehan controlled play, out-shooting North Haven 16-6. Beth Arnold made fives saves for the Titans. Erika Fronte and Sophia Chagnon combined on 12 for North Haven.
The win was the first for Sheehan (2-2-1) since the opening-night romp over Lyman Hall. North Haven (0-5) is still searching for its first win.