By KEN MORSE
The Plainville boys soccer team wasted no time getting back into the fray after capturing the first state championship in the history of the Blue Devils soccer program.
Plainville began the season against Farmington, last year’s No. 5-ranked team in Class LL, and lost, 4-2. Last Tuesday they went up against the Class L semifinalist Wethersfield and came up on the short end of a 2-1 decision.
Starting out the season at 0-2 didn’t seem to concern head coach Tim Brown very much, as he was more intent on getting his team ready to do battle against the best of the best. Last Friday the Blue Devils met up with Southern Region Patriot Division rival Bristol Eastern, and Plainville came out on the short end of a 1-0 final.
“We certainly have the talent and the ability. It’s a process, and we are working on that process,” said Brown. “All of our games have been close. If we weren’t competing and were getting blown out, then I would be concerned.”
It didn’t help the Blue Devils cause having senior captain Logan Miller out with an injury, but for the most part the midfield of Nathan Cyr, Tucker Rau and Tanner Rau were able to steer the ball into the Lancers’ zone.
Patrick Gryczewski was aggressive, winning several headers creating opportunities for Trevor Rau and Reno Lausier inside the box. With 16 minutes to play in the first half Tanner Rau steered a pass along the sideline to Jacob Pierce over the middle at the 30 yard line.
Pierce found Jordan Torres inside the box with separation from the defender. The shot had an angle for the open portion of the net but the Lancers keeper Nate Diloreto (6 saves) made a leaping save.
“Plainville moves the ball very well, so I thought we played a strong defense that was compact and limited their opportunities,” said Bristol Eastern head coach Bill Sweet. “We tried to keep them from getting into a rhythm. They did have a great shot in the first half but our goalie made a tremendous save.”
Defensively Jens Wadehn, Brady Beausoleil and Gavin Bravado worked out in front of keeper Brennan Staubley (11 saves) to disrupt the Lancer attack.
With 1:46 to go in the first half, Kyle Cyr collected a loose ball in the corner and sent a pass into the box that found a hard-charging Jake Woznicki. Staubley committed, closing off the near corner of the net as Woznicki took it to the far post for the game’s only score.
Will the first win come on the road? The Devils travel this week for games against Bristol Eastern and Platt.