Boys soccer: Guilford ends BE’s season

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

 

BRISTOL – At the final horn of the Class L quarterfinal boys soccer match between top ranked Bristol Eastern and No. 8 Guilford on Friday, Nov. 15, the outcome of the contest was shockingly decided in the fading seconds.

And in the end, Guilford’s Aidan Buchanan just got off a shot that landed into the Lancers’ net as time expired and the eighth ranked team handed Eastern it’s only loss of the campaign, a season-ending 1-0 defeat from Alumni Field on the campus of Bristol Eastern.

“This is not what I expected,” said Eastern coach Bill Sweet. “The end is the end so…I don’t know.”

The contest marked the final match for Eastern seniors Drew Dauphinee, Patrick Regan, Adam Poniatowski, Kyle Cyr, Dante Costantiello, and the all-time leading goal scorer in program history Jake Woznicki – leading the squad to a 15-1-2 overall record and it’s most successful campaign since 1994.

With extra sessions possibly looming, Buchanan was in the middle of a scrum and off a rebound, he sent the game-winning goal into the net as time expired to propel the visitors to the one score win.

Off the goal, the head official checked with his lineman because the final tally might have come after the horn sounded.

But in the end, the goal stood and Guilford continued on in Class L play.

“I couldn’t tell to be honest with you” if the goal counted said Sweet. “Did the buzzer go off? I don’t know. The head referee checked with [the other official]. I don’t know if that guy was watching the clock because he was watching the play. But [the head official] checked with him.”

“Hey, the Guilford kid made the play.”

Four minutes into the tilt, a foul was called on Guilford and set up a Woznicki free kick from the 18 yard line but the senior jammed the shot to the left of the goal as Eastern was controlling the action early.

The Indians were physical, committing a few early game fouls, but the Lancers were unfazed by those tactics and matched that aggression.

Defensively, Andrew Lozier, Luke Hammer, Drew Dauphinee and Costantiello, were all sharp as usual.

Eastern earned a corner kick with 27:04 showing on the clock in the first half but Guilford keeper John Kosh (six saves) made the save.

Midway through the first 40, Guilford still hadn’t attempted a shot at Eastern keep Nate DiLoreto (seven saves) in the goal while Woznicki – hounded and marked by multiple defenders — continued operating in enemy territory.

“They had their four backs who were good athletes,” said Sweet of Guilford’s defense. “They kept on us. And they stepped up and watched us and because they were able to hold the ball a little more, we couldn’t come up and support as much. We were back on defense.”

An Eastern corner kick was awarded with 18:27 in the first half and this time, Woznicki nearly popped the ball in.

Costantiello fed it perfectly to the senior who headed it right at the goal but Kosh leapt up to snare the looping attempt for a big stop.

Then Guilford took its first corner kick with 13:50 remaining before intermission.

Jake Conlin’s attempt went to the right of the Eastern goal as play began to even out a bit.

And then a bullet came DiLoreto’s way with 8:01 left that he quickly punched out of bounds and later, he came sprinted out to fish away the ball on the ensuing corner kick.

With 3:15 to go in the half, a little rebounding action saw Eastern’s Adam Borry drop a rocket at Kosh from about 25 yards out that was saved and the 0-0 stalemate was about to be the score of the half.

And to nearly end the half, DiLoreto met one final Guilford challenge out of the box, booting the ball up the field to prevent any late scoring chance.

“Nate made some nice saves in the first half to keep us in” it said Sweet.

Eastern had a throw-in 50 seconds into the second 40 but a crowded Guilford box prevented a score while Lozier, on the other end, made a stop — followed by a huge DiLoreto save as the Indians were stepping on the gas a bit.

And then Woznicki made a sweet turn into the middle, firing up a tough shot but Kosh made a huge deflection with 36:48 left in regulation.

Another save by DiLoreto eventually led to a 1-on-4 situation by Woznicki as Tyler Borry’s attempt was deflected and saved by Kosh.

The Lancers were looking to attack with 27:30 left on a free kick as a Costantiello to Woznicki set-up slipped out of bounds and the 0-0 tie continued.

Woznicki kicked in a corner with 19:25 left but the cross went unanswered and 30 seconds later, a second attempt was immediately headed out.

“We had a couple balls in the box that we didn’t get to,” said Sweet. “We have a couple balls played a cross we didn’t get to. That’s part of their defense.”

Things were getting chippy with 13:00 to play as an attempt near the Eastern goal was lofted to DiLoreto, quickly secured, and the junior keeper was playing well.

The back and forth play continued as the two teams appeared to be headed to overtime.

The Lancers’ defense made late stops, forcing Guilford outside, and with 1:10 left, Eastern had one final offensive attempt which was eventually headed out as time was ticking down.

The ending felt like overtime but Guilford managed to position the ball down by the Eastern box with 10 seconds left and, out of nowhere, Buchanan kicked home the game-winning goal at the buzzer to drop the Lancers by a single goal to end Eastern’s excellent campaign.

“These things happen in a tournament game,” said Sweet. “Wish it happened to us, that’s all.”

 

BRISTOL EASTERN BOYS SOCCER

Class L State Tournament, second round

No. 1 Bristol Eastern 3, No. 16 Bunnell 0

from Alumni Field at Bristol Eastern high school – Wednesday, Nov. 13

Scoring

Bunnell                                    0 0 – 0

Bristol Eastern                         0 3 – 3

Halftime: No score

Bristol Eastern goals – Second Half:

  1. Jake Woznicki (off a corner kick)
  2. Woznicki (with twenty minutes to play)
  3. Jonathan Loja (header into the net)

Records: Bristol Eastern 15-0-2 overall; Bunnell 9-5-4

 

BRISTOL EASTERN BOYS SOCCER

Class L State Tournament, quarterfinal round

No. 8 Guilford 1, No. 1 Bristol Eastern 0

from Alumni Field at Bristol Eastern high school – Wednesday, Nov. 13

Scoring

Guilford                                   0 1 – 1

Bristol Eastern                         0 0 – 0

Halftime: No score

Guilford goal – Second Half:

Aidan Buchanan (0:00)

Shots on Goal: Guilford 14; Bristol Eastern 16

Saves: John Kosh (Guilford) 6; Nate DiLoreto (Bristol Eastern) 7

Records: Bristol Eastern 15-1-2 overall; Guilford 15-1-6