DANBURY – After missing more than two weeks of preseason practice due to the COVID-19 shutdown in the city in late August, the Danbury boys soccer team has had to adjust on the fly as the season began.
That included breaking in an all new defensive unit along with several other newcomers to the squad.
So far, so good.
The Hatters beat Norwalk 1-0 Wednesday night at home, moving them to 2-0-1.
Danbury tied and beat Staples to open the year in the newly formed FCIAC Central where they play each of the other five schools in back-to-back games throughout the season.
Norwalk will host Danbury Monday at 7 p.m. in the rematch.
“Right now, we are focusing on our defensive shape so we are competitive. We have an all-new back four and that has been our focus,” Danbury coach Antony Howard said. “On the attacking front, we have enough technical players who can make things happen. It has kind of been working just letting them attack how they want to. I think it’s important to allow the kids to express themselves on the field. This was a good game with two very technical teams going at it.”
Danbury broke through with the lone goal with 18:24 left in the second half off of a corner kick.
Senior Cristofer Carrasco sent the ball in from the right corner, connecting with Matt Aracena who headed the ball home with authority.
“I saw they had a zone all set up and I knew they weren’t going to cover me man-to-man,” Carrasco said. “I saw it coming to me, they didn’t attack it so I jumped up and put my head on it. It felt amazing. First goal of the season. I am recovering from a hamstring injury and I didn’t get to play the first two games. I feel blessed to be able to come out here and score.”
Norwalk (1-1-1) conceded a goal off of a corner kick for the second-straight game.
“We just didn’t play well enough tonight,” Norwalk coach Chris Laughton said. “I thought we had some chances, especially in the first half. This is two games in-a-row we have given up a goal on a corner kick. You just can’t do that. If we don’t give one up the other night (against McMahon) we win, if we don’t give one up tonight we at least tie. That’s something we need to fix up for sure.”
Norwalk’s best chances came off its own set pieces but the Bears could not get anything past the Danbury defense or senior keeper Matt Silva who had 9 saves.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Matt Aracena, Danbury. Aracena scored the Hatters goal and was applying pressure on the Bears defense all evening with quality runs after entering the game as a substitute.
“I felt I had a couple of chances down there first half,” Aracena said. “I felt it coming. I knew if we kept pushing and we kept going, we would get it and it ended up happening.”
DANBURY 1, NORWALK 0
NORWALK 0 0 – 0
DANBURY 0 1 – 1
Goals: D—Matt Aracena. Assists: D—Cristofer Carrasco
Goalies: D—Matt Silva 9 saves; N—Jake Godwin 6 saves
Records: D—2-0-1; N—1-1-1
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