STONINGTON — Before Monday’s ECC Medium Division tilt with Montville, the Stonington High boys’ soccer team was a combined 0-3 against the top two teams in the division (Waterford and Montville).
Ethan Murphy broke a scoreless tie with a second-half goal and the Bears finally broke through against the Medium heavyweights with a 1-0 win over the Indians.
“We’re all pretty excited, this was a really big win for us,” Stonington coach Paul deCastro said.
The Bears (9-4-2, 6-3-1 ECC-Medium) didn’t have a lot of scoring opportunities in the game with only three shots on goal but deCastro said that Murphy’s score was one of the best goals of the year.
“The ball started out wide left, then got centered, then went to the right side of the field to (Andrew) Frosti,” he said.
“Frosti played it to (Chris) Tsang who made a nice turn outside the 18-yard box and centered it across to Murphy who one-timed it over the goalie’s head.
“Chris Tsang played at forward today and he’s really improved his game. He’s simplified how he plays and made a great decision on the pass.”
Montville (11-3, 8-2 ECC-Medium) had 10 shots to Stonington’s three and outplayed the Bears at the beginning of the second half before the Bears’ turned the tables on the Indians and scored with 14 minutes left.
“They really only had one good chance that went off the crossbar after we went ahead,” deCastro said.
“We had a bunch of defenders playing together for the first time and to shut out a team like Montville is really big.”
Montville defeated Stonington 2-0 on Oct. 3.
The Bears also put themselves in very good position to qualify for the ECC tournament and deCastro said it was “likely” that the team would qualify.
The field has been expanded from six to eight teams. The field will be determined solely on the ECC generated schedule and unlike past seasons the three division champions do not auotmatically qualify.
The Bears can further improve their chances for a tournament bid if they finish the regular season with a win against Ledyard Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Stonington.