In their first Class LL final in 33 years, Cheshire High School boys’ soccer (13th seed, 14-6-2) fell just short in 3-2 loss to Farmington (seventh seed, 17-3-1) on Saturday at Dillon Stadium in Hartford. The River Hawks picked up their 13th crown overall.
In an explosive first half, the teams combined for four goals. Cheshire jumped ahead with 33:48 remaining in the first half.
When a Farmington player fell down, senior Marcello Pannone had space to cross the ball to senior co-captain Murphy Malone, who netted the ball into the net.
The River Hawks needed just 1:05 to draw even, as senior Caden Gallagher scored on a pass from senior Michael Gudewicz. With 21:12 remaining in the first half, Farmington took their first lead on a goal by senior Matthew Cence.
Cheshire rallied to tie the game with 16:08 left before halftime. On a corner kick, Malone received the ball from junior Samir Dishnica and buried a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
Senior goalkeeper Andres Diosa (five saves) made two saves at the end of the first half to keep the game tied at 2-2.
With the contest hanging in the balance, the River Hawks took the lead for good with 20:32 remaining. Just below mid-field, Cece created a turnover on the right side and charged down to net the eventual game-winner to the upper left corner of the net.
The Rams tried to get the equalizer, but senior goalkeeper Patrick Pietraszewski and Farmington defense held them scoreless in the second half to clinch the crown.
Cheshire will graduate a deep senior class of Malone, co-captain Marco Parete, Sahil Banerjee, Andi Benga, Nathaniel Brancazio, Zack Brown, Diosa, Michael Dubois, Noah Gougsa, Kyle Irwin, Ethan Lin, Max Manware, Ajay Montagna, and Marcello Pannone.
This story will be updated with comments.