Booters best effort not enough

The Jonathan Law boys soccer team took on one of the SCC’s best in Guilford High on Oct. 9.

After battling the Indians even for one half, the Lawmen fell, 4-1, one night after a very tough and energy-draining 7-0 loss to Daniel Hand of Madison, also of the SCC’s Hammonasset Division.

“I don’t credit this loss to a lack of trying or enthusiasm,” said Law coach Donato Piselli. “A lot of it had to do with meeting Hand last night, and then having to come right back and play a Guilford team which has as rich a history as any school in the state.

“We lacked energy in those final 20 minutes. There wasn’t much else you can expect.”

Antonio Gjuraj, a sophomore, scored Law’s lone goal with 12:58 left in the opening half.

He took his team’s penalty kick after forward Herbie Pritchard was taken down by Guilford’s last defender on what would’ve been a breakaway goal attempt.

With Law up 1-0 and playing well, Guilford’s Ben Rattet was able to retrieve a loose ball in the box and loft a soft shot to the right of Law keeper Gabe Salles and into the net at the 7:50 mark of the first half.

“We were playing well then they scored that quickly,” Piselli said. “Whatever wind we had... was taken away.”

Even though they were outshot, 9-3, in the opening 40 minutes, Law was in a 1-1 game.

“We played a very good position game in that first half,” Gjuraj said. “I thought that we countered them well. We played well in the mid-field and had some chances.

“In that second half, we began to lose our positioning. It just went downhill from there. It wasn’t how we should’ve played.”

The defeat left Law with a 1-9 record. The win came over East Haven, 2-1.

Guilford, now 8-2-2, took the lead at 2-1 early into the second half on a goal by Steven Page.

It put the game out of reach when Saleh Nars, knocked home two shots—  the first on a header with 11:15 to go on an assist from Page, and the second with 10:52 showing on a kick from right in front of Salles.

“We went with some of our older players early in the game, and, when they couldn’t score, we put our younger players in,” said Guilford coach Joe Maher, a veteran of 25 years in the program.

“We might’ve been giving up some pounds and some height out there, but it worked out well. Our sophomore and freshman group is pretty strong.”

Earlier in the season (Sept. 23), Guilford had beaten Law, 2-1, in Guilford.

“That seemed to be a much better game for us,” Piselli said. “But that day we were well-rested. We didn’t have a game the night before.”

Guilford produced 19 shots; 14 more than Law did.

Salles had five saves, while Indians’ keeper Nat Wilson made two saves. The Indians had six corner kicks while Law earned four pair.