Boys soccer: Set pieces key Law's win over Lions

The Jonathan Law boys soccer team used its prowess on set pieces to post a 2-0 victory over visiting Foran High on Wednesday night at Lawmen Stadium in a Southern Connecticut Conference match.

After almost scoring on its first corner of contest, the Lawmen converted off a corner kick with 29:31 left in the first half.

Troy Anderson drove it in from the flag into the 18-yard box, with Kyle Goglia getting a touch on the ball. It found the foot of Jon Vitale, who struck the ball straight down the middle and into the back of the net.

“We’ve been working set pieces for awhile now,” Law head coach Mike Gruber said. “In the last couple of practices, we saw some stuff that they did and we decided we wanted to spread it out a little bit and what we did was just crash the box.

“We knew whoever scored the first goal is going to have a major advantage in the game. We sent more numbers than we usually do because we wanted to get that first goal.”

Goglia then put the game away with 16 minutes left to play, providing the final scoreline. Freshman Lex Edwards lofted a free kick into the box from 50 yards out. Goglia got behind the Foran backline and nudged a header past keeper Luca Marinelli to seal the victory.

Law’s defensive commitment stifled the Lions’ attack, which hit for six goals in a 6-0 win over East Haven in its previous game.

“If they get a lead, they are going to put bodies behind the ball,” Foran head coach Rick DiStefano said. “We knew that.”

Foran’s best chances came in the first half, when Will Contaxis cleared a Lion attempt from around the goal line. Prior to that, Lion forward Brendan May lobbed a shot from the left flank that sailed just over the crossbar.

“In the second half, we controlled things but we had nothing going forward,” DiStefano said. “We never really got behind them and didn’t create enough.”

Pushing Foran outside and restricting space in the middle of the field was part of Law’s strategy against their crosstown rival.

“We wanted to contain the middle of the field of give them the wings,” Gruber said. “That worked to our advantage today… We pride ourselves on defense… We are a defensive-minded team to begin with.”

Law keeper Dan Majkut made three saves to record the clean sheet. His aggressiveness on Foran’s crosses from the flanks helped limit the Lion opportunities in front.

“In a rivalry game like this, there is a lot of adrenaline going through me,” said Majkut, a transfer from West Haven High. “I wanted to jump the gun, I wanted to get up on those balls. That sort of pushed me to go up and collect those high balls.”

The loss dropped Foran’s record to 2-4-3 overall; Law improved to 4-4-1.