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Montville - Ledyard succeeded in keeping Jeff Tryon from finding the back of the net.
The Colonels weren't successful, however, in keeping Montville's dangerous striker from being a major offensive factor in the game.
Tryon, a marked man in every game the Indians play, was bottled up pretty good the entire night by a tenacious Ledyard defense. But the talented senior went high in the air to set up one goal and then sent a gorgeous cross to set up an insurance goal late in the match as Montville survived the elements and a determined effort by the Colonels to pull out a 2-0 victory in an Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division boys' soccer match played in a steady rain Tuesday night.
It was the first of two meetings for the two rivals, who shared the division crown in 2011 after splitting the season series.
"It's funny because when we played here last year we lost 1-0 and I was irate because I thought we played horrible," Ledyard coach Bill Glenney said. "Then we lose 2-0 tonight and I thought we played well. I thought we outplayed them for the majority of the game, but again, they're a good team. They scored the goals, we didn't."
Tryon, who was stoned from point-blank range by Ledyard goalie Jason Smith midway through the first half, helped put Montville (7-0, 5-0) on the board in the 28th minute when he flicked a backwards header off a throw-in right to unmarked teammate Josh Handler, who headed the ball from in close past a defenseless Smith.
His second assist was a thing of beauty and came on one of the rare occasions that Ledyard (5-2, 3-1) allowed the Indians to successfully possess the ball and build from the midfield. Zach Foley made a run down the middle of the field and passed in space to a streaking Tryon in the left corner. Tryon gathered the pass and sent a powerful cross to the opposite corner of the net, where Connor Leeman blasted a shot from in close past Smith, who once again had no chance, with just 8:57 remaining.
"I'm not the only one on this team that can score goals," Tryon said. "I'm obviously going to be selfish when I need to, but Connor was wide open and if he's wide open I'm going to give him the ball."
Montville, ranked second in the Class M-S state coaches' poll behind Bacon Academy, finished with a 15-9 shots edge and Smith made a number of quality saves for Ledyard, finishing with six. Jake Sorenson stopped four shots for the Indians, but the Colonels thought they got one by him with just under two minutes left in the first half.
Ledyard had a direct kick from just inside midfield and when the ball was lofted into the Montville penalty area it somehow got behind Sorenson and wound up in the net. The officials, however, ruled that a Colonel defender backed into Sorenson, called a foul and disallowed the goal.
"(Those) two minutes of that game were mind-boggling to me," Glenney said. "It looks like we scored a goal. One of the officials stops the clock, so in my mind that's a goal. You don't stop the clock for a goal kick or foul. My whole team is celebrating like we scored. Their team is standing there. The next thing you know the ball's in play. … it came right at the end of the half and was something that derailed us a bit."
Montville coach Colin Delaney said he could understand Glenney's frustration, but …
"If it was on that side Billy might have seen it better," Delaney said. "From my standpoint it was pretty clear. They knew immediately it was going to be called back. I probably would have done the same thing if I was on that side … it took the wind out of their sails a little bit, for sure.''