Montville earns another title shot

Montville's Zach Foley leaps into the arms of teammates Jeff Tryon (10) and Connor Leeman after scoring the deciding goal against Waterford on penalty kicks Monday night as Matt Staehle (2) and Josh Handler (4) join the celebration.
Montville's Zach Foley leaps into the arms of teammates Jeff Tryon (10) and Connor Leeman after scoring the deciding goal against Waterford on penalty kicks Monday night as Matt Staehle (2) and Josh Handler (4) join the celebration. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo

The 12 seniors on the Montville High School boys' soccer team are used to big games, having played deep into the CIAC Class M state tournament the last two seasons.

The Indians struggled to score for 65 minutes against Waterford in Monday's Eastern Connecticut Conference semifinal until senior Zach Foley's goal tied the match at 1-1.

Foley came through again in sudden death, recording the game-winning penalty kick as Montville advanced to the final by winning the penalty kick round 5-4.

The second-seeded Indians (16-1) will play host to top-seeded Bacon Academy today at 4:30 p.m.

Bacon beat No. 5 NFA in the other semifinal, 3-1.

"These guys, this senior class, have gone through a lot through four years," Montville coach Colin Delaney said. "I think the boys are prepared for this. They've been in big games before, the state finals and semifinals. I think our experience helps us in these situations."

Third-seeded Waterford (13-4-1) took the early lead as Michael Spanos scored 12 minutes into the game.

"They played good soccer early and we didn't," Delaney said. "After halftime, our guys came out with much more intensity. We just played better soccer (in the second half) and had them on their heels a little bit. We outshot them in the second half, but we just couldn't find the back of the net. (Waterford) was solid.

"We made some (halftime) adjustments to open up some space for us."

Jake Sorenson had five saves for Montville. Waterford's Elliot Diana had eight saves.

Today's final with Bacon will be the second this season between the two teams. The Bobcats won, 1-0, on Oct. 24.

"Bacon has a solid squad," Delaney said. "Top-to-bottom, they have quality players. There's no real superstars on that team that step up and wow you, but that whole team kind of wows you. They play a great possession game. I think they'll play better against us on turf on our field than on their field with grass."

In the other semifinal, Chad Ferro scored three times for the Bobcats. Eric Palomino scored for the Wildcats (10-4-2) and Carl Chancy had five saves.

Waterford goalie Elliot Diana snatches the ball away from Montville's Josh Handler during the second half of Monday night's ECC boys' soccer tournament semifinal game at Montville. The Indians rallied to tie the game late, 1-1, then defeated the Lancers 5-4 on penalty kicks to reach tonight's final against No. 1 Bacon Academy.
Waterford goalie Elliot Diana snatches the ball away from Montville's Josh Handler during the second half of Monday night's ECC boys' soccer tournament semifinal game at Montville. The Indians rallied to tie the game late, 1-1, then defeated the Lancers 5-4 on penalty kicks to reach tonight's final against No. 1 Bacon Academy. Sean D. Elliot/ The Day Buy Photo
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