East Granby High School boys’ soccer finishes strong

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
East Granby - posted Thu., Dec. 8, 2011
Andrew Nigro takes the pass from teammate Zackary Kolaczenko and drives downfield for East Granby. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Andrew Nigro takes the pass from teammate Zackary Kolaczenko and drives downfield for East Granby. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

“Our overall goal this year is to make a deep run in the state tournament.” East Granby High School boys’ soccer coach Chris Pettee made that statement the first week of the 2011 season, and did not disappoint.

Assisted by coaches Brian Glamuzina, Todd Zessin and Dave Mendrala, Pettee took the sixth-ranked East Granby to their fourth straight appearance in the CIAC Class S tournament, finishing with a 4-2 loss in the quarterfinals to 16-seeded Litchfield.

With a bye in the first round, East Granby’s initial test came against 11-seeded Immaculate in the second round. “We did not change the game plan in preparation for Immaculate,” Pettee said. “Practice remained at five days a week and we pushed the defense up a bit,” he said.

East Granby defeated Immaculate, 4-2, with goals by senior Ryan Aeschliman and juniors Andres Restrepo and Andrew Nigro. The fourth goal was an unintentional score by Immaculate.

Pettee credited much of East Granby’s offensive success to Nigro, Restrepo and Aeschliman. “In addition to his goal against Immaculate, Ryan had seven goals in the regular season,” Pettee commented on Aeschliman’s contributions. “He had several assists, and led the team by example.”

The coach saluted the efforts of both Nigro and Restrepo. “Andrew had a tremendous game against Immaculate,” Pettee said. “And Andres was our lead scorer this season with 15.”

On defense, Pettee singled out junior keeper Tyler Frick for his solid goaltending and consistent efforts. “Tyler had 11 saves,” the coach said regarding the second-round game. “At the start of the season, he was up and down, but his play has become increasingly consistent throughout, and he definitely came up big for us against Immaculate; truly a standout performance.”

Going into the semifinal round with Litchfield, Pettee was prepared for a strong match up. “They [Litchfield] had a couple good center midfielders and a big thrower,” the coach said. “Nothing we had not seen before. We played competitively and kept things consistent.”

East Granby ended the season at 11-5-1.

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