The 2013 boys soccer season began about as expected for both Darien and Trumbull.
The Blue Wave and Eagles, who are both coming off of seasons in which they made it to the state tournament but did not qualify for the FCIAC playoffs, both showed stretches of strong play in Tuesday's opener at Trumbull High School, but it was Trumbull which prevailed with the season-opening 1-0 shutout victory.
"There were going to be some jitters, but we worked it through. We defended very well. They didn't get many chances on goal," Trumbull coach Sebastian Gangemi said. "We've got to start quick. We cannot wait until after the first 15 minutes. I don't want to be a goal down and have to play catch-up."
After outshooting the Blue Wave 7-4 in a scoreless first half, the Eagles began to assert themselves on Darien's side of the field in the first few minutes of the second.
Their efforts paid off when Alberto Aguillon blasted a shot to the near corner of the net. Darien goalie Liam Rischmann leapt into the air to his right to get his hand on the shot, seemingly deflecting it high, but the ball rolled off the top of the crossbar and fell back into play where Chris Anderson was waiting, and the Trumbull senior buried the game-winner.
"(The first game) is always going to be a bloodbath, and that's what it was. We got a goal and we just stayed with it and fought to the end," Anderson said. "I saw it hit the crossbar and knew it was going to land somewhere. I just tried to find it, and luckily I got to it and put it away."
Darien didn't leave the field without some opportunities at the equalizer, but the high-quality chances were a bit too few and far between for coach Jon Bradley.
"We didn't really do too much in the last third of the field. We didn't create enough chances to win the game," Darien coach Jon Bradley said. "We had a couple chances in the second half, but we've got to capitalize on them. When we get a chance from 10 yards out, we've got to take it."
One of Darien's better opportunities occurred just minutes after the Trumbull goal when a pressuring Kai Bjornstad forced a turnover in front of the Trumbull net. The ball found its way to Chris Chiamulera, but he was denied by Trumbull keeper Josh Amrine, who earned the shutout with eight saves.
"My captain Steven Ciulla directs traffic back there. He's really strong and focused," Gangemi said. "(Matt) Kapell and (Justin) Lynch held the whole middle together."
With about eight minutes to go, Trumbull's Jackson Reis nearly salted the game away after getting past Rischmann, but his shot was blocked by Darien's John Mackie, keeping the Blue Wave's chances alive for the time being.
"I think we defended quite well, but I thought that the goal was a poor goal to give away," Bradley said. "I think it was a fairly even game. We worked hard and so did they, but I don't think either team created too many chances. We're young and we're going to have to learn from our mistakes."
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Trumbull 1, Darien 0
DARIEN 0 0--0
TRUMBULL 0 1--1
Records: Darien 0-1; Trumbull 1-0. Goals: T--Chris Anderson. Assists: T--Alberto Aguillon. Goalies: D--Liam Rischmann (9 saves); T--Josh Amrine (8). Shots: D--11; T--16.