Fairfield Prep booters defeat Notre Dame

The Fairfield Prep soccer team’s impressive form continued when the Jesuits shut out previously-unbeaten Notre Dame of West Haven, 3-0, at Veteran’s Stadium on Oct. 6.
Chris Montani, Biagio Paoletta and Jack Oricoli all struck for first-half goals, as Prep blitzed the Green Knights in the Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac showdown.
With the victory, the Jesuits leveled their record at 5-5-1 and won their fourth game in five starts. Prep’s lone loss during the stretch came on Oct. 4, when it dropped a 2-1 decision to Boston College High (7-1-2) in Massachusetts. BC High is currently the fifth-ranked side in the Boston Globe’s Top 20.
“The results are showing… I think we are the best .500 team in the state right now,” Jesuits’ head coach Ryan Lyddy said. “There’s no question about it. Our main objective right now is to see what we can do with the second half of our season, get seeded in the state tournament and make a run for it.”
On Monday, Prep dominated from the opening whistle, using its size and strength to overwhelm the Green Knights.
“We’re big, strong, athletic,” Lyddy said. “It took the guys the first half of the season to figure that out and gain some confidence.”
Montani drilled a 45-yard free kick past Notre Dame goalkeeper Tyler Brown-Ortiz with 32:21 left in the first half to get the Jesuits on the scoreboard. Brown-Ortiz picked up an injury on the play, with backup Angelo Roberts coming on in relief.
Chris Molina and Matthew Callahan put immediate pressure on Roberts, before Paoletta doubled Prep’s advantage.
Montani delivered a corner kick to the top of the 18-yard box, which Paoletta pounced on. The sophomore lifted a high shot over Roberts to make it 2-0 at 26:05.
“That kind of knocked them down pretty quickly,” Lyddy said of the early markers.
Notre Dame (5-1-3) produced its best chances of the half over the next 10 minutes, but the Knights could not get anything past Prep keeper Chris MacKay.
Midfielder David Blanchard forced MacKay to make a save with a shot from distance, before Brendan Hayes headed a corner kick over the net.
Brown-Ortiz returned to the pitch with just over nine minutes left in the half, but Oricoli fizzed in a low shot from 15 yards out to make it 3-0 at the break.
Armed with a three-goal advantage, Prep controlled possession in the second half. MacKay was rarely tested, save for a corner kick that produced an off-target header from Nicholas Fratarcangeli.
Overall, Prep held a 12-5 advantage in shots.
On Friday, Prep travels to Finn Stadium in Shelton to lock horns with the unbeaten Gaels (8-0-2) at 7 p.m.
“I think the talent is here, the guys are willing to do it,” Lyddy said. “They’re believing in what we are doing. The confidence is growing.”

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