Band of Jesuits advance

The Fairfield Prep soccer team is going where no other Band of Jesuits have gone before.
Third-seeded Prep defeated seventh-seeded Greenwich High, 7-5 on penalty kicks, in the Class LL semifinals before a large bi-partisan crowd at Dunning Field in New Canaan on Friday.
Norwalk, a 2-1 winner over Stamford in the other semi, will be the opponent in the final at a site and date to be determined.
“It’s been three years with these guys. Hard work, dedication and compassion, things that Fairfield Prep is all about,” Prep coach Ryan Lyddy gave as the reasons this team has advanced further in states than any in program history.”
You can add in more than a healthy dose of Will Steiner to the mix.
Steiner blocked three shots in the PK phase of the game, adding to his nine saves in regulation that had Greenwich players holding their heads in disbelief.
“I think we take him for granted. We see him in practice and then in games and say, ‘That’s Will,’” Lyddy said of his senior keeper.
“You have to go through 10 guys and then the last guy is the hardest guy to beat.”
Tied at 4-4 after the first round of PKs, Jordan Visosky’s shot came off the post and Greenwich had a chance to go from chasee to the team being chased.
But, Steiner used his right hand to slap Jon Palmer’s shot away to keep the score level.
Austin Sims and Pieter Zenner matched tallies, and then Chris Molina ripped one through Greenwich keeper Santiago Irigoyen for a 6-5 lead.
Steiner guessed right, and went left, to deflect Aiden Rafferty’s shot wide of the frame to maintain the edge.
Kieran Bracken rifled a shot past Irigoyen and GHS’ Diego Gutierrez’ shot went wide of post to ignite an on-field celebration.
“I just try and stay very confident,” Steiner said. “You are supposed to score. As a goalie, I just try to give myself the best chance to save it. I love it. The shooters do things to try and fake me out, I try to get in their head and get an advantage.”
Prep (20-2-1) will play top-seeded Norwalk (20-1-1) in the final, but Greenwich (16-3-2) didn’t make the trip easy.
The Big Red had the best chances to win in a the pair of 10-minute overtime sessions, but had to contend with an unfriendly frame and Steiner standing between the posts.
“I think they had the first fifteen minutes and once we got our game going we caused them no end of problems,” Greenwich coach Kurt Putnam said.
“When you lose, you start with the goalkeeper. He [Steiner] is there biggest player and if he’s going to play like that…He’s the man of the match.”
Putnam first pointed to his own scenerio in goal.
Starting goaltender Emmett Clarke collided with Prep’s David Bigley catching a loose ball in the box and had to leave in the game’s ninth minute with two saves to his credit.
Guy-Rene Gerin came in and played very well for the Cardinals, posting six saves, before Irigoyen got the call in penalty kicks.
“Goalkeeper goes off after five minutes what can you do,” Putnam said. “It shows our guys spirit and character and personality. I go away an incredibly proud coach because they couldn’t have done anymore out there.
“I feel sad for the boys because no matter what I say, it won’t make a difference.
“The fact is, the better team on the night doesn’t get to play in the final.”
Steiner said: “Our defense did it all year and they [Greenwich] had some great chances. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.”

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