Wolcott boys grab final NVL tourney seed with home win

Justin Cardinale kicks the ball as teammate Peter Lawlor looks on during Wolcott’s first round state tournament match last year at Nonnewaug. The Eagles will be playing in both the NVL and state tournaments this year. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, file)

The Wolcott boys soccer team entered halftime of Wednesday night’s Naugatuck Valley League home matchup with Seymour stuck in a scoreless tie.
The Wildcats had the majority of the scoring chances in the opening 40 minutes, and some were closer calls than others. Still, the Eagles managed to not yield a goal.

Wolcott came out as the aggressor in the second half, and the result was a 2-1 win. The Eagles (6-5-3) clinched the eighth and final seed in the NVL tournament, which begins Saturday, with the victory.

Wolcott sent a direct kick toward the Seymour goal. The ball went out of bounds for a corner kick. The ball again went out of bounds for a second corner kick. On the second corner, an Eagles was fouled in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Justin Cardinale, playing on Senior Night, made good on the golden opportunity, and Wolcott had a 1-0 lead.

Later in the half, Cardinale dribbled in on the left side. He sent a nice ground cross to the right to Andre Medeiros, who banged it into the net for a 2-0 advantage. Seymour did get a goal later on to halve the deficit, but junior keeper Sam Berninger (11 saves) and the Wolcott defense made sure no more shots crossed the goal line. The Eagles had the same final NVL record as the Wildcats, but clinched the eighth seed in the tournament via head-to-head tiebreaker.

Cardinale was honored on Senior Night. His senior teammates are Charles Langlais, Aidan Peruti, Quentin Outlaw, Peter Lawlor, Malek Erami and Alex Lame, according to the team’s CIAC roster.

Wolcott plays top-seeded Holy Cross at noon Saturday at CFC Park in Bethany.