TRUMBULL — Give Maddie Fried just a step or two head start and she will make you pay.
St. Joseph’s All-American girls soccer player has been making defenses pay throughout her career. Trumbull’s defense did an admirable job on Fried for a good portion of the game. But one small breakdown was all she needed to score the go-ahead goal Thursday afternoon.
That goal came with 7 minutes, 22 seconds left in regulation. The end result was 2-1 St. Joseph — the identical score of the season opener, just in reverse.
“She is a handful isn’t she? She could have had two or three (goals) today,” St. Joseph coach Jack Nogueira said. “When we’re motivated, and we’re focused and we’re ready to play, I’ll play against anybody to be honest with you.”
Fried was able to get a step on a Trumbull defender in a race toward a through ball. Fried was also able to beat Trumbull goalkeeper Julia Marin to the loose ball. Fried kicked it further up the field to the right of the goal, then caught up to it and knocked it into the open net.
“It was just me and the keeper and I took a touch away from the keeper,” Fried said. “The angle was actually pretty tricky because my touch was a little bit too far. All I saw was the post, but it snuck in there and I was pretty happy.”
Said Trumbull coach Rich Sutherland: “We had a small misunderstanding going on there in the back. Like I said to the kiddos, they’ve got four or five kids who are very, very good who can change a game in an instant.”
Trumbull (2-1-1) tried to put together some scoring chances down the stretch, but was unable to.
Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media
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St. Joseph (4-1) had a 1-0 lead in the season opener, only to see the Eagles come from behind to win 2-1. In that game, Fried went head over heels on a hard slide tackle with both players going for the ball late in the first half.
Fried walked off under her own power in that game, but did not return. Nor did she play the next game while she was in concussion protocol, according to Nogueira.
“I’m good, all clear, no head injury,” Fried said. “It was a little scary at first obviously going down that hard, but it was good competition and I’m glad I’m back.”
Liz Foley and Grace Lesko among others didn’t have it easy trying to keep Fried and her teammates under wraps. But they were able to prevent several scoring opportunities.
Marin kept it from being a wider margin of victory for the Cadets. She had a few diving saves, one off of Fried’s foot, and finished with eight.
“Maddie Fried is a very good player. She caused us some problems. I don’t think she caused us a whole load of problems,” Sutherland said. “I think we have defended well against her in a couple of games.”
Fried also assisted on the first goal almost midway through the first half. She threaded a pass to Andriana Cabral, who fired past Marin. It was the first time Fried and Cabral had played together since the first half of the last Trumbull game on Oct. 1, according to Nogueira.
“Me and Andriana, we have good ball movements off each other,” Fried said. “I saw her go through and I slipped (her) the ball.”
Sophia Lowenberg notched the equalizer midway through the second half. The junior’s shot went off the left post and into the net.
“I think she is the best player in the state. She scored in every game for us,” Sutherland said about Lowenberg.
Ana Carlos almost gave Trumbull the 2-1 lead almost 7 minutes later when she banged an attempt off the crossbar. Six minutes after that, Fried did her thing.
The two teams will square off one more time at St. Joseph on Nov. 3.
“In my opinion, they are the best team in the FCIAC,” Sutherland said about St. Joseph. “We competed with them well, considering we didn’t compete to the best of our abilities. We’ve still got a little bit more to get there, which is a positive to take from it. They are just a very good team and you have to play to the best of your abilities to get a (winning) result from them.”
Said Nogueira: “We will get ready for them for a third time at our place, which is going to be a fantastic game. (Sutherland) does a great job with them.”
[email protected]; @nhrJoeMorelli
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