NEW BRITAIN - The Plainville boys soccer team is still on cloud nine from winning the Class M state tournament.
“Anything but this would have been a disaster,” Plainville head coach Tim Brown said. “I can’t think of a different result.”
The Blue Devils were the 23rd seed in the tournament. Overlooked and underestimated, Plainville slowly but surely made its way to the very top.
The Blue Devils came into the tournament with a record of 8-7-1, but hadn’t had many matches that had been one-sided against them. Plainville’s only ugly loss this season came against Glastonbury (5-1), the reigning Class LL champion, in the beginning of October.
Most of their other losses have been decided by a single goal.
“The tough schedule set us up for greatness,” Plainville senior forward Michael Torres said. “Playing against an LL champion [Glastonbury] who just won this morning, everything is for a reason. No one complained about playing a tough schedule because we knew in the end it would help us out with something like this.”
Not only did the Blue Devils play a tough schedule, but every practice head coach Tim Brown had previous Plainville alumni stop by.
“The alumni came to help us out,” Plainville senior and goalkeeper Sergio Zaldivar said. “Everyone just put 10 percent more than they usually do. I want to thank my team, because most of them are JV players and they gave it their all and even the people who didn’t make the roster they came and helped us out.”
“I think we had the advantage of bringing in some alumni to challenge these boys day in and day out,” Brown said. “It has just elevated their game. We’ve gone from training and playing against ourselves to men.”
Brown believes that having the former Blue Devils come back has made a huge difference in the program and the intensity of the team.
“When [the alumni] come in, they make the team play at their level,” Brown said. “So we come to a game where we play to the equivalent to ourselves, we’re already elevated. We’re used to playing up tempo, were used to playing tough and hard.”
A majority of Plainville’s players practiced nine months out of the year in preparation for Sunday evening’s game. After being knocked out in the second round last year by Haddam-Killingworth and dropped in the quarterfinal the year prior to Ellington, the Blue Devils wanted to make a statement.
“The boys come in tremendously in shape ready to go, it’s a nine month commitment, the indoor the summer league, now,” Brown said. “These guys just play nonstop and they have to, to play good soccer. It’s a huge demand of time and effort and these guys sign on and they know they’re in for a long difficult haul. But they know by the time they are done, we’re going to go someplace.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or email@example.com