BERLIN – A pair of second half strikes from Marco Marino sent Berlin boys soccer past Southington, 2-1, Tuesday at Scalise Field.
Trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes, the Redcoats scored twice with less than 10 minutes left in the game to complete the comeback against the Blue Knights.
“Very gutsy win,” Berlin coach Sal Parafati said. “We kept putting them under pressure and I knew eventually good things were going to happen and sure enough, we turned it around.”
William Schroeder put Southington ahead with a long-range goal midway through the first half. The Blue Knights found its legs after Schroeder’s tally through the rest of the frame, but couldn’t convert on the scoreboard.
The match’s intensity ramped up in the second half as each team held quality scoring chances, but it was the Redcoats who made its opportunities count.
Marino recorded his first of the night after a beautiful through ball from Adam Kozubal allowed him to chip the ball over Southington keeper Ryan Lunn, to tie the game 1-1 with 9:56 on the clock.
About five minutes later, Marino netted the game-winner after Lunn made an aggressive save, but the Blue Knights goalie was way out of the net, allowing Marino to collect his own rebound and slot the empty-netter with 4:53 left in regulation.
“I had a talk with him when I took him off the field in the first half,” Parafati said of Marino. “[I wanted] a little bit more intensity on the defensive front to try have him cause turnovers, which he did in the second half. He also got some great chances to finish and that’s why he’s Marco.”
Tuesday’s heartbreaking loss extends Southington’s winless streak to five consecutive games. The Blue Knights last earned a victory on Sept. 21 in a 4-0 win over Platt.
“We know what’s in front of us,” Southington coach Austin Magaro said. “We know what we need to do to make the playoffs. That’s the goal, it’s been the goal from the beginning.
“Number one we got to get healthy and number two we have to see the ball go into the back of the net,” Magaro said. “[A] 347 minute drought without a goal, we finally get one today, but if we want results like we expect results, we have to see the ball go into the back of the net.”
Berlin (4-4-2) will travel to East Catholic on Thursday while Southington (1-6-2) will host Bloomfield on Thursday.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.