Meghan Lesko and the Trumbull High girls soccer team made sure the Class LL state tournament maintained its heavy FCIAC feel on Wednesday night when the Eagles faced Shelton High at Finn Stadium.
Lesko played a part in all three goals for No. 13 seed Eagles, as they eliminated the fourth-seeded Gaelettes in a 3-1 triumph in the second round of the state tournament.
Lesko scored the game-winner with 39:14 left to play and after Leya Vohra pulled back a goal for Shelton just over two minutes later, Lesko added another marker in the 64th minute. She also assisted on Trumbull’s first-half opener from Christina Lewis.
“We knew that Shelton was going to come back, to get the goal early on (46 seconds into the second half) it gave us a little cushion,” Lesko said.
The Eagles, one of five FCIAC teams to reach final eight of the Class LL tournament, will face league rival Staples (15-1-3), the No. 5, on Friday in Westport at 2 p.m.
“It’s a good league,” Trumbull head coach Rich Sutherland. “There are a lot of schools out there but I think we play against some very tough schools. I think it prepares you. We play Staples now and it’s going to be another tough game but we’re looking forward to it.”
Shelton, which finished its season 17-2-1, was the last of five Southern Connecticut Conference teams remaining in the Class LL tournament.
“We had our chances,” Shelton head coach Marvin Miller said. “They came at us pretty hard and give them credit, we made more mistakes tonight.”
After a relatively quiet opening 29 minutes, Lewis broke the deadlock with 11:04 left in the first half. Lesko corralled a loose ball and cut it back toward the goal, where Lewis latched onto it and slotted past Shelton keeper Arianna Malick.
“I just wanted to play it back into the box because I knew that someone would be running in,” Lesko said. “Christina got on the end of it and finished it.”
The game-winning goal came from Lesko early in the second stanza, before Vohra knocked home a corner kick from Maggie Howard to get the Gaelettes on the scoreboard with 36:40 left.
Lesko then provided the insurance tally, rifling home a deflection, to make it 3-1.
“I thought we played well,” Sutherland said. “It was a tough, tough game especially given we played a tough game Monday… I thought the girls we brilliant from start to finish and to be honest I thought we deserved to win the game.”