First-year Norwalk boys’ soccer coach Jon Kijowski was in awe after Wednesday’s 2-1 sectional final win over Ontario.
After losing to the Warriors twice in the regular season, the Truckers won the match that mattered the most.
“We’ve been preaching to our guys ‘Contain, contain. Get 10 or 11 guys behind the ball.’ We did that tonight.”
Kijowski knew that despite getting on the board first, the game is far from over.
“We know Ontario is very high-energy. They like to get numbers forward. It was nice to get one in there, but we never felt safe against that team. They’re a very, very good team. I’m just kind of speechless right now.”
Eli Cruz netted the first goal with just 38.4 seconds remaining in the first half. Carlos Galvez added the second and final score at 12:49 in the second period.
“We don’t have a lot of guys that finish but (Cruz) seems to step up in the big moments. That first goal that he put in was awesome. We’re happy to have him because we’ve needed someone to step up all year and now is the time we really need somebody to do it. He also had our goal in the game against Clyde too.”
Ontario got on the board with only 41 seconds to go in the match on a goal by Danny Lamport.
“Last game when we went to Clyde, we didn’t play very well in the first half. We had some pretty good opportunities... But we have a tendency to fire from 20, 25 yards out and don’t make the extra pass. I’m happy we played that last game because those last 15 minutes against Clyde was just like this second half — high pressure, you know, intense. Everyone has to stay relaxed. I’m glad we had that game and had a, I don’t know, introduction to what it’s going to be like. I think it definitely helped us out tonight,” Kijowski said.
Norwalk, who is the No. 8 seed in the Div. II Clyde District, will take on No. 5 Lexington on Monday at Clyde High School at 5 p.m. Lexington took down Perkins 1-0 to advance.
Kijowski and the Truckers, though, are soaking in the moment for the time-being.
“I’m just speechless,” he said. “I’ve told these kids all year we’re going to keep working and working and working to play our best soccer towards the end of the year. Our regular season didn’t end up the way we wanted it to. But we told them that the tournament is a new season and when we got our draw we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy road. So getting to the district tournament really makes me proud of these guys.”