Blazers shatter Worland’s 3A conference winning streak

Robert Galbreath
Posted 4/16/24

The Torrington High School Blazers defeated top-ranked Worland in an epic game on Friday.

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Blazers shatter Worland’s 3A conference winning streak


TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School Blazer boys’ soccer team battled the Worland Warriors to a 2-2 deadlock by the end of regulation in Torrington on Friday, April 12.

As darkness fell and the lights above the Old Wiseman Field flickered on, the two top-ranked conference opponents selected players for the overtime shootout.

The Blazers lined up and shot in five penalty kicks into the net, including goals by junior Kaiden Riggs, junior Skyler Thomas, sophomore Anthony Arnusch, junior Elijah Hatch and senior Adam Bartlett.

Worland responded with five goals, tying the shootout, 5-5.

Senior Leo Belli stepped up for the Blazers, launching a kick past Worland’s goalie.

Worland took its turn to attempt a sixth penalty kick, sending the ball toward junior goalie Ayden Shimic. 

Shimic leapt into action, took the dive and wrapped his arms around the ball for an epic save the clinched the Blazers’ victory against Worland, 3-2.

“We played Worland in a game a few weeks ago,” Shimic said. “I blocked that same kid in that game, and I knew he was going to kick the same direction. I just dove – you kind of pick a side and go with it and hope for the best. It’s a mental game – you gotta get it into your head that you’re going to save it.”

The Blazers’ win against Worland not only avenged a loss to the Warriors early in the season, but secured the No. 1 spot for the Blazers in the 3A East Conference. Torrington also demolished Worland’s long standing winning streak against 3A teams.

“Honestly, this is the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” Shimic said of the victory. “We ended up breaking a six-year winning streak for Worland (against 3A teams) all on that PK.”

Torrington’s overall victory was ultimately the result of a gritty team effort and solid team chemistry, Shimic added:

“I’m glad I have a mentally strong team. We did run our mouths a little bit, but we stayed in that game and we didn’t let them beat us. I’d like to point out that my defense did such a great job not letting off that many shots and that my offense doing a great job attacking.”

Torrington returned to the pitch on Saturday afternoon to trounce Buffalo, 6-1, and post an undefeated record for the weekend.

“This was a great weekend for the Blazers,” coach Gabe Bartlett said. “The game against Worland pitted two good teams against each other. I had a feeling it was going to come down to an overtime shootout and we worked on PKs all week. Against Buffalo, our team responded well to an initial 0-1 deficit in the first half.”

Arnusch scored the two goals for the Blazers during regulation against Worland on Friday. Shimic posted at least six saves against the Worland Warriors.

On Saturday, Thomas set the pace for the Blazer offense with three goals in the first half, assisted by Hatch and Arnusch.

Hatch netted two goals in the second half with sophomore Beaux Shimic shooting in his first goal for the season. Assists included plays by Arnusch and freshman Braxton Carlson. As goalie, Ayden Shimic made 12 saves against Buffalo.