Donovan's goal enough as Cowboys beat Mills
Charlie Shanks works through the Lewis Mills defense during Litchfield's 1-0 victory on Friday. John McKenna photos
The rematch Friday between the Litchfield and Lewis Mills boys soccer teams at Plumb Hill Playing Fields was, as expected, a thriller.
A day after losing to Housatonic 1-0, the Cowboys pinned a 1-0 defeat on Mills behind a first-half goal by Tim Donovan. It was Litchfield's first win over Lewis Mills since 2011 and the first Berkshire League loss for Mills since 2016.
"We were kind of deflated (against Housatonic), but today we came out ready to play," Litchfield coach Rob Andrulis said. "The energy level was a lot better."
It had to be against a solid Mills team that played the Cowboys to a 1-1 overtime tie in Burlington earlier in the month. There would be no overtime at Plumb Hill, however, as Litchfield goalie Coleby Bunnell and the Cowboys' defensive line led by Ryan Garden and Miles Chapman kept a potent Mills offense in check.
"We've been good defensively all season and were again today," Andrulis said. "These guys really believe in themselves."
Litchfield is 12-2-1 with one game to play, at Wamogo on Monday night. Lewis Mills is 12-1-1 with two games left to play, which means the BL's regular-seaosn title is still up for grabs.
Beating Mills also solidified Litchfield's place in the Class S tournament rankings. Should they beat Wamogo, the Cowboys could be ranked second or third and would be assured of home-field advantage through the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Litchfield's Tim Donovan waits to settle the ball.
Tim Donovan, left, challenges Carter Viets for the ball.
Spencer Sivilla winds up to clear the ball.
Tim Donovan looks to make something happen.
Cowboys goalie Coleby Bunnell makes a save.
Matt Gostowski, right, is blocked from getting to the ball.
Charlie Shanks defends against a Mills run.
Carson Mello moves the ball for the Cowboys.
Johnny Ray and his teammates begin a celebration of the win.