Hall takes down Cheshire and will travel to Naugatuck for the Class LL quarterfinals Friday night.
By Marlon Pitter
Evan Jones tallied four goals and an assist to send the fifth-seeded Hall boys soccer team to the Class LL quarterfinals in a 6-1 win over No. 12 Cheshire Wednesday afternoon in West Hartford.
Hall head coach Zeke Seguro said Jones often has the potential to score multiple goals, but it depends on how opponents match up against him.
“It was probably one of those games where he was in the zone, and every now and then you have that,” Seguro said. “He’s been productive. He’s capable of doing what he did today, but it has to be the right matchups and you have to have the right mentality.
“Sometimes they just don’t go in,” Seguro added. “He’s had games throughout the season where he should have had a hat trick, and you leave the game and you only have one. Today, everything kind of fell in place.”
Coming off a tightly-contested win over E.O. Smith on Monday, Seguro said the Rams presented a more favorable matchup for Jones and the Warriors.
“I thought it was much better than on Monday,” said Seguro. “I think Monday [there were] a lot of nerves, first game in the tournament. I thought we pressed a little bit too much, and I thought E.O. Smith had a lot do with it. They sat back, and when teams do that, it becomes a lot harder to break down.
“Today, Cheshire came out, they played. It was more of an open game, and I thought it helped us,” he continued. “I thought [with] our combination play – the way we like to combine off of another – we were able to do more of the things we like to do.”
Jones scored first off a takeaway in Hall’s offensive third to put the Warriors up 1-0 less than three minutes into the first half.
Drew Seguro collected a pass from Jones and got by a Cheshire defender to score, giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead with 29:31 left in the first half.
Jones scored his second goal with under 13 minutes remaining before halftime, pacing Hall (15-1-2) to a 3-0 lead at the break.
Racing down the left sideline against a Cheshire (11-5-1) defender, Jones completed the hat trick eight minutes into the second half, assisted by Conlan Wilson.
With 19 minutes left, Jones stretched the lead to 5-0 with his fourth goal of the game.
Jack Loura ended the scoring drought for Cheshire, scoring with 12:41 remaining to make it a 5-1 game. Lucas Almeida answered a minute later for Hall, continuing a recent string of strong offensive performances as a freshman.
“He’s going to be a special player,” Zeke Seguro said of Almeida. “What we’ve tried to do is, throughout the season, just have him gradually grow into the varsity level. The last few games, he’s done very, very well. Great individual skill and he has a knack for scoring, so you’re going to hear a lot of Lucas Almeida in the future.”
Hall will move on to face No. 4 Naugatuck (15-1-2) on the road Friday night. With two tournament wins under their belts, Jones said the team’s recent performances have the Warriors ready for their next opponent.
“We have a lot of momentum now,” Jones said. “We’re just going to ride on this win and focus on the next one. That’s how we are. We’re focused on the next game and not worried about anything else.”
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