WATERBURY — The Kaynor Tech boys soccer team is enjoying a successful season and has made quite a turnaround from a year ago.
The Panthers are 7-2-2 overall, 3-0-2 in the Connecticut Technical Conference, with five regular-season games remaining, including Tuesday’s matchup with Platt Tech of Milford in Waterbury. A year ago, the Panthers were 3-8-2, but the record is deceiving as they lost four games by a single goal.
This year, the Panthers are 2-1 in one-goal games. Kaynor and tied O’Brien Tech of Ansonia tied 2-2, in the season opener. The two teams played to a scoreless tie last Friday. Senior goalie Eddin Bafijtari made two saves.
“Art Solis (O’Brien’s coach) is legendary, coaching 40 years, maybe longer,” said Kaynor Tech coach Mike Dorchinsky, in his eighth season. “I have a lot of respect for him and his team. In the last game, we had more shots, more corner kicks and more possessions than they, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Senior captain and forward Marcello Gugliotti leads the Panthers with 11 goals.
“We have a team that is senior heavy with plenty of experience,” said Dorchinsky.
Besides Gugliotti, the other senior captains are center back Stephen Zahornacky, center defensive midfielder Victormanuel Tepi and center right back Miguel Rojas.
“Stephen and Marcello have basically started on varsity since they were freshmen,” said Dorchinsky. “Marcello is super talented, premier player who can play any position and Steve is a tough, gritty and vocal leader. He perseveres with his hustle, speed and determination. Victor and Miguel both have come a long way and improved their soccer skills and its is a testament to how hard they have worked to get where they are.”
Junior defender Harbyn Delgado scored a goal for a game-winner on a free kick to earn the WELI radio award.
Two transfers who have made an impact are sophomore Jussett Delacruz, the team leader in assists, who came from Crosby, and junior Aidan Piacentini of Torrington, who transferred from Wilcox Tech in Meriden. Piacentini missed the first eight games of the season because of the transfer. Piacentini is in the electrical academic program at Kaynor.
Bafijtari, who is a basketball and track and fielder performer, became a first year starter in goal.
“Eddin gave it a shot,” said Dorchinsky “He’s tall (6-foot-3), agile, athletic and aggressive. He fits the mold of a goalkeeper.”
“As a team, maybe 25% are playing premier soccer and involved at the Bethany CMC,” he said. “They don’t usually win, but it’s a good experience going against teams from Trumbuill, Fairfield Prep, Notre Dame of West Haven and Hamden, juggernaut teams. Every year the kids get more committed in the offseason. It kind of creates an enjoyable experience of the kids being outside of school and playing together.”
Dorchinsky, 39, is a 2001 Masuk graduate and former soccer defender. He teaches career portfolio job skills and computers at Kaynor.