Sunday's SCC quarterfinal game felt a little too familiar for the Shelton soccer team.
Darragh Kelly's 78th minute goal allowed top-seeded Fairfield Prep to advance 1-0 over No. 8 Shelton at Alumni Field in Fairfield.
"It's just a testament to our guys," Prep coach Ryan Lyddy said. "They're just going to keep fighting and they're not going to stop and they're just going to try to keep punching it in."
"We think we have a good chance at (repeating)," Kelly said. "We're pretty confident."
The Gaels surrendered a late goal against Prep for the second time this year-- Shelton allowed a goal in the 77th in its 1-0 loss to Prep on Oct. 22.
"It's like a carbon copy," Shelton coach Joe D'Auria said.
Prep ousted the Gaels from the SCC tournament for the second straight year.
"You come here and the crowd is good to them and they can knock it around," D'Auria said. "It's the house of horrors we call it."
Shelton goalkeeper Claudio LoBello stopped 17 shots before being ejected in the second half. The sophomore keeper thwarted Prep forward Austin Sims three times, including a lunging save in the 73rd minute that kept the game scoreless.
"We knew that we were the ones getting the chances," Kelly said. "We knew one would just come."
Prep's goal did come on Kelly's stellar individual effort. The junior dribbled on left wing, cut to the middle, then tucked a perfect shot by LoBello and inside the far post with just 2:07 to play.
"I just couldn't believe it," Kelly said. "I just cut in and saw a little space and just took it."
"You knew it was going to come down to a mistake in the back," D'Auria said. "It always does with these guys."
The Gaels generated just six shots on net as they tried to counter-attack. The Jesuits defense stuffed many of Shelton's runs. Matthew Brouillette had Shelton's best try, but his shot in the 70th minute was turned aside by Steiner.
"We were more focused on putting 10 men behind the ball," D'Auria said. "It worked in spurts."
"Defense is our forte," Lyddy said.
Fairfield Prep 1, Shelton 0
SHELTON 0 0 -- 0
FAIRFIELD PREP 0 1 -- 1
Records: SHS-- 7-5-4, FP-- 13-2-1; Goals: FP-- Darragh Kelly; Goalies: SHS-- Claudio LoBello (17 saves), Casey Cisaro (0 saves); FP-- Will Steiner (6 saves); Shots: SHS-- 6; FP-- 18.