Glastonbury Shares Class LL Title

WATERBURY- How many minutes of play does it take to determine if the Glastonbury Tomahawks or the Ridgefield Tigers are the better team?  We may never know- it took 110 minutes Saturday to decide that both team’s were worthy of sharing the Class LL State Championship, as Glastonbury tied Ridgefield 1-1 in overtime in the Class LL State Final.

“Both teams just completely battled and left everything on the field,” Glastonbury head coach Mark Landers said of the end result.  “It would have been hard for one of us to walk off a loser today.”

Glastonbury entered Saturday’s final with a record of 16-1-3.  The Tomahawks, who were eliminated in the first round in 2012, had a thrilling run in this year’s tournament.  As a four seed, Glastonbury blew out 29 Hamden in round one by a score of 5-0.  The next four rounds would test the Glastonbury squad’s will to win, as the Tomahawks were down in every following match.

“I just don’t think we panic even when the clock is ticking,” Landers said of his team’s ability to come from behind.

The Tomahawks were down to 20 Fairfield-Warde in the second round, but came back to win 3-2 in overtime.  In the quarterfinals, brothers Brock and Evan Hassett led a 3-2 comeback, overtime victory over 21 Danbury, and in the semifinals, Glastonbury went down 1-0 to one-seed Greenwich early, but rallied in the second half, scoring two goals in the final eight minutes of play to win 2-1 and advance to the finals.

Saturday’s game would put the Tomahawks in very familiar territory.

With 16:43 remaining in the first half, Glastonbury keeper Chase Conway stopped a knuckling shot from Ridgefield from going in, but unfortunately could not control the ball, deflecting it straight forward.  Ridgefield’s Daniel Standish sent the deflected ball back past Conway, putting the Tigers up 1-0.  Conway would have another outstanding game for the Tomahawks, finishing the game with nine saves, and stopping all future Ridgefield attacks.

Glastonbury would get a huge break in the second half.

With the score still 1-0 in favor of the Tigers, Ridgefield senior Ryan Casolo received his second yellow card, which earned him a red card and the automatic ejection that comes with it.  The Tigers would have to play a man down for the remaining 32:05 left in the half plus two fifteen-minute overtime periods.

“We showed character,” Ridgefield head coach Phil Bergen said of his team’s ability to play through the disadvantage.  “We earned [the championship], we deserved it.”

“No doubt they deserved it,” Landers said of sharing the championship with Ridgefield.

With time running out in the game, Glastonbury’s championship hopes were nearing an end, but with 2:25 left in the game, junior Tyler Peterson delivered a header off a corner kick to tie the game up for the Tomahawks at 1-1.  The 1-1 tie would stand at the end of regulation.

“I don’t know how we do it, but once again we found a way in the last few minutes to tie the game and send the game into overtime,” said Landers.

In the two fifteen-minute overtime periods that followed, both teams were not without opportunities to score.  Unfortunately for both squads, however, no one was able to put the ball in the back of the net.  As finals games cannot end in penalty kicks, Glastonbury and Ridgefield would split the title with the 1-1 draw.

“You don’t know how many teams would love to be in this situation,” Bergen said of the result, which initially left both teams feeling unsatisfied.

Glastonbury senior Evan Hassett was not disappointed with the way his team played.  “We worked hard as always,” Hassett said, “We were down again but worked hard to get back and have a chance at it.”

Coach Landers was happy with his team’s performance as well.  “I’m extremely proud of these guys,” he said.  “We came a long way from where we were and we’re state champions, so we’ve got to be happy.”

For more pictures from the game click HERE.





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