Tie Ends Suffield Win Streak at 43

One way or another, history was going to be made Friday at Fisher Meadows in Avon. Either the Suffield High School boys’ soccer team was going to establish a new state record for consecutive victories, or for the second time, the host Falcons would be the spoiler to end the longest winning streak in the books.

In a very physical game, the two squads battled through 90 minutes of regulation play and a pair of five-minute overtime periods. When the final whistle sounded, the game wound up as a 1-1 tie, snapping the Wildcats’ 43-game winning streak but extending their unbeaten string to 44.

Suffield had won every contest since dropping a 1-0 decision to Ellington on Sept. 27, 2012. A 5-0 victory over Enfield on Oct. 8 tied Granby Memorial’s record of 43 straight wins, which stood for 27 years.

“We’re disappointed, these guys wanted it but they’re way more disappointed than I am,” Suffield coach Mark Beigel said. “We’re also proud – a run like this is incredible, and there’s no shame in sharing this record with another proud program.”

Ironically, Granby’s winning streak had also been halted by Avon, which defeated the Bears en route to capturing the Class L championship in 1987. Granby won the Class S title that year.

Suffield won the past three Class M tournaments, but has been moved to Class LL this year due to a CIAC rule. The Wildcats’ 8-0-1 record currently has them ranked second in the class.

Avon got the upper hand Friday, drawing first blood on a goal by Max Gorack with about 16 minutes remaining in the first half.

Unaccustomed to trailing, the Wildcats fired right back less than 30 seconds later. Jack Moriarty booted a high centering pass to Andrew Moskowicz, who headed the ball past Falcon goalkeeper Danny Magrini while in mid-air, nearly parallel to the ground.

Neither team scored in the second half or in the first overtime, but Avon took command in the second extra session with three scoring opportunities. Gorack headed a ball into the side of the net, Riley Strassner just missed wide and Suffield goalkeeper Austin Mankouski dove to his right to rob Jack Keenan.

“I’ve never seen an effort by an Avon team like that,” Beigel said. “They gave it everything they had, they pressed us at the end and they could have easily snuck away with one.”

The Wildcats played without a pair of injured standouts, Matt Guminiak and David Biederman.

“Another reason why I’m so proud today is we lost guys in the game, and I had guys who hadn’t played who stepped up,” Beigel said.

Since their last loss, the Wildcats have defeated Avon three times, but each outing was a close contest. Suffield twice prevailed by 1-0 scores, and once captured a 2-0 decision.

With the Falcons departing the North Central Connecticut Conference for the Central Connecticut Conference after this school year, the longtime rivals will meet for the final time as league opponents Oct. 29. As usual, the NCCC title will likely be on the line, as the two teams currently sport 7-0 conference records.

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