Field of Dreams

By Steve Smith, TheSportsDept.com

WETHERSFIELD — The Glastonbury High field hockey team knew it would be facing its toughest opponent of the season when it took to the field to battle Darien for the CIAC Class L state championship. And after a full regulation game and two sudden-death overtimes, the Tomahawks came away with a share of the state title – tying Darien 1-1.

Incredibly, Darien’s goal on Saturday was the first that the Tomahawks defense had given up the entire season. Glastonbury (15-0-2) was the No.1 seed in the tournament while Darien (12-4-) came in as the No. 7 seed.

Both teams played staunch defense in the first half, and finished tied 0-0 at halftime.

Glastonbury senior Leyna DiMarco finally broke into the scoring column in the second half, firing a slapshot which found the goal with 25:23 remaining in regulation.

Just over seven minutes later, Darien’s Kyla Johns ruined Glastonbury’s season long shutout streak with a shot that beat Tomahawks goalkeeper Maire Casey to make it 1-1.

The Tomahawks had several opportunities late in the game but could not convert. Casey made several crucial saves to preserve the tie in regulation.

The 7-on-7 overtime period followed the same script, with both teams putting shots on target, and both goalies putting themselves between the ball and sudden death.

Glastonbury coach Maureen Perkins said Darien was easily the best team her squad had faced all year, and that the outcome was the right one.

“It would have been just crappy for somebody to lose that game,” she said, adding that her team played to the best of its abilities, at least for most of the game.

“We took a little bit of time to get warmed up and get used to the way that Darien plays,” she said, “But once we did, I think we played pretty well. We had chances, and they had chances too. It was a hard-fought battle between two really good teams.”

Perkins said that surrendering the first goal of the season didn’t change her team’s mindset, because they had prepared for that possibility.

”We’ve talked about it, and I think we were prepared for it,” she said. “It’s next to impossible to keep a team as good as Darien off the scoreboard. It was never a goal [to make it through the whole season un-scored upon]. It’s a nice thing to hang your hat on, but it was never a goal. The goal was to be here, and to win, and we did. As long as we won, that was what mattered.”

Please see more great game photos here: http://thesportsdept.smugmug.com/Other-4

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