Glastonbury Soccer Doubles Down

The Glastonbury boys and girls soccer teams pulled off a rare feat – winning state titles on the same day. Both team posted overtime victories with the boys defeating rival Farmington 2-1 and the girls defeating Fairfield Ward by the same score.

Glastonbury Rallies to Defeat Farmington 2-1 in Double Overtime and Win the Class LL Title 

By Danny Atkinson, TheSportsDept.com

NEW BRITIAN-Entering Saturday morning’s Class LL boys’ soccer championship against Farmington, Glastonbury had consistently demonstrated strong mental toughness in the face of numerous injuries and a difficult conference schedule. At the most important time, that toughness was again on display. After falling behind early, the Tomahawks were able to rally and emerge victorious.

No. 15 Glastonbury defeated No. 4 Farmington 2-1 in double overtime in front of a raucous crowd at Willow Brook Park. Freddy Clark scored the decisive goal with 13:58 remaining in the second 15-minute overtime period. The Tomahawks tied the score with 10:29 remaining in the second half off a header by John Kapelewski.

Glastonbury won its second consecutive LL championship and eighth state championship overall. It tied Ridgefield 1-1 last season in the title game.

The Tomahawks found themselves in a hole almost immediately. Francisco Astiasaran scored just 81 seconds into the game when he beat JD Pilver low off a pass from Evan Hughes.

While Glastonbury was consistently able to penetrate the Indians side of the field during the opening half, it had trouble moving the ball once it got there. The Farmington defenders swarmed ball handlers and made it very challenging to complete passes and set up good shots. Although the Tomahawks drew a couple yellow cards, they failed to take advantage of them as well as corner kicks.

Glastonbury made up for its offensive struggles with outstanding defensive play. It physically forced poor passes and shots and visibly unnerved the Indians. Farmington rarely got good looks at the goal following the opening score, and when it did, goalie Dan Jennings or a teammate was there to stop the ball.

“We weren’t worried when we fell behind,”Clark said. “There have been a few times this season where we fell behind early and still won.”

The second half mostly followed the same script, as both offenses had difficulty penetrating the opposing defense’s fronts. However, there was one notable change. After failing to take advantage of four corners and two direct kicks earlier  in the half, the Tomahawks broke through on a great play by Kapelewski and Sebby Sanzaro. Sanzaro delivered a pinpoint corner to Kapelewski, who then smashed the ball into the net.

After a scoreless first overtime period, Clark cemented his legacy at Glastonbury by scoring the winning goal. After receiving a free kick from Kaplewski on the left wing, Sanzaso found Clark over the top of the Farmington defense, who immediately found open space in the net.

“I just got a good pass from John and headed it in,” Clark said.

Jennings helped protect the lead in the final 14 minutes by making two challenging stops on crosses.

Ultimately, coach Mark Landers credited the win to the Tomahawks chemistry.

“We got a great pack of brothers,” he said. “You just got to keep working and supporting each other and good things will happen. This is one of the happiest days I’ve ever had.”

COVER- Glastonbury junior Nick Kapelewski (left) competes for the ball with Farmington Glastonbury players celebrate the goal that put them in front

Girls Class LL Champs

By Steve Smith, TheSportsDept.com

WEST HAVEN — Maddie Lamagna saw her chance and took a shot. And the result was the go-ahead goal that proved to be the game winner in Glastonbury’s 2-1 overtime victory over Fairfield Warde in the CIAC Class LL girls soccer championship game , Saturday.

Glastonbury came in as the top eed in the tournament, after a regular season record of 15-1-0. Fairfield Warde (11-3-2) was the No. 6 seed but gave Glastonbury all it could handle.

Senior Evelyn Spencer put Glastonbury on the scoreboard first after taking a beautiful cross from Mara Cosentino and burying it in the net.

“It was a beautiful goal,” said Glastonbury coach Joe Finocchiaro. “It was a great shot.”

The Tomahawks led 1-0 at the half, but that lead evaporated with 25:33 to go in regulation, when Fairfield Warde’s Virginia Larouche launched a curving corner kick that found the net . Glastonbury goalie Abbey Renaud tried to stop the shot but lost the ball in the glaring sun.

Regulation play ended in a 1-1 tie but just 1:21 into the overtime Lamagna came through with the biggest goal of the season.

“I really wanted it,” Lamagna said. “Just like the one [teammate] Brittany [Urrichio] had in the semi-final. She knew she wanted it, and she got it. I wanted this one. I had space in front of me, so I just hoped for the best and shot it. I had a good angle, and I got lucky.”

Glastonbury’s defense was stellar in the final minutes as Fairfield Ward was unable to convert.

“That was our mentality all year,” Finocciaro said. “We’ve played those types of games. We just had to kill the game off.”

“It was tough,” said senior co-captain Maddy Gray. “It was a lot. It was coming at us and not stopping, but we stayed tight and compact and we did what we needed to do to get it out of there.”

“We played very well,” Finocchiaro said. “I’m extremely proud of this group.”

The coach said his team didn’t feel any pressure as the number one seed, and that helped them play more relaxed.

“The mentality, even before we got on the bus today was very loose,” he said. “I knew that we had a very talented team. This is probably one of our more talented, top to bottom, squads we’ve had.”

The coach said Gray and fellow senior Brittany Uricchio were responsible for two championships (also in 2011) and had been in the semi-finals four times.

 

“Now that we’ve got two championships in four years, it has to rank us up there with the downstate teams,” Finocchiaro said, adding that Glastonbury had also beaten Fairfield Warde’s FCIAC co-champion Staples on its way to the title. “They’ve got to rank us up there, there’s no doubt about it.”

For the players, they simply enjoyed the moment.

“There is nothing better than this,” Lamagna said. “This is amazing.”

“This is the best feeling ever,” Gray said. “We felt it freshman year. It was amazing. We also felt what it was like to lose here, which sucked, but this is awesome. This is the best feeling in the world.”

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

Glastonbury (3)

 

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