Enfield comes up short in first state title appearance

By Ted Rudolph

Special to The Sports Department

A patient ball-control offense and some timely scoring strikes lifted Northwest Catholic to a 2-0 victory over Enfield in the Class M girls soccer championship game Saturday at Falcon Field in Meriden.

The Lions scored once in each half to win their fourth state title, and first since 2012.

“A lot of our seniors were on that (2012) team as freshmen, so they came in as winners and go out as winners, which is very special,” Lions head coach Todd Sadler said. ”That’s the way you want to end your (high school) career.”

Two of the team’s nine seniors, Rachel Elliott and Bailey Julian, scored goals, while senior goalkeeper Rebecca Molin made four saves to keep the Raiders off the scoreboard.

Northwest had two excellent scoring chances thwarted by Enfield goalkeeper Cat Fonseca. She stopped Deanna Casey in close in the opening minute, then made a sliding stop to deny a bid by Mackenzie Tibball.

Erica Lovering had Enfield’s best chance in the first half, but shot just wide. Julian also had an opportunity on a break-in, but just missed the net.

The Lions finally broke through with 9:48 left in the first half, when Elliott converted a pass from Hannah Borowiec and beat Fonseca to give her team the only goal it would need.

After intermission, the teams battled in the midfield area for the first 16 minutes until Julian netted an insurance goal at 56:14.

Defense took over, with the Lions not allowing Enfield many good looks at Molin.

“We showed all the way through this tournament that different players could step up,” Sadler said. “Hannah Borowiec stepped up in the semifinal game with a big goal, and Bailey had gone a few games without scoring, but she basically iced the game today.”

While disappointed in the title game outcome, Enfield coach Kate Battista had nothing but high praise for her team, which played in the finals for the first time in school history.

“I’m pleased with the effort they put forth,” she said. “(Northwest Catholic) is, plainly stated, better than us, with more skill than we have and they deserved to get the win today, but we never gave up as a team. We continued to battle and defend, and created offensive opportunities when we could.”

To see more photos of Enfield’s trip to the Class M finals please click here: https://thesportsdept.smugmug.com/Enfield-Girls-Soccer-Class-M/

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