Ellington stopped short in Class M Final

By Matt Stevens

WATERBURY – The year began with frustration, turned at mid-season and culminated with a memorable– albeit improbable – run to the Class M state championship game. But it was a run that would ultimately come up just short for the Ellington High boys soccer team.

The 18th seeded Purple Knights could not find a way to score against No. 5 Brookfield, dropping a 1-0 decision in the Class M state title game at Waterbury Municipal Stadium Saturday morning.

Brookfield’s David Walker scored the only goal the Bobcats needed with precisely 17 minutes on the clock in the first half. The score came on a corner kick that ricocheted to Walker and he knocked it in with his head.

Ellington battled harder than it had all season, but Brookfield was just to strong on defense. Ellington had three corner kicks in the game, but couldn’t make any of them pay off.

“I thought we were too patient on defense, and we didn’t press them. To their credit, they moved the ball very quickly – very fast,” Ellington coach Roy Gurnon said. “I don’t think we adjusted in the first half. I thought more of our impatience was offensively. We had the ball, but we couldn’t find the next player.”

 

“Not to take anything from Brookfield, but I don’t know how good they were, defensively,” Gurnon said, “because we didn’t keep the ball long enough. Today, they were certainly the better team.”
Gurnon said his players are used to playing from behind and keeping their composure.

“Being down is tough, in a game of this nature, but I don’t think it really affected the way we played,” he said. “I think Brookfield affected the way we played. We just didn’t create a lot of chances.”

For Ellington, it was the end of a miraculous run. The Knights started the season 4-5-1 but then won the next 10 games and did not allow a goal until the semifinal overtime victory (4-3) over Granby,

After the final, Gurnon said he told his players that it was an incredible accomplishment to come from where they began the season to the state title game.

“No one likes to get beat in a final,” he said. “A little while from now, they’ll start to realize that was a pretty good season.”

Brookfield’s coach David Lavery gave Ellington a lot of credit for competing until the final horn.

“What they had that was really spirited, especially in the second half, was character,” he said. “We were creating chance after chance, and a lot of teams we played this year have folded. These guys never did that. I have to commend the coach for the character he’s built in that program.”

It was Ellington’s 10th state championship appearance and the Knights are 5-5 overall, last winning the Class M crown in 2014.

See More Action Photos here: https://thesportsdept.smugmug.com/Class-M-Boys-Soccer/

 

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See More Action Photos Here: https://thesportsdept.smugmug.com/Class-M-Boys-Soccer/

 

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