WETHERSFIELD – The Stonington field hockey team expected a close, defensive struggle against Granby in the CIAC Class S championship game at Wethersfield High on Saturday and it wasn’t disappointed.
Stonington forward Molly Crowley, who entered the game with 14 goals this season, found herself in the right place at the right time and scored with 18 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second half to lead No. 3 Stonington to a 1-0 win over No. 9 Granby for its second state title.
Crowley scored off a left penalty corner.
“It was a tough game and we knew this would be a defensive struggle because Granby brings a high intensity game,” Crowley said. “We just executed that penalty corner to a tee.
“I never thought that goal would be the game winner. But we did a good job of holding them and kept them from scoring. It’s amazing to win this title.”
In a scoreless first half, most of the action was between the 20-yard lines with Granby dominating ball possession. Granby goalie Alyssa Grimaldi had two saves in the half and Stonington goalie Annie Knizeski had two saves.
Granby had the first chance to score with Brigitte DeGagne taking a shot about 10 yards in front of the left post. The shot rolled just wide right 59 seconds into the game.
Stonington’s Libby Morrison took a shot during a scramble in front of the Granby net but Granby defender Allison Ricci cleared the ball away.
In the second half, it came down to the one penalty corner.
Crowley actually restarted the left penalty corner. She sent the ball to Margot Calmar who sent the ball right back to Crowley breaking toward the left post. Crowley one-timed the shot and flew inside the left post for the score.
“We were pretty steady out there and didn’t give up much,” Stonington coach Jenna Tucchio said. “We were as good as we needed to be, although the last eight minutes were pretty wild with the high intensity.
“Winning this title feels tremendous. You don’t get here without earning it and our team earned it.”
Stonington goalie Annie Knizeski had six saves for the shutout. Granby goalie Alyssa Grimaldi played the first half and made three saves and goalie Hanna Crose played the second half and made five saves.