MIDDLETOWN >> Claire Hurley scored with 2:23 left in the first half and the Waterford defense made it stand up as the third-ranked Lancers defeated No. 5 Haddam-Killingworth 1-0 to win the CIAC Class M girls soccer championship in front of 1,000 at Rosek-Skubel Stadium at Middletown High School Saturday morning.
H-K dominated play, outshooting Waterford 15-4 overall and 9-0 in the second half, but the Cougars never found the net.
“H-K had great opportunities,” said Waterford coach Rob Brule. “The soccer gods were on our side today.”
The ball was almost exclusively in the Waterford end the entire second half. “I knew Middlesex Hospital was close by,” said Brule. “So if I had a heart attack, I would be OK. Yeah, I was nervous, but I had to let the kids play it out.”
Both Hurley and top scorer Melina Spanos missed most of the second half with injuries.
H-K coach Eric Grant was to the point.
“We did everything we were supposed to do except put the ball in the back of the net,” he said. “I can’t ask anything more from my kids.”
Hurley’s goal was her 16th of the season, a rocket from 20 yards out that sailed over freshman keeper Tevi Ferguson’s head. Ferguson had no saves on the day while her counterpart, freshman Jordan Kovacs, had five saves.
H-K had three great opportunities in the second half, but all three — with 34 minutes left, 27 left and 20 left — all were just wide of the net.
“I wasn’t worried,” said Grant. ” We had pressure on them, we were running by them, so I was expecting we would get a goal in the second half.”
It is the first state title for Waterford in the 37 years of the program.