St. Joseph hangs on to beat Suffield for Class LL girls soccer title

St. Joseph celebrates its 2-1 victory over Suffield in the Class LL girls soccer championship (Photo: Mary Albl)

St. Joseph celebrates its 2-1 victory over Suffield in the Class LL girls soccer championship (Photo: Mary Albl)

Samantha Grasso and Jenna Bike scored within 2 minutes of each other in the first half, then the third-seeded St. Joseph girls soccer team hung on to beat top-seeded Suffield 2-1 Saturday in the Class LL championship game at Falcon Field.

Grasso scored the game’s first goal just past the midway point of the first half, scoring off an assist from Bike for the Cadets (22-0-1). Two minutes later, Bike beat two defenders and Suffield goalkeeper Merideth Ouellette or the insurance goal.

“No one all year has dictated the game to us,” St. Joseph coach Jack Nogueira said. “We’ve always dictated the game, holding onto the ball, playing possession. We weren’t going to change.”

Said Suffield coach David Sullivan: “We gave too much respect to Sammy and to Jenna, which you have to, but instead of keeping them tight, we gave them space.”

Brittany Champagne scored with 9:42 left in regulation for Suffield.

It is the third state championship for the Cadets. Both St. Joseph and Suffield (19-1) were playing in the Class LL division for the first time. St. Joseph lost in the Class M final last year to Northwest Catholic.

“Once we went up to L, I guarantee you nobody thought we would be here other than ourselves,” Sullivan said. “We were definitely the best two teams in the state, all classes.”

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