MERIDEN >> With less than 10 minutes to play and the Suffield boys’ soccer team leading Ellington 2-0 in the Class M state final at Falcon Field, a chorus of students near the Wildcats bench started chanting three-peat. It was a little early celebration but Saturday afternoon, Suffield wasn’t going to be denied.
The Wildcats controlled the game from start to finish as Derek Zarzycki and Brent Baskin scored for Suffied as they won its third straight state title and capped off a perfect 20-0 season.
“It definitely doesn’t get old,” Suffield head coach Mark Beigel said with a smile. “It gets better I tell ya, each time. We’re lucky. To accumulate a 72-4-2 record it doesn’t happen very often. To somehow pull off three championships in a row, hasn’t happened since the 80s. They really set the tone for future generations.”
Suffield pressed early and had a few opportunities to scored but didn’t find the net till 12:52 in the first half Saturday. Zarzycki scored off a cross in the far post off a perfectly placed ball from teammate Jack Moriarty for the 1-0 advantage.
“We talked about attacking the wings,” Beigel said.
No. 14 Ellington didn’t back down though. It was a physical and well-rounded effort from the Ellington, as they had lost to Suffield twice before, including a 6-0 defeat in October.
“Ellington brought it today,” Beigel said. “It was such an impressive effort, every step of the way. They kept us on our toes.”
Suffield added an insurance goal midway through the second half as Brent Baskin netted one with 23:39 remaining to help fend off a determinded Ellington that pressed until the final buzzer.
Ellington (14-6-1) received a huge performance in the net from keeper Bailey Bassett who recorded 13 saves and kept his team in the game making smart decisions and thwarting off a pesky and aggressive Suffield squad.
“Obviously they (Suffield) are a terrific, terrific team but the guys in purple did a great job today,” Ellington head coach Roy Gurnon said beaming. “We battled, we competed. I thought they did everything we asked them to do. I thought that they really worked hard and worked together. Even though we got beat, it was still a pretty awesome performance.”
scored off a cross from teammate Jack Moriarty 12:52 seconds in the game.
Suffield added to its lead in second half as Brent Baskin netted one with 23:39 remaining.
No. 1 Suffield completed a 20-0 season.