WEST HAVEN >> Glastonbury girls’ head soccer coach Joe Finocchiaro figured Saturday’s state title game against No. 6 Fairfield Warde would be a very difficult game. He was right.
It took 110 minutes of soccer to declare a winner but it was a shot off the foot of Glastonbury’s Maddy Lamagna early in the first overtime period that propelled the Tomahawks to the 2-1 victory over Warde in two overtimes to win the Class LL state crown at Ken Strong Stadium.
Top-seeded Glastonbury (22-1) won its first state title since 2011.
“It’s not easy being No. 1 and then finishing No. 1,” Finocchiaro said. “And I’m extremely proud of these guys, especially playing a very difficult team like Fairfield Warde.”
With the score tied at one apiece after a tough and physical 80 minutes of soccer, it was Lamagna’s shot with 13:39 left in the first overtime that proved to be the difference.
“I haven’t had much confidence dribbling on my own, so I finally thought I could do it and I had a great opportunity,” Lamagna said. “I got by some defenders and I had a great angle and I just took a shot and hoped it went it.”
Lamagna launched a shot from about 25 yards out, off her left foot to the far post that was perfectly placed and just out of the reach of Warde goalie Mollie Kerrigan.
“She’s been hitting shots like that all season for us,” Finocchiaro said. “She’s that type of player where she can hit a shot from long distance, and we were working on her turning and trying to let that shot go, and it kind of paid off for us today.”
The Mustangs (17-4-3) did their best to create scoring opportunities but the chances were limited the rest of the way and in the second overtime period.
“It was a tough one, it came pretty quick,” Warde head coach Tom Cunningham said. “Our girls didn’t quit, but Glastonbury is a very well-coached team, they knew how to slow the game down and pack it in a little bit at the end. When the goal came early, it was tough because now we were fighting against the clock against a very good team.”
Warde didn’t make it easy for Glastonbury as they threw everything at them for the entire afternoon.
The Tomahawks struck first 11:04 into the contest as Evelyn Spencer scored off a beautiful pass from Mara Cosentino that she buried into the right side of the net.
Both teams had multiple opportunities throughout the first half to score, including a few corners by the Tomahawks right before the half, but Kerrigan and the defense stepped up.
Warde tied the game in the second half as senior co-captain Virginie Larouche scored off a corner kick that Glastonbury keeper Abbey Renaud couldn’t locate due to the sun.
“I think she was just off guard and I think the sun was in her eyes, and it just went in and I was really excited,” Larouche said.
Despite the loss, Warde completed an historic season of its own as they won a share of the FCIAC title with Staples, a first in program history, and advanced to the state championship game for just the second time in program history.
“What these girls were able to do was tremendous,” Cunningham said. “I loved every moment being a part of it. Replacing our seniors that were out there is going to be tough, because they set the foundation; they set the bar high for our players going forward.”
Added Larouche: “I couldn’t imagine that we would make it this far. I’m proud of everyone; it’s the best way to come out senior year.”