HARTFORD– Stonington boys soccer claimed its first state championship in program history, defeating Ellington 1-0 in the Class M final at Dillon Stadium Saturday morning.
Senior captain Tyler Fidrych was named the championship MVP as he assisted the lone goal of the game as Stonington’s most prominent playmaker.
“I can’t really describe this feeling but it’s unbelievable,” Fidrych said. “I was just looking around, taking everything in, taking in the crowd. This town has been waiting to win one. Stonington is a soccer town, we take pride from the youth levels all the way up. Credit to coach Paul (Decastro), he has really crated a dynasty in this town and we finally got it.”
Stonington was dominant throughout the tournament as the second seed, not surrendering a goal in its four games and outscoring opponents 18-0.
This season will be a memorable one for the Bears, who have now added a state championship to its trophy case to go along with its recently-acquired ECC Division I title.
— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) November 23, 2019
The winning goal came from a corner kick as Fidrych connected with the head of an unlikely hero, sophomore Wynn Hammond.
“I’ll do anything to help the team,” Hammond said. “If there is a better lineup then I am fine with that, but I am glad I got into the game and I am very happy that what happened did happen. We are all very close on this team, we hang out all the time and it feels good to get the W for them. It was a great season, let’s do it again next year.”
Hammond handled more of a platoon-type role throughout the course of the season, but the sophomore delivered the potentially biggest goal of his team’s season.
“Wynn has had an interesting role for us all year,” Fidrych said. “He’s been in and out of the lineup and playing all different positions. We were actually trying to run a play and Ellington was prepared for it so we just whipped it in and it was an amazing play by him. Great finish.”
After a first half that was mostly controlled by Ellington, Stonington appeared to get better as time went on before Hammond was able to separate with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game.
“I think this showed what kind of team we are to win this type of game,” Stonington coach Paul Decastro said. “That wasn’t easy. That was a very good Ellington team and you have to give them a lot of credit. That was hard fought and we were lucky enough to score a goal there on the header and we held them off so we are proud of the group.”
This was Stonington’s first appearance in the Class M final since 1994 when Rocky Hill defeated the Bears 2-1.
The Bears had not won a State Title since 1993 when the team was named co-champions with RHAM.
“This is a lot of pressure off my back and the kids back,” Decastro said. “I think they knew that they had a lot of ability and that we would be one of the top teams in Class M. There a lot of things that go into winning it and it just feels great, you can tell how happy the kids are.
We are thrilled and we’ll have a good time on the bus ride home.”
Ellington was seeded first in the tournament, boasting a 16-0-0 regular season record and adding three more wins in the tournament before falling in the final.