MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown ‘won,’ 4-4, in overtime.
Never mind that technically the game was tied, this has everything to do with how the tie happened, who it happened against, and the weight of history that was on the line.
The facts are these:
Middletown High’s girls soccer team (5-2-1) trailed three-time Class LL champion Glastonbury, owners of a 68-game unbeaten streak, 4-0 in the second half at Rosek-Skubel Stadium. The Tomahawks 63-game wining streak was snapped when Tolland tied them 0-0 in overtime earlier this season. But after that, Glastonbury picked up where it left off and won four in a row.
On top of that, through eight games Glastonbury had given up exactly one goal. Until Wednesday.
“We played great in the first half ,” said Glastonbury coach Joe Finocchiaro. “Then we went to our bench in the second half to see what we had — and we saw what we had.”
Middletown was outshot 8-1 in the first half and the Tomahawks built a 3-0 lead at the break on goals by Emily Kennedy, Kacey Rolfe and Carrie Kearns. When Kearns scored again off a scrum following a corner kick with 35:50 left to play, this one looked about as over as a match can look at 4-0.
Middletown began its climb out of that hole when Maddie Fletcher scored on a penalty kick with 27:45 left in the match.
When Madyson Fitzner scored with 14:55 left off a direct kick, it still looked like the two goals were cosmetic. But five minutes later Patricia Shettleworth scored off a corner kick and at 4-3 and with the crowd in an uproar, it was a game.
With 5:41 to play Amalia Sessoms scored from the right of keeper Maddie Gehrhardt to complete the stunning comeback. In fact, Middletown had a great chance to win in regulation when a clean shot from 15 yards to the left of the goal sailed wide of the net.
Neither team scored in the two, five-minute overtime periods.
“We played a much better second half than the first,” said MHS coach Rachel Lemke. “He put some subs in, sure, but when we tied the game he has his starters back in and they played both overtimes.
“Fact is, the kids dug deep and you have to when you’re down 3-0 at the half. I thought that my keeper [Veronica Meyer] kept us together and Fitzner held us together in the back. Sessoms gave us great speed up top and [Carleigh] DeFrance helped set up plays all game. The kids played great.
“If we had scored that goal with seconds left, this place would have gone nuts.”
Glastonbury finished with a 14-7 shot advantage, but Middletown outshot the visitors 6-5 in the second half. Meyer had five saves and Gehrhardt had two.
“We’re very young, very inexperienced,” said Finocchiaro. “We have a lot of sophomores. Overall I thought we played fine.”
Glastonbury is 7-0-2 and the unbeaten streak is now 69.
“We didn’t score that last goal to win,” said Lemke. “But we’re leaving happy.”
Middletown plays at Newington Tuesday.
Glastonbury 3 1 0 0 — 4
Middletown 0 4 0 0 — 4
Goals: (G) Emily Kennedy, Kacey Rolfe, Carrie Kearns (2); (M) Madison Fletcher, Madyson Fitzner, Patricia Shettleworth, Amalia Sessoms.
Shots: (G) 14, (M) 7.
Saves: (G) Maddie Gehrhardt 2, (M) Veronica Meyer 5.
Records: (G) 7-0-2; (M) 5-2-1.