EAST HAVEN >> The Shelton boys soccer team set the tone in the opener Wednesday night at Crisafi Field and the Shelton girls soccer team finished it.
It just took a little bit longer for the Gaelettes to win the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament title, making the ending a lot more dramatic.
Sarah Skoronski made the decisive penalty kick for No. 4 seed Shelton, which defeated No. 2 Lauralton Hall 3-1 in PKs for the program’s second league championship.
“We worked so hard for this moment and I wanted to finish it for my team,” Skoronski said. “It’s really amazing.”
Goalkeeper Shelby Offord saved two of Lauralton’s penalty kicks to earn tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for Shelton (14-2-3).
“You go (decide) where you think they are going to go, take a guess and if you’re right, you’re right,” Offord said. “Just being in the moment is great. We’ve worked so hard and to finally achieve it was great.”
Joining the Shelton celebration were members of the Shelton boys’ team, which had beaten West Haven 3-2 for its first league title in its first appearance.
“It’s so crazy for both of us to come together with the win is so great,” Offord said.
The last school to win a pair of SCC tournament titles in the same season was Cheshire in 2007.
The only reason the game went to a pair of 10-minute overtime periods and penalty kicks was because Kathryn Arena tied the game at 2 with 1:25 left in regulation.
“Several times this season, we’ve had our backs against the wall and our mental toughness has been a big theme for us this year,” Shelton girls soccer coach Marvin Miller said.
Caroline Monahan was the only one to make a PK for the Crusaders (14-4-1). Grace Healey hit her attempt off the left post and Offord made saves against Mia Mullin and Molly Rotondo, respectively. Michelle Gutierrez and Kaleigh Panek made PKs for Shelton.
“We talked about this game in our captain’s leadership sessions in March, this was the game we talked about, getting to this game,” Miller said. “That’s the other thing we talked about as we got to overtime that the team that managed their emotions the best was going to win this and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Said Lauralton coach Nicole Andreesen: “ PKs are an unfortunate way to decide something. I wish we had another 20 minutes to play, but you know, hats off to them, it could have been the other way and I said that to the girls as well. It just didn’t go our way.”
Lauralton Hall led 1-0 at halftime on its only shot attempt of the half. Mullin scored the goal off an assist from Gianna Mecca. Lauralton went up 2-0 when Shelton’s clearing attempt of a ball went backwards into the goal.
Panek cut the deficit in half for Shelton with 13:30 left.
Shelton 2, Lauralton Hall 2
Shelton wins 3-1 PKs
(at East Haven)
Shelton 0 2 0 0 — 2
Lauralton Hall 1 1 0 0 — 2
First half—LHA: Mia Mulin (Gianna Mecca) 32:26; own goal 58:59; Second half—SHE: Kaleigh Panek 66:30; Kathryn Arena 78:35;
Shots—SHE: 10; LHA: 7;
Saves—SHE: Shelby Offord 3; LHA: Colleen McCarthy 5;
Records—Shelton 14-2-3; Lauralton Hall 14-4-1