GLASTONBURY >> Eighty minutes of soccer wasn’t nearly enough to declare a winner Wednesday afternoon. Neither was an additional 20.
So in a fierce battle of high-intensity defense between No. 2 Glastonbury and No. 15 Fairfield Warde in the Class LL girls’ second round state game, the contest was decided on penalty kicks where the Tomahawks emerged as the team to score first and last.
Glastonbury survived more than two hours of soccer to come away with the 3-1 win in PKs and advance to the quarterfinals.
Glastonbury, which also defeated the FCIAC’s Darien in the first round, advances to play No. 10-seeded South Windsor in the quarterfinals at 2 p.m. on Friday.
South Windsor toppled Greenwich 1-0 in overtime.
“The girls played their hearts out today,” Warde head coach Tom Cunningham said of his team. “They left it all out on the field. And it’s a tough way to end.”
It was an ending that Glastonbury (17-1-1) was ready for. Head coach Joe Finocchiaro said his squad practices this type of situation and was prepared for the round of five shootout style.
Up 2-1 in PKs and needing just one goal to win, Glastonbury’s Danielle Geist netted the winning penalty kick to send her team to the next round.
Glastonbury’s keeper Ciara Boucher stopped Warde’s first attempt in the shootout and then the Tomahawks scored to take to 1-0 lead. The Mustangs, however, answered on the next shot to even the score. Glastonbury scored again, followed by a Warde miss, but keeper Kaite Brennan made a save on the next attempt to keep the Mustangs alive. Warde missed it’s next shot as Geist then came to the line and calmly scored to end the game.
It was tough way to see a game dominated by hustle, physicality and great defensive saves come to an end.
Warde did a nice job countering a normal high-powered Glastonbury offense that produced five or more goals eight times during the regular season. Led by keeper Brennan and defender Julia DeLaney the Mustangs thwarted off multiple attempts.
Finocchiaro said he wasn’t surprised of the scoreless outcome at the end of regulation.
“I was expecting that from Warde because we knew they had returning seven players from last year and the whole defense was coming back,” he said. “And (we) knew Katie Brennan was an All-State goalie; she’s a fantastic goalkeeper, she made some great saves. We were a bit unlucky, we hit the crossbar, hit the goalpost. They have a great defense and goalie to back it up, so we knew it was going to be tough.”
Brennan faced pressure all afternoon but kept her squad alive making multiple highlight-worth saves, including two back to back sliding stops late in the second half as Glastonbury amped up the pressure. Brennan finished the game with 11 saves.
Cunningham said his team didn’t get as many chances offensively as they would have liked, but praised the effort of his team and seniors.
“What these seniors have done for the program, you can’t measure,” he said. “We had great leaders, all eight of them. I hate to see them end their high school careers this way. I tip my hat to my seniors for everything they’ve done for us.”