BROOKFIELD — Immaculate field hockey fought for and earned redemption in the SWC championship, defeating New Milford 1-0 Thursday after losing in the final last season.
Emma Halas scored the lone goal of the game and was named the tournament MVP, playing an integral part to her team’s success all season long.
“(Halas) plays a middy position for us,” Immaculate coach Shannon Horosky said. “She goes from defensive corners up to offensive corners. She got the goal in today, she does a great job on offense and defense. She is the type of kid that works all over the field and never gives up on the ball.”
This marked Immaculate’s third consecutive trip to the SWC final, and second win during that stretch, having won in 2017 as well.
Last year Halas and her Immaculate teammates were upended late in the game by Pomperaug, only to return and reclaim the trophy this season.
“Proud is the No. 1 word for how I am feeling I would say,” Halas said. “I am proud of the hard work that every single person put in. It wasn’t all me, it was such a team effort. We’ve all worked so hard to get here and coming off a defeat last year in SWC’s, it was such a good moment. We came in with double the fire and we were ready to play.”
Immaculate entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed and did not allow a goal in its three tournament games, outscoring opponents 10-0 in route to being crowned champions.
“If I am telling the truth, (at the beginning of the season) I thought that we would make a run at the end,” Horosky said. “I didn’t know we would come out on top but I thought we would make a run like we did.”
New Milford’s impressive run may have come up short, but there is no taking away from what the team was able to accomplish.
Entering as the fourth seed, New Milford rolled over New Fairfield in the quarterfinals and took down No. 1 Newtown in double overtime during the semifinals. Newtown was 17-0 at the time.
“Our senior class is made up of three,” New Milford coach Dawn Hough said. “They are small but mighty and they did an awesome job keeping composure and leading their younger teammates. They took this team from a mediocre team to a very phenomenal team that did some great things.”
When the two teams met during the regular season, Immaculate cruised to a 3-0 victory, but this was not the same New Milford team.
“We knew this was going to be a huge battle,” Horosky said. “New Milford is a tournament team. They are always so well trained and so well coached so we knew that this was going to come down to probably one goal and it did. It just fell on our side, they did a great job.”