No. 2 Hand faces No. 6 Avon today in the CIAC Class M field hockey semifinals at Cheshire High at 6 p.m. and it should be an exciting matchup. But the game of the day is No. 4 Lauralton Hall facing No. 1 Wilton in the other Class M final in a rematch of last season’s Class M championship game.
The Crusaders played their hearts out competing in Class M for the first time last season and reaching the championship game. The end result, a 1-0 loss in overtime to Wilton in the Class M final, broke their hearts and served as motivation to get back to the championship game this season. The Crusaders are one step away as they face the Warriors at Fairfield Ludlowe High today at 6 p.m.
In last season’s Class M championship game, for 70 minutes, 60 in regulation and another 10 in overtime, the Lauralton Hall defense was impeccable and stifling. But it was with time expired that one defensive letdown proved costly for the Crusaders in their Class M championship game with Wilton.
As the final seconds ticked off in overtime of a scoreless game, two-time defending champion Wilton was awarded its 16th penalty corner. If a penalty corner is awarded as the clock hits 0:00 — in the first half, second half or overtime — the penalty corner is played out.
During the penalty corner, the Warriors’ Madison Hendry sent the ball to Kristen Godin about 10 feet in front of Crusaders goalie Rashauna Banks. Godin, blocked by two defenders, worked the ball past them and fired a shot into the lower-right corner to lead Wilton to a 1-0 win over Lauralton Hall at Wethersfield High.
Three-time defending champion Wilton enters today’s Class M semifinal once again loaded with talent and putting a dominating performance in the postseason. The Warriors have outscored opponents 8-0 in their two Class M games.
Wilton is led this season by forward Megan Cunningham, midfielders Delaney Baxendale and Godin, defender Caroline Taverna and goalie Amanda Hendry.
Lauralton Hall is also solid on both ends of the field and has outscored opponents 8-1 in its two Class M games.
The depth and talent is certainly evident on the offensive end of the field for the Crusaders. They use a balanced attack with 13 players producing goals and assists. Kiley Forrest, Grace Cogguguillo, Jackie Brewster, Alexa Dawid, Michaela O’Donnell and Kara Duggan are among the top scorers.
Brewster, a defender and Register All-Area field hockey selection last season, leads a very strong defensive unit.