WEST HARTFORD – It has been quite a season for the Northwest Catholic field hockey team and the Indians are showing no signs of slowing down ahead of the Class S state tournament.
Northwest Catholic wrapped up the CCC West title and will be one of the top seeds in Class S after a 1-0 overtime victory over Newington on Monday night.
Junior Lauren Cenci scored the game-winning goal with just 2:52 left to play in overtime off an assist from Madison Mortillaro. The Indians improved to 13-2-1 with the win, their fourth straight and eighth in the last nine games.
The 13 wins set a school record for the best record in program history.
“It was a great team effort against Newington,” Northwest Catholic coach Bill Mullady said. “Our defense was outstanding and we fought to get a goal. It was a hard fought battle which could have gone either way.”
It went Northwest Catholic’s way in part because of its stingy defense led by Victoria Walz, who Mullady credited with playing her best game of the year. Northwest Catholic goaltender Christina Wilson recorded her 12th shutout of the season and has yielded just four goals all season.
After a tough 1-0 loss to Farmington on Oct. 15, the Indians regrouped and went on another run to win the CCC West with a 5-1 mark in the division. It is the first division title in program history and sets Northwest Catholic up for the Class S state tournament, where it is looking for another first, a win.
The Indians have never won a state tournament game in field hockey but are in prime position to end that drought this time around. Northwest Catholic projects to be the No. 4 seed in the tournament and could have a home game against Immaculate of Danbury to start things off and possibly a second home game because of its record.
“We have not won a tournament game ever in field hockey but we finished the season playing our best field hockey,” Mullady said.
“This team could be the ones to do it. I couldn’t be more proud of this team and they are excited for the tournament and hopefully we can make a little noise. There are some excellent teams in Class S.”
With wins over Glastonbury, Simsbury, Conard and Hall this season, the Indians are one of those excellent teams in Class S and have been getting strong contributions from all over the field this season. Mullady said the entire team has been playing well and that Amanda Whitehouse and Tia Conover have helped anchor the defense while junior midfielder Jessica Jordano and Mortillaro have led the way on offense.
“It has been a total team effort all year long from the top to the bottom of our program which has produced our success this season,” Mullady said. “We work hard at staying in our system of defense first and let the offense flow from our defense.”
Now the Indians get to prepare for their biggest games of the season with the state tournament pairings set to be announced on Nov. 1.
“I am very proud of the team and let them know that when everyone works together in the program good things happen,” Mullady said.
And with a school record in wins and first ever division title, good things are definitely happening for the Indians.