St. Joseph completed an unbeaten regular season Friday with its 1-0 victory over Trumbull in the FCIAC championship game. The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Cadets now take a 35-game win streak into the state playoffs where they will look to win back-to-back state championships.
St. Joseph could, of course, be challenged by SWC champion and No. 2-ranked Masuk or SCC runners-up and No. 6-ranked North Haven should that win streak reach 38, which would put the Class L top-seeded Cadets into the state final (they have a bye into the second round).
TOURNAMENT PRIMER: SCOREBOARD | PLAYERS TO WATCH | STORYLINES TO WATCH
In Class LL, a crowded field of contenders includes No. 3-ranked South Windsor (seeded first), No. 4-ranked Trumbull (seeded second), No. 5-ranked and SCC champion Cheshire (seeded fourth), West Haven (seeded third), No. 7-ranked Southington (seeded sixth), No. 8-ranked E.O. Smith (seeded fifth) and No. 9-ranked Norwich Free Academy (seeded eighth).
Oxford, the NVL champion, joins this penultimate poll at No. 10 and also must navigate a deep field in Class M.
|TEAM (1st place votes)||FINAL REC||PTS||LAST||CLASS|
1. MASUK (14)
|Tournament Results: Def. Foran 14-0, Bristol Eastern 5-3, North Haven 8-4, East Haven 2-0 (Class L final).
Bottom Line:The Panthers passed the test three straight times against quality opposition to win fifth state title.
|Tournament Results: Def. Wilton 3-1, Manchester 7-1, Ridgefield 3-2, Trumbull 5-2, NFA 7-6 (Class LL final).
Bottom Line: The Blue Knights earned every victory they got this tournament, winning close games right on through to add to their legacy.
|Tournament Results: Def. Middletown 8-5, Ludlowe 3-0, South Windsor 2-1, Cheshire 4-2; Lost to Southington 7-6 (Class LL final).
Bottom Line: Late-inning rally was almost storybook ending to incredible season by Wildcats, who won the ECC title.
|Tournament Results: Def. Innovation 18-0, H-K 13-0, Wolcott 11-0, Granby 11-2, Seymour 6-5 (Class M final).
Bottom Line: Lancers proved their mettle by winning first close game of the tournament when it mattered most.
|Tournament Results: Def. Kennedy 25-0, Glastonbury 13-0, E.O. Smith 4-2; Lost to NFA 4-2 (Class LL semifinals).
Bottom Line: Consistent Rams program makes another run to final four, and stays in the fifth spot to close season.
6. ST. JOSEPH
|Tournament Results: Lost to East Haven 2-0 (Class L second round).
Bottom Line: First and only loss of season came at the worst time for Cadets, who were unable to force a rematch with Masuk in the final.
|Tournament Results: Def. Amity 7-2, Stamford 7-4; Lost to Southington 5-2 (Class LL semifinals).
Bottom Line: Eagles quickly becoming a fixture of the late rounds under the guidance of Jacqui Sheftz. Trumbull reached LL semis for third straight season.
8. EAST HAVEN
|Tournament Results: Def. Hand 4-3, St. Joseph 2-0, Barlow 12-2, Brookfield 11-0; lost to Masuk 2-0 (Class L final).
Bottom Line: SCC gauntlet paid off handsomely for Yellowjackets, who upset No. 1 St. Joseph before reaching the championship round.
9. SOUTH WINDSOR
|Tournament Results: Def. Danbury 4-0; Lost to NFA 2-1 (Class LL quarterfinals).
Bottom Line: Like St. Joseph, undefeated regular season came crashing down early in state tournament.
10. NORTH HAVEN
|Tournament Results: Def. Rockville 11-2, Maloney 8-0; Lost to Masuk 8-4 (Class L semifinals).
Bottom Line: Defensive miscues hurt Indians in their quest to end dream season with a state title.
|Dropped Out: E.O. Smith (8), Oxford (10).
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.
|Others receiving votes: Seymour (22-5) 177; Somers (18-6) 154; E.O. Smith (19-4) 114; Coginchaug (20-7) 75; Brookfield (18-6) 58; ND-Fairfield (22-5) 42; Bristol Eastern (17-6) 41; Stamford (19-6) 19; Granby (19-7) 14; West Haven (18-4) 10; Coventry (19-4) and Oxford (20-5) 7.|
|The following voted: Scott Ericson, Stamford Advocate; Tim Jensen, Patch Media Corp Vickie Fulkerson, The Day; George DeMaio, WELI; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Jeff Babineau, St. Joseph; Ryan Lacey, Danbury News Times; Mike Madera, Hearst Connecticut Media; Dave Phillips, Hearst Connecticut Media; Bryan Burdick, NFA; Nick DeLizio, North Branford; Richard Zalusky, Willimantic Chronicle; Lori Riley, Hartford Courant; Ken Pereiras, Seymour.
Compiled by Ryan Lacey