GUILFORD >> The Stonington Bears are headed back to the Class S championship game after defeating the Thomaston Golden Bears, 4-0.
Last season the Bears fell to Haddam-Killingworth, 2-0 and have no plans on losing this time around.
“We’re going to win this time,” said Tucchio. “I think there is carry over; we understand there are things we have to capitalize on.”
Stonington got on the board; three minutes into the game, when senior Meg O’Lari was able capitalize off a penalty corner giving the Bears an early lead.
“It was huge because it gave us a boost of confidence and sets the tone,” said Stonington head coach, Jenna Tucchio. “It kills the nerves and we were able to settle in.”
The Bears from Stonington did exactly that holding possession for most of the first half; they outshot the Golden Bears 14-9 in the game.
“This was not our best game this season,” said Thomaston head coach, Brooke Gomes Holway. “This is the first team to make the semifinals. I am very proud of them; they worked very hard this season. This is the best team I’ve worked with.”
The Golden Bears came into the game sporting a 16-1-0-1 record this season, playing most of its game in the Berkshire League and because of that they haven’t played on turf fields like they had to play on Tuesday night at Guilford High School.
“We don’t play on turf, the Berkshire League doesn’t play on turf,” said Gomes Holway. “We played one game on turf this season. It makes a difference.”
Gomes Holway wasn’t blaming the turf and wasn’t taking anything away from the victorious Bears from Stonington.
“They’re a good team, they control the ball well,” she said. “They have tremendous players.”
Before the end of the first half Stonington scored again, this time by Molly Crowley and that began her outstanding night, scoring a hat-trick.
When the teams came out for the second half Stonington was leading 2-0 and they weren’t comfortable with it.
“At 2-0 we were still on the edge,” said Crowley a junior, who made her team more comfortable after she scored with less than seven minutes left.
“A two goal lead can go fast,” said Tucchio. “After the third goal the fatigue we had was gone, now the win is in your grasp.”
Forty-five second left Crowley scored again to extend Stonington’s lead to 4-0.
“We just got sloppy at the end,” said Gomes Holway.
Stonington is playing as well as any team can be going into the finals, outscoring opponents throughout the tournament 6-1, allowing the lone goal to Haddam-Killingworth who they beat in the quarterfinals.
“I was confident in the way that we have been playing,” said Tucchio. “I know we had a chance, we’ve been playing well.
Crowley, who was a sophomore on last season’s team believes her team is ready to bring home the State Championship this time around.
“I’m ready, the team is ready,” she said. “We’re not ready to lose.”
Stonington will take on the winner of Wednesday night’s semifinals matchup between No. 9 Granby and No. 4 Northwest Catholic on Saturday.
No. 3 Stonington 4, No. 2 Thomaston 0
Stonington 2 2 – 4
Thomaston 0 0 – 0
Goals: S – Molly Crowley 3; Meg O’Lari. Assists: S – Libby Morrison; Meg O’Lari; Tia Lafrance-Boyle; Jenny Sieczkiewicz; Sam Shroyer. Shots: S – 14, T – 9. Saves: S- Anne Knizeski 9; T – Nicole Petruzzi 10.
Records: Stonington 17-2-0-0, Thomaston 16-2-0-1