The state's girls' soccer realm learned recently just how well Greater New Milford area players can play the game.

A pair of area teams captured gold and bronze medals in Nutmeg State Games competition July 22-28 in New Britain.

A squad of 14 girls from New Milford and Shepaug Valley high schools, coached by Brooke Baxter and called the Blue Wave, earned gold.

Sabrina Baxter, an upcoming NMHS senior, unable to play due to injury, coached 13 girls on a team called the Green Wave to third place.

Sabrina had organized the local contingent to compete in the Nutmeg games, the state's annual summertime amateur athletic festival.

"About 30 kids who didn't have summer conflicts had signed up to play..." explained Brooke Baxter, Sabrina's father.

"A combination of too many girls for one team and too much depth to separate the group into A and B teams led Sabrina to conclude that two equal teams were needed."

"Essentially," he added, "everyone deserved to be a starter."

The two Green Wave teams responded by both playing their way to the girls' U-18 semifinals.

Both sides won their tournament finales to earn gold and bronze, respectively.

The teams were anchored in goal by upcoming Shepaug sophomore Sam Moravsky and upcoming eighth-grader Kat Olmstead, of New Milford.

"Just advancing both teams to the medal rounds was a huge accomplishment," said the elder Baxter, "and speaks measures about the talent within the NMHS and Shepaug girls' soccer ranks."

"Taking home gold against Pomperaug and bronze against Plainfield is a great sign of things to come for the high school season, and years to come," he said.

"The girls played with the skill and composure of the champions they are," Baxter said.

"It was an incredible day."