Magical run ends in state semifinals for New Milford girls
WEST HAVEN — It was a special season for the New Milford High School girls soccer team, one which included a second straight South-West Conference championship and a come-from-behind victory in penalty kicks in the state quarterfinals.
However, the Green Wave’s magical run came to an end Monday night with a 4-0 loss to undefeated defending champion Glastonbury in the Class LL state semifinals. It was a tough way to end a triumphant season for the Green Wave, which lost only three games all year and hadn’t lost since Oct. 3 against Masuk.
“It was fantastic for me to see the girls out there battling, even toward the end, still trying to get that goal. It’s a great character testament to them,” said New Milford coach Jason Stock, whose team posted a 16-3-3 record in his first year at the helm. “I’m very proud of the girls and the way they played out there.”
Glastonbury, meanwhile, has outscored its three state tournaments by a combined score of 9-0. The Tomahawks (22-0-0) return to the Class LL state final for the fifth time in seven seasons; they won titles in 2011 and 2014, lost to Newtown in 2012 and lost to Westhill in 2009. Top-seeded Glastonbury will play sixth-seeded Ridgefield in the title game on either Friday or Saturday at a site and time to be announced. Ridgefield defeated 23rd-seeded New Canaan in Monday’s other semifinal 3-1.
Monday’s game was more evenly played than the 4-0 final score might indicate. New Milford had several good scoring chances, but came up empty each time. Less than five minutes in, with the game still scoreless, New Milford’s Monica Baxter ripped a shot off the crossbar. Midway through the first half, with Glastonbury ahead 1-0, New Milford’s Lizzie Swanson lofted a corner kick which curved around the goalpost and into the net without having been touched by another player or hitting the ground — a pretty remarkable shot, to say the least. However, a second before the goal crossed the goal line, the officials blew the play dead, ruling that New Milford had obstructed the Glastonbury goalkeeper on the play. The goal, as nifty as it was, didn’t count.
If Baxter’s shot had been just three inches lower, or had Swanson’s goal counted, it could have been a dramatically different game. Instead, they were chalked up as missed opportunities against a team that doesn’t usually give up many opportunities.
“That’s the game,” Stock said with a shrug. “That’s what happens in soccer. Sometimes you get the breaks, sometimes you don’t.”
Caroline Bogue scored twice in the first half for Glastonbury, and Madison Seymour scored twice in the second half.
Bogue broke the scoreless deadlock in the 13th minute when she intercepted a New Milford clearing pass and blasted it home from 25 yards out. She scored again unassisted in the final minute of the first half to make it 2-0.
“They’re a strong team, just like us,” Bogue said. “We wanted to get a goal early on and just feed off of that.”
Seymour then scored in the opening minute of the second half off a feed from Bogue to make it 3-0. Seymour struck again less than three minutes later, this time off a pass from Mara Cosentino, to make it 4-0.
“The speed at which they combined and got forward, and their movement, it was very difficult to try and track all this movement going on,” Stock said.
Glastonbury goalkeeper Abigail Renaud made two saves, and New Milford’s Colleen Lynch made two herself. Lynch made a diving stop on a shot by Cosentino from 30 yards out to keep it 4-0. Lynch made another diving stop with 10 minutes remaining, this time stopping Rileigh Queen’s low blast from the right wing.
NEW MILFORD 0
NEW MILFORD0 0—0
Records: New Milford (16-3-3); Glastonbury (22-0-0).
Goals: G-Caroline Bogue 2, Madison Seymour 2. Assists: G-Bogue, Mara Consentino. Goalies: NM-Colleen Lynch (2 saves); G-Abigail Renaud (2 saves).