Panthers deny Green Wave's soccer title bid
NMHS girls rebound for state tournament 'W'
Dreams of a second South-West Conference title in three seasons for the Green Wave hung in the air for so very long Friday evening at Newtown High.
Yet a perfect shot by Pomperaug sophomore Caly Farina at 4:43 of a second, sudden-victory, 10-minute overtime session dashed the dreams of coach Greg LaCava's talented New Milford High girls' soccer side.
The fourth-seeded Panthers outlasted the third-seeded Green Wave, 2-1, in the SWC tournament final Friday night at Newtown High School.
Pomperaug had scored just after the midway point of the first half but the Green Wave quickly deadlocked the count, 1-1, on Jen Millar's early second-half goal, off a perfect feed from Saige Grazia.
That's the way it stayed during a back-and-forth battle through the end of regulation and nearly 15 minutes of overtime.
Pomperaug goalie Julia Tolin, the tournament's MVP, and New Milford keeper Tara Lynch both came up big numerous times to keep their respective sides in the hunt.
"Pomperaug since we have played them earlier in the season has gotten a lot better. That was a phenomenal effort and hats off to them," LaCava said. "They played very well and deserved it."
"I liked the way things were going when we tied it and I thought if there was a spot that they were going to crack that was it," he said. "I thought we could get them on their heels and put another one in, but it didn't happen."
The Green Wave quickly moved past its SWC playoff disappointment to start a possible run at state Class LL laurels.
Coach LaCava's eighth-seeded squad (14-4-1) bounced back Monday, Nov. 4, to beat 25th-ranked New Canaan (8-8) in the playdown round at New Milford.
Regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods ended with the score knotted 3-3.
The Green Wave outscored the visiting Rams on penalty kicks to emerge as the survivor.
The victory advanced the Green Wave to Wednesday's scheduled round of 16, also a home match, at 4 p.m. against Danbury.
The winner of Wednesday's match would move on the Class LL quarterfinals.
For more photos, see updates at www.newmilfordspectrum.com.
Norm Cummings contributed to this story