Suffield High School boys’ soccer reaches Class M final
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Wed., Nov. 23, 2011
At the start of the 2011 season, Suffield High School boys’ soccer coach Mark Beigel had a few important goals: “To field a team that works hard, represents the school and community in a positive manner, and learns the value of teamwork and dedication,” he said. Those prophetic words came true with a trip to the CIAC Class M tournament final.
With a bye in the first round, the Wildcats faced Bethel in round two. “We have depth,” Beigel said. “Bethel had a shallow bench, and when senior subs like Alex Drake come off our bench running 100 mph, it is tough for other teams to keep up. The game was fast-paced, our forwards were winded, and Alex was awesome. He usually subs in at midfield, but I put him up top, and he wreaked havoc on that defense while our starters caught their breath. “
Suffield took Bethel 1-0, the goal scored by freshman right midfielder Colten Grob on a cross by Sean Sullivan. “Colten was in the right place at the right time,” the coach said. “We talk a lot about anticipation. It was a fantastic play for a freshman. I am sure he will never forget that goal.”
In the quarterfinals, Suffield defeated Killingly, 7-0. Prior to the game, Beigel commented on his approach. “The one thing I have learned is that you never take any seed for granted. We have been in the 20s before and knocked off many high-ranked teams because they did not take us seriously,” he said.
In the semifinals, Suffield faced Plainville. “Both teams came out of the gates quick,” Beigel said. “At the 12-minute mark, Steven Roncaioli made a terrific decision, heading the ball to Sean Sullivan, who pushed the ball past the keeper.”
Suffield’s second goal came from Colten Grob. “With 10 minutes left, we sent another ball in high on their goalie,” Beigel said. “He came off his line and Sean Sullivan challenged, it skipped off the goalie's fingers to the far post and Colten punched it into the open net.”
“On the bus ride home, I was surprised at how quiet it was,” Beigel said. “They have one goal in mind: a 2011 state championship banner on the gymnasiums wall,” the coach said.
As of press time, Suffield was preparing to meet Granby Memorial in the finals on Nov. 26. Visit the website www.casciac.org for the results of that game.