Wildcats escape upset to advance
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Wed., Nov. 14, 2012
The Suffield High School girls' soccer team (15-0-2) set out on the 2012 season to accomplish two things: win the North Central Connecticut Conference outright and bring back home the Class M state championship. They achieved their first goal easily, but were put to the test in the Class M state tournament by the Coginchaug Regional High School Blue Devils (10-8). The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead at home but scratched and clawed their way through the second half to down the Blue Devils 3-2, on Nov. 12.
Suffield took a lead four minutes into the match when junior Brittany Champagne found the back of the net on a pass from sophomore Katie McDonough. Ten minutes later, the Wildcats would extend their lead on a well-executed set piece, junior Ashlie DaCruz lofted a corner kick to the top of the Coginchaug penalty box and junior Michele D’Agata headed the ball over the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper. With 12 minutes left in the half, DaCruz played a through ball to a sprinting Champagne who controlled the pass and made a run on net, flicking the ball over the goalkeeper's head for a 3-0 lead. Coginchaug answered less than a minute later when Victoria Buonanni was taken down in the box and converted the penalty kick to make the score 3-1.
“In the first 20 minutes we played our style of soccer and it was working out well for us,” said head coach David Sullivan. “After they scored against us, they gained some confidence and believed they could beat us. We're a younger team and we have a young back line, and I think they panicked a bit.”
Coginchaug controlled the second half - attacking and putting the pressure on the Suffield defense - and narrowed the Suffield lead to one, with 24 minutes left, on another goal by Buonanni. The Blue Devils pushed forward for the remainder of the half but failed to net the equalizer.
“If I were their coach I would be extremely happy with my team, because we’re supposed to be the better team and they outplayed us,” Sullivan said. “They outplayed us in the second half. If we want to get to where we want to be, our performance today is not going to cut it.”