Lady Eagles' great year ends in semifinals
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Fri., Nov. 15, 2013
The Tolland High School girls' soccer team put together a great season in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The Eagles posted a 12-2-2 regular season, and earned a #2 seed and a bye in the CIAC Class M tournament. Tolland beat Granby Memorial 3-1 in the second round and edged Lyman Memorial 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
Tolland played what coach Ken Boucher called a “tremendous game” vs. 3-seed Waterford in the semifinals on Nov. 12, but just didn't get the lucky bounce it needed to move on. “I was pleased with the way we played,” Boucher said, “and Waterford played well. We attacked and then they attacked. It was really played well, and they were just able to get the second goal in on us. For the last 15 minutes, we kind of penned them in down there, and had a couple of opportunities, but just couldn't sneak one in.”
Being the first time Tolland has made it to the semi-finals since being realigned into Class M, Boucher said his players should be very proud. “I didn't expect us to go as far as we did,” he said. “They all banded together and played very well, especially down the stretch.”
Boucher said that while the team improved through the season, keeping their heads up when things got tough is what made them successful. “There were moments in the season, we looked afraid at times,” he said, “but when they had confidence out there and knew what they had to do, and all bought into what they had to do, it was a well-oiled machine out there.”
The Eagles will lose four seniors to graduation, including three back-line defenders, but look like they will be contenders in the fall of 2014. “We lose two central defenders and an outside defender, as well as a reserve forward/midfielder,” Boucher said. “We have most everybody back, so if we can fix the defensive end – or duct tape that together – I think we could make another run again next year.”