Suffield High School celebrates boys’ and girls’ soccer seasons
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Wed., Nov. 20, 2013
Suffield residents love soccer, and one recent high-stakes weekend saw both the Suffield High School boys’ and girls’ teams playing in state championship games.
With wins against Brookfield, Rocky Hill and Plainville, the boys’ team found itself battling Ellington for the Class M title on Nov. 16. The Suffield boys claimed the victory with a 2-0 score, becoming the first team to have a perfect season since 2003. It is also the first team to have a three-peat (three consecutive state titles) since the 1980s.
“We feel very fortunate to have accomplished what we have been able to accomplish,” said coach Mark Biegel. “It certainly has not been easy. It’s taken a lot of hard work, perseverance and dedication.”
Biegel is especially grateful for the seniors he had on his team this year. “To accumulate a 72-4-2 [four-year] record is an incredible feat,” said Biegel.
He feels the history of the team and the support Suffield offers its soccer program is vital to its success. “It’s about the guys that came before them and the guys that will follow up after them. That’s what this program is all about. It’s tradition,” said Biegel. “It’s a belief about Suffield soccer that is carried on, practiced, and most importantly built upon.”
Meanwhile, girls’ coach David Sullivan and the lady Wildcats put the pressure on Newington, New Milford and Mercy.
The girls had a memorable season, with strong wins against competitors like Bolton, Coventry, Newington and Windsor Locks, but fell to St. Joseph during the Class LL championship game on Nov. 16.
“To be honest with you, it was a game with two halves,” coach David Sullivan said of the title game. “They outplayed us in the first half, and in the second half we outplayed them. We came back and scored a goal and took control of the game for the last 25 minutes. Some of the best soccer we played was the past 20 minutes,” he said.
Sullivan is proud of the team and the overall collaboration the players showed with one another. “We had a 16-0 season and we scored 99 goals,” said Sullivan, “only giving up four goals – and two of those were in the finals.”
This was a big year for the team to prove itself, as it was moved up two divisions to LL. “For little ‘ole Suffield to do well in the LL – we’re pretty proud of that,” said Sullivan.
A strong defense helped make the season great. “This year we had everything working for us. We had a tough defense, and when you take the pressure off, it gives you more opportunities to push forward,” said Sullivan. In fact, everybody on the roster scored at least one goal this year, which is a first for Sullivan.
Captains Brittany Champagne, Jillian Consolini, Reilly Williams and Michele D’Agata had a lot to do with the team’s cohesiveness. “I give them a lot of authority,” said Sullivan. “This group really put it all together. We had fun while we were doing it, too. There is nothing better than that.”
Seniors Ashlie DaCruz, Sydney Lawrence and Chelsea Baker also played integral roles, as the Suffield girls finished among the very top of their peers. They were ranked 61st nationally and third in the state.
“Each year leaves a piece of its legacy,” Biegel said about the boys. “This year in particular has left a lasting impression. To three-peat in this era of modern soccer is just unbelievable to me. They have truly set the bar for generations to come.”