St. Joseph defeats Suffield to win state title

Behind goals from Samantha Grasso and Jenna Bike, the St. Joseph High girls soccer team toppled Suffield High, 2-1, to claim the Class LL title at Falcon Field in Meriden on Saturday.

Grasso, off of an assist from Bike, opened the scoring with 19:27 left in the first half. Bike then doubled the third-seeded Cadets' margin just under two minutes later at 17:30, charging her way through the Wildcats' defense and sliding a shot past Suffield keeper Merideth Ouellette.

"When we started off the season, we had this goal in mind," said Grasso, who was named the game's most valuable player. "I can't even describe the feeling."

Brittany Champagne pulled back a late marker for top-seeded Suffield with 9:42 left to play in the game, but St. Joseph held on to capture its first state championship since 2008.

"To their credit, all year long, they played and took care of business," Cadets' coach Jack Nogueira said of his side.

The title was St. Joseph's third state championship overall in girls soccer (2013, 2008 and 2007), as the Cadets capped off an unbeaten season (22-0-1) after falling in last year's Class M state final to Northwest Catholic.

Suffield, which finished its campaign at 19-1, had conceded just two goals all season entering the state final. St. Joseph matched that mark in 22:30.

For the full game story, check out next week's Times.