Girls soccer: St. Joseph-Suffield rematch for title
St. Joseph’s top-seeded girls soccer team will meet No.2 Suffield High for the CIAC Class L state championship on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. Coach Jack Nogueria's Cadets defeated the Wildcats, 2-1, to win the Class LL title in 2013.
Both teams went 16-0-0 in the regular season, then swept three opponents in states.
The Cadets outscored foes in the tourney 14-2; the Wildcats won by a combined margin of 7-1.
Suffield has only allowed two goals in the regular season; St. Joseph nine.
The Cadets have tallied 85 goals; the Wildcats 72.
St. Joseph’s only loss this season came 2-0 to Ridgefield High in the FCIAC title match.
The title in 2013 was the program’s third state championship overall (2008 and 2007), as the Cadets capped off an unbeaten season (22-0-1), They had lost to Northwest Catholic in the 2012 Class M final. Suffield finished its campaign at 19-1 It had conceded just two goals all season entering the game. St. Joseph matched that mark in 22:30.
Samantha Grasso, off of an assist from Jenna Bike, opened the scoring with 19:27 left in the first half at Falcon Field in Meriden.
Bike then doubled the third-seeded Cadets’ margin just under two minutes later at 17:30, knifing her way through the Wildcats’ defense and slotting a shot past Suffield keeper Merideth Ouellette.
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.
In the 21st minute, Bike split Suffield’s defense with a sharp through-ball to Grasso. Ouellette charged off of her line, but it was too late. Grasso took a quick touch to the outside, rounded Ouellette, and punched the ball into the back of the net.
Bike got herself on the scoresheet in the 23rd minute, barreling through the Wildcat midfield and splitting the backline. The sophomore then belted a left-footed shot into the back of the net, staking the Cadets to a 2-0 advantage.
That 2-0 scoreline held for the next 48 minutes. St. Joseph’s defenders, Samantha Lello and Sara Chille on the outside and Sabrina Toole and Cori Scales in the middle, repelled each Suffield advance toward Cadets’ keeper Molly Meehan (four saves).
Adrienne Williams, Marissa Grasso, Alexandra Waizenegger and Bike kept control of the ball in the middle of the park, while Samantha Grasso and Lindsey Savko provided the support up top.
The Wildcats finally broke through in the 71st minute, when Champagne beat Meehan to the post with a well-taken strike.
Suffield poured forward looking in vain for the equalizer, but St. Joseph turned back the Wildcats and saw out the game to claim their first state title in five years — fueled by the first-half markers by Bike and Samantha Grasso, who was named the game’s MVP.
Members of St. Joseph’s Class LL state-championship winning team were Molly Meehan, Sophia Smith, Alexandra Waizenegger, Julia Marino, Clare Duffy, Samantha Grasso, Sabrina Toole, Jenna Bike, Sara Chille, Hanna Errico, Cori Scales, Marissa Grasso, Tiernan McKeown, Megan Kelly, Christina DiCesare, Megan Kelly, Adrienne Williams, Samantha Lello, Sally McHugh, Leah Lewis, Lindsey Savko, Mary Morrisey and Samantha Rudini.