GLASTONBURY – Start that state championship game bus one more time. The Thomaston High girls are at it again. This time around it is soccer.
Looking every bit like the undefeated top-seed that it is, Thomaston blanked No. 5 Lyman Memorial Tuesday night, 3-0, in brisk conditions at Glastonbury High to earn a shot at its first ever Class S title.
Standing in the way this weekend (either Saturday or Sunday) at a site and time to be determined will be No. 10 Cromwell, a 1-0 winner over Canton.
The Bears kind of like the state championship game experience. This will be the 10th state title game appearance over the last decade covering four different sports (softball, basketball, field hockey, soccer). The magnitude of the first soccer appearance was not lost on the coach Jen Ewart’s team.
“It’s crazy to think about,” said the Bears’ Claire Saunders. “We were a small middle school soccer team in a small town not that long ago. Now we’re in the state finals. It’s crazy how far we’ve come.”
“They have this mindset that they really believe they are going to win,” Ewart said. “They strive for it and here we are.”
In a history-making campaign the Bears (19-0-2) keep taking the next step. They have not missed a beat in the post-season rolling through both the Berkshire League Tournament, the state tournament and now a chance to play on the final day of the season. This night was no different – powerful, dominant at times and better. The offense took control in the first half and the defense did its thing in the second half. It proved to be a potent combination.
At the 12:32 mark of the opening half Sophia Coer fed Katie Guerin a pass in the middle and Guerin boomed the ball into the upper left part of the net for a 1-0 lead. Slightly more than four minutes later Thomaston was at it again.
This time Liv Blasko fed Coer who danced in the middle of the field and laced the ball into the right side of the net for a 2-0 edge.
“We gave (Thomaston) too much space to operate and they have one of the best precision passing teams we’ve played all year,” Lyman coach Mark Morello said.
“We were cool and composed and it showed,” Guerin said.
Lyman did not go quietly into the night despite the halftime deficit. The Bulldogs (14-4-1) put pressure on the Thomaston side of the field in the second but had few quality shots as the Bears tightened up at the right time.
“Lyman came out more pumped up (in the second half but we shut them down with our defense,” said Coer.
The Bears put any potential drama to rest with 10:05 to go when Coer scored from the left side off a pass from Saunders. The goal came just 25 seconds after a goal was waved off for a penalty on a corner kick.
“I always tell the team that a 2-0 lead is the worse to have because when the other team scores it is a momentum shift,” Ewart said. “I really liked it when we scored the third goal especially after just having one waved off.”
The Bears outshot Lyman, 15-10 with goalie Kara Sacco coming up with six saves including a beauty in the first half when she tipped a laser shot over the crossbar.
Three down and one to go and the Bears look ready.
“We’re just really strong-willed and gritty,” Guerin said. “We don’t want to lose.”
And they haven’t with one left to go.