STONINGTON — Dave Walsh has seen a lot of things happen in his long tenure as Stonington High girls’ soccer coach.
Unfortunately for him, what he witnessed Tuesday was not a first.
Norwich Free Academy scored on a penalty kick with 20 seconds remaining in the out-of-division game between ECC schools and beat the Bears 3-2.
“It’s happened more than once,” Walsh said. “We lost in the semis of the first ECC tournament to Waterford with 2 seconds left.”
Walsh said he has never been on the winning side of one of those conclusions.
Gabbi Wise booted the penalty kick into the lower left of the goal. The PK was called because an NFA player was knocked down in the box. Walsh said his keeper, Gabi Hoops, had no chance to stop it.
NFA (2-6-1) had tied the score just 1:40 earlier on an unassisted goal by Wise — a free kick from about 25 yards.
“The ball was played high. Gabi was coming out for the ball and ran into a player and kind of got knocked down and the ball went over her head,” Walsh said.
All of the scoring was in the second half after the Bears wasted about six very good scoring chances, Walsh said.
Maya Bell put the visitors in front with 13:40 left in the game.
Tara Watrous tied the score with 7:42 left, assisted by Gabby Silvia, and Silvia put the Bears in front 2-1 off a corner kick by Sarah Thomas.
“It was played into about the middle of the box. Gabby came in, jumped up and volleyed the ball in,” Walsh said.
Walsh said the Bears (4-6) have scored on corners three or four times.
“Sarah takes all our free kicks. She hits a real strong ball for a little kid. She’s a very good player. She’s very accurate and she can put the ball where she wants to over a range of about 40 yards,” Walsh said.
Stonington outshot NFA 12-5 and had the game’s only three corners. Rosa Conta made seven saves for the Wildcats and Hoops had two for the Bears.
Stonington’s next game is Thursday at Plainfield, 3:45 p.m.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Bears finish 5-0
STONINGTON — Stonington edged Bacon Academy 28-29 and defeated Plainfield 20-43 on Tuesday.
The sweep of the final ECC Medium Division dual meet gives the Bears their third undefeated league dual-meet season in the last six campaigns.
Jacob Aubrecht didn’t score for the Bears, but his effort was as important as anyone’s.
The top five for each team score, but the sixth and seventh finishers can force the other team to place lower and affect the outcome.
That’s what happened because Aubrecht finished ahead of Bacon’s fourth and fifth runners forcing the Bobcats to take two extra points and swinging the outcome Stonington’s way.
Led by race-winner Griffen Waller, Bacon took the top two spots against Stonington. Waller ran the 3.1 miles in 17 minutes, 24 seconds.
Stonington’s Kieran Thornell took third in 18:17 and Frank Sternberg finished fourth against the Bobcats in 18:22.
Then came Henry Kaczman (6th, 18:32), Will Robinson (7th, 18:42) and Sean Crowley (8th, 18:42) to round out the scoring.
Aubrecht finished right behind them in 18:44, seven seconds ahead of Bacon’s fourth-place runner.
Overall, Thornell was fourth, Sternberg fifth, Kaczman seventh, Robinson eighth and Crowley ninth.
Bacon and Stonington came into the meet 3-0 in the league. The Bobcats (8-2 overall) defeated Plainfield 19-42. Plainfield fell to 2-8, 1-4 ECC-Medium.
Stonington (8-3, 5-0 ECC-Medium) is not yet the league champion. That will be determined at the ECC championships when the Bears will again score against the five teams in the Medium.
Stonington won the Medium title last season and in 2008. The Bears are 23-6 in ECC-Medium dual meets in the past six seasons.
Stonington is off until the ECCs, which are Thursday, Oct. 17 at Norwich Golf Course at 3 p.m.
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — Six first-half goals allowed the Bears to play mostly JV playerss in the second half of Tuesday’s ECC game.
Elizabeth Morrison, Casey Williams and Lauren Hultgren each scored twice and Williams added an assist.
Molly Crowley, Tatyana LaFrance Boyce and Mallorie Geiger scored the other three goals for the Bears.
Sam Shroyer and Claire Morehouse each had an assist.
Stonington (7-0, 7-0 ECC) outscored Windham 21-0 in their two contests in 2013.
Cameron Dreher had two saves in net for Stonington and the Bears outshot the Whippets 20-2.
Windham fell to 0-8 overall and in the ECC.
Next up for the Bears is a road game today in Killingly at 4 p.m.
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Stonington drops two
STONINGTON — Plainfield completed an undefeated run through the ECC-Medium dual meet schedule Tuesday, beating Stonington 19-36 and Bacon Academy 23-32.
Bacon defeated Stonington 17-39. All three teams came into the meet with 3-0 league records.
Plainfield’s Kerri Ruffo won the 3.1-mile race in 19 minutes, 6 seconds. Antonia Reynolds led Stonington with a ninth-place finish in 22:40.
Elize Huysman was 10th in 22:43. Serena Monteiro took 12th (22:53), Anna Bornstein finished 13th (23:11) and Caralyn Granato finished 16th (23:47).
Plainfield is undefeated at 10-0. Bacon is 8-2.
Stonington’s next meet is the ECC championships, a week from Thursday at Norwich Golf Course. The girls’ varsity race starts at 3:35 p.m.