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Thomas’ defense is key to victory

PLAINFIELD, Conn. — Sarah Thomas played a key role in Stonington High’s bounce-back, 2-1 girls’ soccer win against Plainfield in Thursday afternoon’s ECC Medium Division game.

“She made two very, very key tackles that stopped breakawys. Sarah had a spectacular game at center back,” Stonington coach Dave Walsh said.

The Bears were coming off a 3-2 loss to NFA in which the winning goal was scored on a penalty kick with just seconds remaining.

“We kind of felt we got robbed in the NFA game, and this team beat us on our turf and we knew we didn’t really show them how we can play so we went up there with a mission to show them how we can play and we showed them,” Walsh said.

Gabby Silvia scored the goal, assisted by Tara Watrous — a combination that has clicked a few times this season.

With the ball just outside the 18-yard box on, Watrous crossed from right to left looking at the goal. Silvia received the pass about 12 yards from goal, quickly settled the ball and put a low shot in the net.

Plainfield’s keeper, Serena Gunter, was moving from right to left when the shot was taken and couldn’t keep it out of the goal.

“The keeper never had a chance,” Walsh said.

Silvia’s ninth goal of the season came 17 minutes, 43 seconds into the game.

Thomas’ two big tackles and a diving save by Bear keeper Gabi Hoops occured after the goal.

“They had a girl on the left outside that was very, very fast and twice she beat the defenders and was going in on goal. Sarah came across and tackled the ball, won it and played it back to start a counter,” Walsh said.

Thomas, a sophomore, has been playing center back, or sweeper as some call it, all season. She played outside fullback last season.

Stonington (5-6, 4-2 ECC-Medium) came into the game in a three-way tie for second place with Plainfield (7-4, 3-3 ECC-Medium) and Montville.

The Bears finished with nine shots and five corners, and Hoops made three saves.

The Panthers had three shots, one corner, and Gunter made five saves.

Stonington’s next game is Tuesday at home against Killingly, 6:30 p.m.

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