STONINGTON — Stonington High’s field hockey team came out with a little extra fire Tuesday.
Scoring early added fuel.
Elizabeth Morrison scored 34 seconds into the game and the Bears went on to defeat Killingly 6-2 and win the Eastern Connecticut Conference title for the 27th time in the last 29 seasons.
All but one of the titles was won outright.
Killingly had beaten Stonington 1-0 on Oct. 9 leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the Bears. And Stonington was coming off a 3-0 nonleague loss to Avon on Saturday.
“They were hurting from those two losses. They knew if they didn’t beat Killingly, the championship would be in jeopardy so there were a lot of emotions out there,” Stonington coach Jenna Tucchio said. “In the first 10 to 15 minutes we were working as unit, moving as a unit, so I definitely think it was one of better-played games.”
A win by Killingly (8-4-1, 8-3-1 ECC) would have left the teams tied in the loss column.
Morrison scored the first three goals — 34 seconds into the game, 13:15 in and 21:20 in. All three goals were off a rebound of a shot by someone else.
“She really does (have a nose for the ball),” Tucchio said.
“And her reaction time is very fast. It helps playing center forward compared to a wing. Libby very rarely lets a ball get behind her. The ball goes off the goalie’s pads and it’s almost like her stick is a magnet.”
Morrison, who came into the season with the school record for goals in a season (28) and a career (53), now has 19 goals with at least three games remaining.
Molly Crowley made it 4-0 with 7:08 left in the first half, assisted by Tia LaFrance Boyce. It was Crowley’s 14th goal..
Meagan Dreher scored 2:12 into the second half, assisted by Morrison.
Killingly made it 5-1 about 10 minutes later.
Abby Blanchard scored the final Stonington goal, unassisted midway through the second half, and the Redgals scored the final goal of the game 46 seconds later.
Stonington finished with 28 shots and seven penalty corners. The Bears didn’t score on any of their corners, which is rare.
Killingly had seven shots and five corners. Stonington had five saves, all by backup goalie Cameron Dreher in the second half.
Tucchio said center back Meg O’Lari played an oustanding game.
“Her and Tia (center midfielder) really controlled the tempo of the game with their speed and they were very dynamic,” Tucchio said.
“Any time the ball got behind Tia, she was right there. She really stood out in the center of the field with her speed and keeping the ball moving forward.
“And a lot of balls played into the circle were coming from Tia.”
Stonington has another ECC game on Friday at home against NFA at 6:30 p.m.
OAKDALE — For the first time in almost a month Stonington High did not score a goal, but it did not result in a loss in Tuesday’s ECC-Medium contest with Montville.
Instead, the Bears and Indians finished with a scoreless tie that included two 10-minute overtime periods.
“We had a lot of good chances, we just hit them right at the goalkeeper,” Stonington coach Dave Walsh said. “We had the better of the play. We just couldn’t finish.”
Walsh said the Bears did a good job of possessing the ball, put together some solid attacks and defended well.
The Bears (7-6-1, 6-2-2 ECC-Medium) were coming off a 1-1 tie against league-leading Waterford on Saturday.
“We played as well as we did against Waterford,” Walsh said.
The last time the Bears did not score was a 2-0 loss to Plainfield on Sept. 23. Stonington has gone 6-2-2 since then.
Stonington finished with 14 shots, while Montville (8-4-2, 5-4-1 ECC-Medium) had five. Both teams had one corner kick. Gabi Hoops made three saves for the Bears.
Walsh said he is uncertain where the Bears stand for making the eight-team ECC tournament.
“We are in limbo. We need some help and we need to beat Ledyard Friday,” Walsh said.
The Bears host the Colonels at 3:45 p.m.
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