NEW LONDON — Meagan Dreher scored two of Stonington’s three second-half goals as the Bears downed Waterford 3-0 in an ECC game on Friday.
The Lancers (5-5-1, 5-4-1 ECC) fell to the Bears 8-0 earlier this season and decided to pack things in defensively. The approach worked in the early going as Stonington (11-1, 10-1) was shut out in the first half.
“The first half was a little slow. Their strategy was to keep it out of the circle and they had everybody back on defense and we had a hard time getting it into the circle. It took us a while to figure out how to get it into the circle. In the second half, we got some corners, we didn’t score on any corners, but it allowed us to get some numbers in the circle,” Stonington coach Jenna Tucchio said.
The Bears finally broke through with a goal 8 minutes and 45 seconds into the second half. Molly Crowley snapped the scoreless tie with an unassisted goal, her 13th of the season.
Dreher gave Stonington a bit of breathing room when she scored her first of the game with 18:10 elapsed in the half, making it 2-0. The junior scored her second of the game, and third of the season, with 19:31 gone by in the half.
Stonington goalie Annie Knizeski only needed to stop one shot to record the shutout, the 10th of the season for the Bears.
The Bears still have some work to do to clinch their fifth consecutive ECC regular season title. Stonington has three ECC games left. Two of those games are against Killingly and Norwich Free Academy, who each had two ECC losses going into a head-to-head match-up on Friday. Killingly beat Stonington earlier this year.
Stonington went into Friday’s game with the third best record in Class S behind Nonnewaug and Thomaston. The Bears play a nonleague game today at Avon at 3 p.m. Avon has the seventh best record in Class M.