STONINGTON — It was sudden death in more ways than one for the Stonington High boys’ soccer team Wednesday.
Deadlocked with Ledyard, 1-1, in overtime of its regular season final game, Stonington needed a victory to clinch a spot in the ECC tournament next week. A tie would have qualified the Bears, but a loss would have allowed Wheeler to slip past Stonington into the eight-team field.
Chris Tsang made all the playoff scenarios academic when he scored in close, converting off a rebound of his own penalty shot, with 29 seconds left in the second overtime to lift the Bears over the Colonels, 2-1, in an ECC out-of-division game.
Stonington (10-4-2) grabbed the seventh seed based on its record in ECC-generated games and will play No. 2 Windham, the ECC-Small champ, Monday at site and time to be announced. Ledyard finished its season 2-13-1.
“I was mistaken earlier in the week when I thought we had already clinched an ECC berth,” Stonington coach Paul deCastro said. “A loss would have knocked us out, which would have been a shame after we upset Montville to put ourselves in this position. Knowing we had to win to get in added some pressure, but it’s a good experience for us.”
Tsang gave Stonington a 1-0 lead with just over 20 minutes left in regulation on an assist from Collin Krzyzaniak. Ledyard tied the score on a penalty kick by Troy Hedman.
Stonington received a penalty kick with under a minute left in the second overtime when Ethan Murphy dribbled inside the scoring box and was fouled by a Ledyard player.
Tsang took the kick and banged a shot off of Ledyard goalie Shane Fors’ chest. Tsang darted in to get the rebound and kicked it into the corner of the net.
“I’d say it was an obvious foul and a good call for the penalty shot,” deCastro said.
Steve Zelepos made five saves for Stonington, which held an 8-6 edge in shots on goal.