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Crusaders bounce Bears out of playoffs

MILFORD, Conn. — Lauralton Hall scored early and late and eliminated Stonington High’s girls’ soccer team from the Class S state tournament with a 2-0 first-round win Monday afternoon.

Sarah Hasselkamp gave the Crusaders a 1-0 lead 6 minutes and 12 second after the opening kickoff. Mia Mulin clinched the win with a goal with 4:40 remaning. Both goals were unassisted.

Lauralton Hall (8-2-6) is seeded 11th. Stonington (7-9-2) was the 22nd seed.

“They’re a good team,” Bears coach Dave Walsh said. “We were able to hang with them 70, 80 odd minutes. They got little luckier than we did.

“They have big, physical kids. They’re able to hang onto the ball and they pretty much dominated the midfield. We just can’t match up with physical play, but we hung in there. We gave them fits in the back and Gabi (Hoops) made couple real nice saves. We just couldn’t get much good service through the midfield to the forwards.”

Stonington managed just two shots on goal and neither tested Crusader keeper Emma Dunleavy.

Lauralton had six attempts and two corner kicks. The Bears had one corner.

Walsh said the Crusaders have speed up top to go with the size and the players who scored are very fast.

The first goal came on a ball played into the penalty area from the right flank. Hasselkamap beat a defender and scored from about 10 yards out.

Stonington was forcing the issue trying to score a tying goal when Mulin scored.

“With 10 minutes left we pulled Sarah (Thomas) out of back and put her in middle to try get little more attack,” Walsh said. “We were pounding it at them and they knocked it out. She (Mulin) got it at midfield, went in, beat our last back, got around Gabi and scored from 12 yards out.”

Walsh said the smaller, younger (no seniors) Bears gave it all they had.

“They were overwhelming getting (physically). Players were getting knocked off the ball all over the place,” Walsh said. “I talked to their coach. He said the conference (Southwest) they play in is a very physical conference with I think four double-L schools, a bunch of Ls, and a couple of Ms. He said believe it or not they’re one of the weaker teams (physically) in their conference.”

Walsh said the Crusaders, who started four freshmen, played clean; nothing dirty at all.

On Wednesday Lauralton Hall, a Catholic all-girls school, will host No. 27 Sheehan (6-8-3) which knocked off No. 2 Rocky Hill 2-0 Monday.

It’s the first time that Stonington finished with a sub-.500 record since 2009.

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