STONINGTON — Stonington High junior Sam Montalto scored three times to become the all-time leading goal scorer in program history Friday night in the Bears' 5-1 boys soccer win over Ledyard.

Montalto has 66 career goals, surpassing the 63 that Joe Ponte (Class of 1989) scored during his Bears career.

Montalto got the tiebreaking goal on a penalty kick with six minutes remaining in the first half. Montalto was tripped in the 18-yard box resulting in the penalty kick.

Montalto scored his next two goals on headers. Will Sawin had the assist on the first one, and Owen Lindenmayer assisted on the second.

The 6-foot-3 Montalto scored 33 goals his sophomore year and 11 his freshman year. He has 22 this season.

"His first four to five steps, when he gets the ball, are very quick. He gets past defenders pretty quick," Stonington coach Paul deCastro said. "And he has tremendous power when he strikes the ball. He has speed and explosion to the goal."

Ponte put together one of the best seasons in school history in 1988, when he scored 28 goals and had 27 assists.

"Joe was more of a playmaker, a midfielder," said deCastro, a 1992 Stonington graduate who scored more than 50 goals in his career despite missing his junior year with a broken leg. "He could really do it all and he was good in the air."

For deCastro, who first started coaching Montalto at the U10 level, it was special to see him break the record.

"It's obviously great. He's put in a lot of time and committed to work to get better. I'm super proud of him and it's really gratifying," deCastro said.

Lindenmayer and Brandon Tavares also scored for the Bears. Anders Dahl and Montalto added assists.

Stonington, the top seed in the regional postseason tournament, will host a game on Wednesday.

— Keith Kimberlin

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