STONINGTON — Two-time state field hockey champion Guilford held off Stonington, 3-2, on Friday in the season opener for both teams.

The Grizzlies led 1-0 through three quarters before both teams combined for four goals in the final 15-minute period.

"Guilford's attack was fast and strong," Bears coach Jenna Tucchio said in an email. "[Our] defense held them off most of the game. Anne Drago was a standout tonight at left fullback."

Guilford scored first in the fourth quarter to make it 2-0 with about 13½ minutes remaining. Stonington broke through about two minutes later on a goal by Maddie Mendez, assisted by Hannah Nulick.

Guilford scored again to push its lead back to two goals before Stonington's Sam Harris scored on an assist by Nulick with just under 4 minutes left to make it 3-2. The Grizzlies were able to hold on from there.

"It took us most of the game for us to figure out an attack," Tucchio said, "but in the fourth quarter we were able to get a surge and counterattack for two solid goals."

Guilford finished with 15 penalty corners to the Bears' one. Shots were unavailable.

The Grizzlies won back-to-back Class M state titles in 2018 and 2019 and were the runners-up in 2016. Last year's state tournament was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bears next play at Woodstock Academy on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

— Ken Sorensen

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