Ellington ousts Montville girls from Class M soccer tourney
Montville — Montville coach April Parady-Walter used the words "chemistry" and "personality" in addressing her team following Wednesday night's season-ending loss to Ellington in the Class M girls' soccer state tournament.
"The six seniors have played at least 10 years together," Parady-Walter said moments earlier. "The six. The sensational six. The underclassmen have caught on to that chemistry."
The Indians' personality, meanwhile, shone through as they listened to the coach, alternately crying and laughing at themselves over their emotions.
Ninth-seeded Ellington edged No. 8 Montville 1-0 in the second round of the tournament, getting a goal on a breakaway from sophomore Alyssa Stetson with 3 minutes, 13 seconds remaining. Ellington moved on to meet top-seeded Lewis Mills in Friday's quarterfinal round.
Montville loses seniors Lauren Velazquez, Olivia Meehan, Kara Beaupre, Michaela MacCracken, Katelin Price and record-setting goalie Lauren Ross from this year's team which finished 15-6 with a share of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division III title.
"I'm really proud of the team. It's a tough way to end it, but I'm really proud," said Beaupre, the Indians' center midfielder, who helped Montville control the bulk of the play against Ellington. "I feel like we definitely outplayed them. We definitely had a lot of chances. ... That's what happens: sometimes the last final shot doesn't have enough on it.
"This was one of the best seasons."
Montville spent the second half pushing the ball on to Ellington's side of the field, playing a strong game of possession.
MacCracken had a free kick with 23 minutes remaining nearly headed into the goal. Velazquez and Beaupre also had free kicks bounce around inside the penalty area to no avail.
Stetson, meanwhile, got away on the Montville side of the field with time running down and put a shot to the left of Ross for the game's only goal.
Parady-Walter lamented the fact that Montville also lost to Ellington 1-0 in last year's Class M state tournament. It also happened to be the same date, Nov. 7.
"Same day, same outcome," the coach said.
But she felt like the Indians prepared well for the physical nature of the game and gave their best effort.
"One hundred percent," Parady-Walter said, asked if she felt her team played well. "We knew it was going to be a very physical match, a lot of banging. We knew we'd be very evenly matched.
"We had a great season, a great run. They played hard. It wasn't one of those boring ones. They played very physical, they played with intensity. We had plenty of opportunities, we just couldn't finish it."
Montville tied Stonington for the Division III title during the regular season and reached the championship game of the ECC Division II tournament, where the Indians lost a 1-0 decision to Stonington.
They improved their seed from 16th last year to eighth this year and won their Class M opener 3-0 Monday vs. Griswold, giving Ross the 34th shutout of her career.
Stories that may interest you
Ledyard High School named Allyn Quibble head wrestling coach and Tim Strong boys' outdoor track coach on Tuesday, as announced by athletic director and assistant principal Jim Buonocore.