WETHERSFIELD, CT — On Oct. 22, the Stonington High School field hockey team handed North Branford its only loss of the season. On Saturday, for the second straight year, the two teams met in the Class S championship game, and the Thunderbirds took full advantage of the opportunity to avenge their lone defeat.
A game which was scoreless throughout most of the first half turned into an offensive explosive following intermission for North Branford, resulting in a 4-0 victory and a second straight title. It was the sixth state crown overall for the top-seeded Thunderbirds, all under the helm of head coach Babby Nuhn.
Keana Criscuolo broke the scoreless deadlock with 1:05 remaining before halftime, following some great ball control play by teammate Sophia Toto. North Branford controlled play the majority of the opening 30 minutes, as Stonington, the No. 3 seed, was held without a shot on goal the entire first half.
The Thunderbirds put the game out of reach with a pair of third-quarter goals. Toto scored off an assist from Criscuolo, then Criscuolo tallied her second of the game following a set-up from Lily Ardito.
Alivia Schmidt concluded the scoring near the midpoint of the fourth quarter, assisted by Criscuolo.
Madi DiStefano had to stop just one shot to earn the shutout in goal for the Thunderbirds.