Coming into last Sunday’s Class LL title game, the Cheshire High School girls’ soccer team was looking to finish a historic year atop the state. However at Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford, the defending champions kept the top-seeded Rams one win shy of an unbeaten season.
Staples (third seed, 16-2-4) took a 1-0 halftime lead and then opened the second half with three goals to pave the way to a 4-1 victory. Cheshire finished with a team-best 21-1-1 record.
The Wreckers had chance to take the lead with 25:45 left in the first half, but a shot hit the cross bar and junior goalkeeper Sophie Bates followed up with a diving save.
Staples returned to score first on a goal by freshman Natalie Chudowsky with 21:32 remaining in the opening half. Bates made another save at the 8:44 mark, keeping Cheshire’s deficit at just 1-0 at intermission.
Coming back for the second half, sophomore Annabel Edwards scored three times in a span of less than seven minutes to propel Staples to a 4-0 advantage. Junior Evelyn Chudowsky had two assists in that spurt and senior Samantha DeWitt also set up a goal.
Cheshire had an opportunity on a corner kick, but a header by senior tri-captain Gabby Tirado deflected off the cross bar.
In staying persistent, the Rams snapped the shutout with 9:56 remaining. Senior Haley Shaw made a cross into the box and when the ball was deflected, freshman Abby Sink converted on the rebound.
CHS last reached the Class LL final in 2008. A member of that team, Kylee McIntosh led the Rams back to the title game as head coach this year.
After a record-setting season, Hurlbut, senior tri-captain Helene Lopez, Tirado, Amber Casner, Allie Fox, Lizzy Klem, Violet Putnam, and the Shaw sisters.
This story will be updated with comments.