Girls soccer: Masuk earns spot in Class L final

Behind a pair of second-half strikes, the Masuk High girls soccer team posted a 2-0 win over Farmington High in the Class L state semifinals on Wednesday night at Falcon Field in Meriden.

Sophomores Christina Moniz and Gia DeLorenzo scored goals over the final 34 minutes to power the No. 5 seed Panthers past the 17th-seeded Indians. Masuk advanced to the state final for the second time in school history, with its last trip coming back in 2012, and will be looking for its first state championship.

Masuk’s opponent in the final on Saturday will be third-seeded St. Joseph High of Trumbull (17-1-1), the defending Class L champion. The championship match will kick off at 2 p.m. at Middletown High.

“We want it really bad,” Moniz said, as the Panthers seek their first state crown.

With 34:53 left, Moniz pounced on a loose ball after a Farmington defender cleared a shot off the line. The sophomore corralled the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and fired it into the open goal.

“I kind of didn’t even think about it,” Moniz said. “As soon as it went in, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I scored!’”

DeLorenzo doubled the lead with 22:26 remaining, surging down the left flank, cutting back inside and lofting a shot past Farmington keeper Carolyn Ives.

“We had to work out a few kinks coming out of the first half and going to the second half,” Brainard said. “It was just a little more possession, simple passes, break them down. Team effort out here, we’ve been playing solid defense the whole season.

That effort gave the Panthers, an eclectic mix of underclassmen and seniors, a chance at hoisting their first state plaque.

“They (the seniors) have done a phenomenal job of bringing them along at the level we need them to play at,” Brainard said.

Calli Sederquest made one save in net to record the clean sheet for the Panthers.

St. Joseph edged Daniel Hand of Madison, 1-0, in the other semifinal.

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