H-K Girls’ Soccer Wins Second-Straight Shoreline Title
The Haddam-Killingworth girls’ soccer squad won its second-consecutive Shoreline Conference title by earning a 3-2 victory against Old Lyme in the tournament final at Old Lyme High School on Nov. 16. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source)
Senior captain Morgan Madore (holding trophy) and the athletes on the H-K girls’ soccer team celebrate after defending their league title with a 3-2 win over Old Lyme in the Shoreline Conference Tournament championship game. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source)
Junior Yumi Imai scored a key goal early in the second half to help H-K defeat Old Lyme in the Shoreline Conference Tournament final and finish the year at 9-2-1 overall. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source)
Senior Kedarjah Lewis scored a pivotal insurance goal when the Cougars beat Old Lyme to take home the Shoreline Conference title for the second year in a row. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source)
Senior Autumn Walton (right) had a goal and an assist to lift the H-K girls’ soccer team to a 3-2 triumph versus Old Lyme with the Shoreline Conference title on the line. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source)
The story of the Haddam-Killingworth girls’ soccer team’s season was all about overcoming adversity to reach the goal of winning a second-straight Shoreline Conference championship. In their final game of the season, the Cougars accomplished that goal.
No. 3 seed H-K defended its league title by earning a 3-2 win over No. 1 seed Old Lyme in the Shoreline Conference Tournament final on Nov. 16. The Cougars’ victory avenged their 2-1 loss to Old Lyme in the regular season as H-K made it back-to-back championships, while finishing the year with an overall record of 9-2-1.
H-K had to play several regular-season games without junior striker Yumi Imai and, on top of that, junior center back Leah Sosnowski was unavailable during the postseason. However, those setbacks couldn’t prevent the Cougars from staying focused on their end of goal of once again attaining Shoreline supremacy.
“It will be a season that we will never forget,” Coach Shea said. “First, we wondered if we would even play. Then the season was delayed, then shortened. Each week, we were happy to still be playing. We saw some schools impacted due to the virus. If that wasn’t enough, we learned to play through our own adversity, losing one of our strikers Yumi Imai for a chunk of games. And recently, we have been without our leading center back Leah Sosnowski.”
H-K jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute of the Shoreline final when senior Autumn Walton put one in the back of the net for the Cougars. H-K maintained its 1-0 lead for the rest of the first half.
Six minutes into the second half, Imai scored on an assist by Walton to give the Cougars a 2-0 advantage. Old Lyme answered with a goal in the 54th minute, but senior Kedarjah Lewis netted an insurance goal on an assist from sophomore Maggie Singer about 13 minutes later to extend the lead to 3-1. The Wildcats scored the final goal of the game with around 2:30 left to play, but it was too little, too late as H-K walked off the field with the Shoreline title in its grasp for the second year in a row.
Junior goalie Brianna Nugent made 12 saves in net for Coach Shea’s squad. Shea said that he was proud of his team for maneuvering past every challenge that was thrown its way this season.
“We overcame these obstacles and still met our goal of winning the Shoreline Conference for the second year in a row,” said Shea. “I’m very proud of this team.”
H-K had advanced to the Shoreline Conference final by earning a 6-1 home win versus No. 6 seed Cromwell in the quarterfinal round on Nov. 11, followed by a 2-0 victory at 2nd-seeded East Hampton in the semis on Nov. 13. Singer and junior Hadley Commerford both scored two goals for the Cougars in the Cromwell win, while sophomores Caroline Conte and Julia Favalora had one goal apiece. Lewis scored both goals for H-K in its win against East Hampton.
H-K’s roster includes senior captains Kaitlyn Parri and Morgan Madore; fellows seniors Kedarjah Lewis, Morgan Shultz, Autumn Walton, Sophie Gromala, Kelsey Lonergan, Mia Rubino, and Mai-Ly Criscoulo; juniors Yumi Imai, Hadley Commerford, Leah Sosnowski, Sophia Torello, and Brianna Nugent; sophomores Caroline Conte, Leah Chester, Julia Favarola, and Maggie Singer; and freshman Rory Parri.
Madore, who played her final game in a H-K uniform during the Shoreline final, felt grateful that the Cougars were able to have a season and even happier about the fact that they are now two-time Shoreline Conference champions.
“Today felt like all the work we put in didn’t just go to waste, but rather left us with a sweet victory,” said Madore, a midfielder. “Freshman and sophomore year were years that H-K girls’ soccer didn’t really showcase who we were. But going into junior and senior year, we wanted to prove to everyone on the shoreline that we will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.”
Even though she won’t be H-K next year, Madore feels confident that the team is going to see continued success and looks forward to coming back to watch her friends play. When all was said and done, Madore couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish her high school career.
“Winning two years in a row gave us more confidence than any other team that walked off the field this season,” Madore said. “Senior year was difficult due to the challenge of a pandemic, but in the end, it was a dream come to win the Shoreline Conference.”