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Avon boys share state championship with Branford

The ball draws a crowd of Branford and Avon players in Saturday's Class L championship game in Middletown. (New Haven Register photo by Peter Paguaga)

The ball draws a crowd of Branford and Avon players in Saturday’s Class L championship game in Middletown. (New Haven Register photo by Peter Paguaga)

MIDDLETOWN, Nov. 15 – For the Avon High boys soccer team, the ending of Saturday’s Class L championship game wasn’t quite what they had in mind. 

The Falcons were looking for a state championship – their first since 2000. They outshot Branford High by a 28-2 margin. Falcon goalie Dan Magrini didn’t make a save. Junior Riley Strassner scored his team-leading 33rd goal of the season. 

Yet, when the game was complete, No. 11 Avon and No. 17 Branford stood together as co-champions after the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. There are no penalty kicks  in the championship game after the two 10-minute overtime periods. 

“Coming off the field, they were crushed,” Avon coach Dave Zlatin told the New Haven Register. “But I was trying to be positive with them, that it’s still a state title. By the time they were posing for the pictures, I think it had begun to sink in.” 

It’s Avon’s eighth state championship in school history. Avon lost in the Class L final in 2011 and 2012.

Click here to read more on the game from GameTIme CT.

Avon 1, Branford 1, 2 OT
At Middletown
Avon (16-1-4)               0  1  0  0  — 1
Branford (13-6-3)         0  1  0  0  — 1
Goals: Riley Strassner (A); Aaron Radulski (B); Saves: Nick Cordero (B) 11, Dan Magrini (A) 0; Shots: Avon, 28-2

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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