SUFFIELD, Sept. 15 – Grace Giancola scored her first goal of the season with 2:01 left in overtime to lift the Canton High field hockey team to a 3-2 season-opening win over Suffield Tuesday.
The host Wildcats had a 2-1 lead at halftime but the Warriors tied the match on a Emma Charron goal with 17:52 left in the game with the assist from Ericka Nedderman.
Canton (1-0, 1-0 NCCC) also received a first half goal from sophomore Emily Gabrielian in the first half. Suffield (0-2, 0-1 NCCC) received goals from freshman Anna Casinghino and Mackenzie Rusczyk. Giancola had the game-winning goal in last fall’s season-opening win over Somers and in a 2-1 OT win over Suffield last October.
Canton is looking to build upon a good season a year ago. The Warriors went 7-9-0-1 before being eliminated by eventual Class S champion Lewis Mills, 1-0, in the second round of the state tournament. Canton did beat Valley Regional, 2-0, for its first tournament win since 2007.
Canton has six seniors on the team – Hannah Bonini, Charron, Jade Crumpler, Kaelyn Oliver, Sarah First and goalie Natalie Nardello – and six juniors, including Giancola, who had a team-leading 10 goals a year ago. First earned All-NCCC honors a year ago while Nardello is beginning her fourth year in net. Nardello had six shutouts a year ago for Canton.
With the move of Avon to the Central Connecticut Conference, the Warriors had to pick up another two non-league contests. The Warriors face New Fairfield and Westbrook along with a home-and-away series with Litchfield of the Berkshire League and Haddam-Killingworth.
Canton returns to the field Friday afternoon when they host Stafford at 3:45 p.m. in their first home game of the season.
Canton 3, Suffield 2, OT
Canton (1-0) 1 2 1 — 3
Suffield (0-2) 2 0 0 — 2
Goals: First half — Emily Gabrielian (C) 19:49; Anna Casinghino (S) 13:49 from Mackenzie Rusczyk; Rusczyk (S) 12:25 from Mary Beth Heyse; Second half — Emma Charron (C) 17:52 from Ericka Nedderman; OT — Grace Giancola (C) 2:01