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Staples is No. 1 in final state coaches top 10 poll; Granby finishes ranked No. 4

Avon’s Megan Gibley and Farmington’s Kylee Ficks, left, battle for the ball during a Class M field hockey tournament game in Avon. The Falcons won, 1-0.

For the second straight year, Staples is the No. 1 team in top 10 state coaches field hockey poll. The Wreckers (21-1-1), who beat FCIAC rival Darien in the Class L championship game, 4-2, beat undefeated Guilford by 10 points in voting by nine state coaches.

Guilford (23-0) beat Hand, 3-2, to win their second straight Class M championship and extend their winning streak to 31 consecutive games.

Darien (20-2-1) came in at No. 3 with Class S champion Granby (18-0-1) finishing fourth in the poll. The Bears handed No. 5 North Branford (20-1-1) their first loss of the season in the Class S championship game with a 1-0 decision.

It was Granby’s best finish in the top 10 poll since finishing third in the final poll following the 2011 season — their last state championship before Saturday. The Bears won 18 straight matches after battling to a tie with Westbrook in the season-opening contest.

Staples won their third straight Class L title and a share of their fourth consecutive championship. The Wreckers shared the 2016 title. For the FCIAC, it was the 13th time in the last 16 years that a FCIAC team was selected as the No. 1 team in the final top 10 coaches poll.

Guilford scored the first three goals of the game and held off a Hand rally to win the Class M crown. Granby scored off a penalty corner with 1:42 left in the first half to outlast the Thunderbirds.

Field hockey state coaches poll
Final, Nov. 25, 2019

Team Rec Pts LW Class
1. Staples (5) 21-1-1 154 4 L
2. Guilford (3) 23-0 144 t2 M
3. Darien 20-2-1 130 t2 L
4. Granby 18-0-1 114 6 S
5. North Branford 20-1-1 88 5 S
6. Hand 14-8 79 nr M
7. Norwalk 15-5 68 9 L
8. Immaculate 20-2 54 7 S
9. Westbrook 15-3-3 51 12 S
10. Ridgefield 16-3-0-2 49 11 L
Other receiving votes: Newtown (18-2) 15, New Canaan (16-4) 14
Coaches voting: Matt Ariniello, Immaculate; Janet Dickey, Westbrook; Dawn Hough, New Milford; Sandy Wickman Mason, Granby; Kitty Palmer, Guilford; Maureen Perkins, Glastonbury; Kyle Seaburg, Norwalk; Jenna Tucchio, Stonington

Recent top 10 poll champions
2018: Staples; 2017: Hand; 2016: Darien; 2015: Wilton; 2014: Glastonbury; 2013: Darien; 2012: Darien; 2011: Cheshire; 2010: Darien; 2009: Darien; 2008: Darien; 2007: Greenwich; 2005: Greenwich; 2004: Fairfield Warde; 2003: Pomperaug; 2002: Pomperaug; 2001: Shepaug Valley; 2000: Granby

League tournaments

Southwest Conference Tournament
Quarterfinals
Masuk 3, Pomperaug 2, OT
Immaculate 6, Bethel 0
New Milford 3, New Fairfield 0
Newtown 6, Joel Barlow 0
Semifinals
Immaculate 3, Masuk 0
New Milford 2, Newtown 1, 2 OT
Championship
Thursday, November 7
Immaculate 1, New Milford 0

Southern Connecticut Conference Tournament
Quarterfinals
Guilford 7, Hamden 1
Amity 2, Sacred Heart Academy 0
Branford 3, Mercy 0
Hand 3, Cheshire 2 (6-4 penalty strokes)
Semifinals
Guilford 2, Hand 1
Amity 3, Branford 1
Championship
Thursday, November 7
Guilford 1, Amity 0

FCIAC Tournament
Quarterfinals
Darien 4, Fairfield Warde 0
Ridgefield 1, Wilton 0
New Canaan 7, Norwalk 2
Staples 2, Greenwich 0
Semifinals
Darien 3, New Canaan 2
Staples 3, Ridgefield 1
Championship
Thursday, November 7
Darien 0, Staples 0, co-champions

Eastern Connecticut Conference Tournament
Semifinals
East Lyme 5, Killingly/Woodstock 1
Stonington 3, Fitch 1
Championship
Thursday, Nov. 7
East Lyme 1, Stonington 0, OT

Shoreline Conference
Semifinals
Westbrook 1, Old Saybrook 0
North Branford 3, Valley Regional 1
Championship
Thursday, Nov. 7
North Branford 2, Westbrook 1

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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