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Tough losses for Avon boys, Canton girls in NCCC Tournament semifinals – The Collinsville Press
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Tough losses for Avon boys, Canton girls in NCCC Tournament semifinals

Lacrosse stickSUFFIELD, May 26 – They were tough losses for the Avon High boys lacrosse team and the Canton High girls lacrosse team to absorb Tuesday evening in the NCCC Tournament semifinals. Both teams dropped heartbreaking decisions at Suffield High.

Avon gave up two goals in the final 13 seconds of regulation and lost to Somers, 11-10 in double overtime. Canton tied its game with Somers in the final minute only to see the Spartans score again with three seconds remaining in a 10-9 victory.

Coming off an impressive nine goal win over Southington, the Falcons were feeling confident. Avon (9-8, 6-4 NCCC) had won three of its last four games with its lone loss being a 9-8 overtime loss to league champion Granby.

Facing Somers didn’t faze the Falcons. Somers beat Avon in April in overtime by one goal and beat them earlier this month by five goals. Still, Avon came right at the Spartans (13-3, 8-2 NCCC) and had a two-goal lead with under a minute remaining in the game.

But Somers’ Dom Giachello scored with 13 seconds remaining to pull the Spartans within a goal. Mike Munson scored with five seconds left to tie the game at 10-10. The game progressed into a second overtime before Somers’ Ray McCarthy scored with three minutes left to give the Spartans an 11-10 victory and a berth in the NCCC Tournament final against Granby.

Dan Magrini scored four goals for Avon while Andy St. Jean added two. Brendan Brown, Jake Corrigan, Chase Gordon and Matt Guarino each had goals for the Falcons. Avon goalie Drew Duarte made four stops in net.

Somers goalie Chris Allen made 11 saves in the win. McCarthy had five goals for the Spartans.

Avon doesn’t get any time to pine over lost opportunities. The Falcons host a CIAC Class M tournament game on Friday at 5 p.m. when they tangle with No. 20 Bethel (7-9) at Buckingham. Bethel plays in the Southwest Conference.

For Canton, it was another heartbreaking finish. The Warriors (9-8, 7-3 NCCC) won two games in April on last-second goals by Grace Giancola. Since then, they’ve lost three games in the final minute. Somers beat Canton, 15-14 earlier this month on a goal from Danielle Hollister with 1:23 remaining. The Warriors also dropped an 11-10 decision to Immaculate-Danbury on May 13.

Canton went right at Somers (14-3, 7-3 NCCC) forcing Spartan goalie Laura Morton to make 22 saves, including several spectacular stops. Canton players also had shots hit two posts and the cross bar. Hollister, who had eight goals in the May 1 meeting with the Warriors, was limited to four.

Emma Charron (team-high five goals) tied the game at 9-9 with a little less than a minute remaining. But Hollister was able to score the game-winner with three seconds left and give Somers the chance to play Granby in the tournament championship game.

Giancola and Oliva Sullivan had two goals each for Canton while Amanda Gottlieb had 11 saves.

Canton got their CIAC Class S tournament assignment Thursday. The No. 10 Warriors will travel to Burlington on Monday for a 5 p.m. contest against No. 7 Lewis Mills, who are coached by former Canton coach Dee Stephan.

Stephan, the former athletic director in Canton, coached the lacrosse team for two years and led the Warriors to the state tournament for the first time a year ago. She coached most of the players on this year’s Canton team.

Mills is 12-4-1 on the year and 10-0 in the Western Connecticut Lacrosse Conference, winning the league title for the fourth straight year. Mills plays Watertown in the WCLC Tournament final on Friday and is looking for its fourth consecutive tournament crown.

Lewis Mills and Canton didn’t play this spring although they have met in the past. Mills has won three of the four meetings but Canton’s 7-3 win over the Spartans in 2011 was the first varsity win for the Warriors. The two teams last met in 2013.

NOTES: In the NCCC Tournament finals on Thursday in Suffield, Nick Kenny scored in overtime to lead Granby to a 7-6 win over Somers in the boys championship game. Granby’s Shane Kertanis scored with 38 seconds left in regulation to force OT. is It is Granby second straight NCCC Tournament title and third overall. … In the girls championship game, Granby won its first NCCC Tournament title with a 17-13 win over Somers. Tournament MVP Olivia Johnson had six goals for Granby while Krista Iwanicki had five goals. Danielle Hollister had six goals for Somers. 


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.

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