2022 CIAC Girls Soccer Championship capsules

Photo of Joe Morelli

A closer look at the CIAC girls soccer championship matchups

CLASS LL

  • WHEN: Sunday, 4 p.m.
  • WHERE: Trinity Health Stadium, Hartford.
  • SEEDS/RECORDS: No. 1 Cheshire (21-0-1) vs No. 3 Staples (15-2-4).
  • TICKETS: Adults $10, Students $5, Senior Citizens $5, Children five and under; military in uniform or with I.D., Free. Digital Tickets Only (no cash sales at event) can be bought in advance.
  • ON THE AIR/WEB: NFHS Network (Subscription required) 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCES

Cheshire is making its fourth appearance, the first one since 2008. Cheshire was a co-champion with Simsbury in 2005 and won outright in its first trip in 2003. Staples is making its sixth appearance. The Wreckers were co-champions last season with Wilton and are 1-3 in the other games, the one victory coming in their first appearance in 1989.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Cheshire has had a spectacular season. The Rams followed up an unbeaten regular season with a run to their first SCC tournament title since 2016, beating another weekend state finalist, Mercy, in the championship game. Gabby Tirado, Anna Hurlbut and Haley Shaw lead an explosive offense. Tirado scored the deciding goal in that game and scored both in the semifinals on Wednesday against Ridgefield, a team that had allowed just four goals all season. Staples was gone of the teams that Ridgefield shut out, but that was way back in the season opener. The Wreckers have the Chudowsky sisters, Evelyn and Natalie, leading the offense and senior Sami DeWitt headlining a defense that has been the backbone of this program for years. Staples was co-champion with fellow FCIAC team Wilton last year. Now, penalty kicks will determine outright winners if need be.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Cheshire coach Kylee McIntosh played on the last Cheshire team that advanced to the state finals in 2008.

CLASS L

  • WHEN: Saturday, 11 a.m.
  • WHERE: Trinity Health Stadium, Hartford.  
  • SEEDS/RECORDS: No. 2 St. Joseph (20-1-1) vs No. 4 Notre Dame-Fairfield (19-1-2).
  • TICKETS: Adults $10, Students $5, Senior Citizens $5, Children five and under; military in uniform or with I.D., Free. Digital Tickets Only (no cash sales at event) can be bought in advance.
  • ON THE AIR/WEB: NFHS Network (Subscription required) 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCES

St. Joseph is making its ninth appearance. The Cadets have a 7-1 record and is the defending champion in this division. Notre Dame has never won an outright state championship, but were co-champs with Old Lyme in Class S in 2015 and with Immaculate in Class M in 2016.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

You won't find an  more explosive offense in the sport than St. Joseph. Alexa Pino makes things go. She is a goal-scoring machine, and she has help with Taylor Jenkins and Sara Parker among others. Julia Bike leads a heralded defense that has allowed just one gal in the tournament. Notre Dane goalkeeper Veronica Rrapi has only allowed one goal as well and posted 16 shutouts, including the SWC tournament final against Brookfield. Rrapi will be tested early and often by the Cadets. Center back Sarah Lardi will also be a key factor if Notre Dame wants to keep from falling behind early. Sara Rieger and Gemma Grechj lead the Lancers’ offense.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Rrapi saved three penalty kicks and made one of her own in the SWC tournament final against Brookfield.

CLASS M

  • WHEN: Saturday, 4 p.m.
  • WHERE: Trinity Health Stadium, Hartford. 
  • SEEDS/RECORDS: No. 3 Mercy (19-3-1) vs No. 13 Northwest Catholic (13-5-2).
  • TICKETS: Adults $10, Students $5, Senior Citizens $5, Children five and under; military in uniform or with I.D., Free. Digital Tickets Only (no cash sales at event) can be bought in advance.
  • ON THE AIR/WEB: NFHS Network (Subscription required)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCES

Mercy is making its second straight appearance in the Class M final. The Tigers were co-champions with Sacred Heart Academy last season. Northwest Catholic is 3-1-1 in previous appearances, falling to Holy Cross 3-2 in last year.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Mercy had the better of the play against Sacred Heart Academy last season and the Tigers were disappointed to share the Class M state championship. With penalty kicks in place, the Tigers won't have to worry about that. Kate Donlan and Megan Menard lead an offense that has plenty of options. Donlan had two goals and three assists in Mercy’s last two tournament wins. Melina Ford has posted 16 shutouts and gets a chance at another title before heading to play at Central Connecticut State next season. Northwest Catholic benefited greatly from playing against the likes of Simsbury, Southingtion and Farmington during the regular season to prepare for another run to the final.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Northwest Catholic has shut out all four teams it has faced in the tournament, including three NVL teams: Wolcott (4-0), champion Woodland (3-0) and Watertown (5-0).

CLASS S

  • WHEN: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Trinity Health Stadium, Hartford.
  • SEEDS/RECORDS: No. 1 Lyman Memorial (19-1-1) vs No. 2 East Catholic (17-1-1).
  • TICKETS: Adults $10, Students $5, Senior Citizens $5, Children five and under; military in uniform or with I.D., Free. Digital Tickets Only (no cash sales at event) can be bought in advance.
  • ON THE AIR/WEB: NFHS Network (Subscription required)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCES

This is Lyman Memorial’s first appearance in a state championship game. East Catholic won its only appearance in a final, defeating Weston 1-0 in Class M.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Freshmen factored into the victories for both teams playing on Sunday. Anya Tancil scored both goals in East Catholic’s 2-1 win over Thomaston while Emily McKelvey scored the tying goal to help Lyman Memorial get into overtime, then prevail over Portland in overtime. Lyman Memorial’s only loss was to East Granby. East Catholic fell to Tolland. While Lyman Memorial was a quarterfinalist in this division last year, East Catholic didn't even qualify for postseason play. Expect a low-scoring game, possibly decided in overtime.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

East Catholic takes an 18-game unbeaten streak into Sunday’s championship game.