Mercy, Sacred Heart Academy to decide Class M girls soccer title

Mercy girls soccer coach Marcus Harley was asked about a couple of his key players, how they have helped the Tigers reach the doorstep of the program’s first state championship.

Harley knew exactly how to answer that question.

“On the bus ride to Lauralton Hall (for the season opener on Sept. 9), the speech was, “‘Every person has to be great.’ We are a team,” Harley said.

Everson Maciel understands the importance of team. He is a past Northeast Conference Player of the Year at Quinnipiac University, and a member of the U.S. team that competed in the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 in September.




Dillon Stadium,


Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

And in his first year as a high school head coach, Maciel has piloted Sacred Heart Academy into the Class M state championship game.

“I never doubted their ability or the possibility of getting to the finals,” Maciel said. “This is a strong group.”

Both of these Southern Connecticut Conference teams are playing in a state final for the first time. Only one will go home with the championship trophy. The showdown for the Class M crown begins at 1:30 p.m, Saturday at Dillon Stadium in Hartford.

It is just the second time two SCC girls soccer teams have met in a CIAC state championship game. Guilford defeated Branford in the 2013 L final.

“It’s great to have the two SCC teams in the finals,” Harley said.

Mercy (19-2-2) is the reigning SCC tournament champion, having come from behind to end up beating Amity in penalty kicks. The Tigers allowed just one goal per game through the first three of the tournament before shutting out Granby in the semifinals.

The Tigers are the only team that beat Sacred Heart Academy, doing so in the SCC tournament semifinals. All three goals were scored in the final 2 minutes.

“What I expect is a more hyped up SHA,” Harley said. “They will come back with extra motivation to change the scoreline of that game.”

Maciel knows there is plenty of motivation on the line for the Sharks Saturday.

“We know it will be a very hard game for us. But being an “underdog” might help us to succeed,” Maciel said. “As a coach you try to help as much as you can, but at the end are the girls on and off the field that are making a huge difference. As a coach, I’m blessed by having the chance to coach this group of players.”; @nhrJoeMorelli