Field hockey: Wilton wins Class L title on Mahon's overtime goal (video)
Jillian Mahon's final shot of her high school career was also her most memorable, as she knocked in a pass from Emma Rosen for the game-winning goal with 1:57 left in overtime to give the Wilton HIgh field hockey team a 1-0 win over Cheshire on Saturday in the Class L championship game in Wethersfield.
The Warriors (18-5) won their fourth state title in five years, and first Class L title since 1976.
Wilton had plenty of opportunities throughout the game, but couldn't crack a solid Cheshire defense, anchored by goalie Alyssa Stevens (nine saves). The Warriors had a 9-0 edge in shots on goal in regulation, and 14-2 edge in penalty corners.
Wilton goalie Amanda Hendry made only one save, but it was a big one as she turned away a shot early in overtime that could have ended the game.
The play went up and down the field in the overtime, until Rosen chased down a pass in the right circle and sent a pass to the middle. The ball deflected in front to Mahon, whose shot rolled slowly into the left side of the cage, setting off a celebration.
"It was a great pass. It was a little bouncy but I was able to trap it up on the stroke line," said Mahon of the winning goal. "It feels amazing. My teammates are the best people ever, I love them."
Mahon had appeared to give Wilton a 1-0 lead with just under 18 minutes left, when her aerial shot off a corner sailed under the crossbar, but the official ruled the ball hadn't come out of the arc first and the goal was nullified.
Mahon said the Warriors had to put the disappointment behind them and continue to play hard.
"Their goalie was fantastic, she stopped so many shots, and that defense was amazing, and we just had to move past it," she said.
Coach Deirdre Hynes said the mental toughness forged from a tough schedule helped the Warriors overcome the frustration of knocking on the door all game but failing to score.
"I do think through all their ups and downs throughout the season, it finally paid off. We learned that playing 30 minutes doesn't win you a game. We learned that you can dominate but if you don't score you can't win a game," she said. "This was a complete team effort. When you talk about a team championship, this was definitely a team championship."