In a battle for the CIAC Class L title at Middletown High School, only fourth-seeded Bunnell High School stood in the way of seventh-seeded Avon High School.
"I can't be prouder of my guys. I thought we played great," Avon head coach Patrick Mulligan said. "I could be happier if we won, but that would be the only thing. As far as how we played, I thought that everybody stepped up and played really well."
In a tightly fought battle, the first half saw equal action at both ends of the field. After 40 minutes of play, a 0-0 scoreboard accurately refected the action on the field. While both teams had their chances to score, it was the stellar goaltending of Bunnell goalkeeper Christopher Fazekas and Avon goalkeeper Alex Andrews that said otherwise.
When asked whether or not Avon came into the game with a stratagy for any of the Bunnell players, Mulligan replied, "I always let the other team worry about us. I think that we are a strong team and we represented that we are a strong team."
Going into the second half, it was more than obvious that the first goal would be a "game-changing" goal. Just 53 seconds into the period, Bunnell capitalized on a goal by senior Freddie Metellus to take control of the game. Eleven minutes later, it was Bunnell striker Zachary Zurita who managed to break through the Avon defense and put the ball past Andrews to give his team a commanding 2-0 lead.
With just under 30 minutes remaining in the game, Avon was not about to give up. For the next 25 minutes, the Falcons controlled the ball resulting in a multitude of goal-scoring opportunites at 16:30, 14:45, 13:30 and their best chance with 8 minutes remaining in the game. Once again it was Fazekas who turned away all of Avon's efforts.
Avon was playing without one of its top scorers, senior Andrew Montano, who was barred from participating in the final because he violated a school policy, Avon Athletic Coordinator Newell Porch confirmed. The policy pertains to the "use, sale and possession of alcohol by students." Avon police charged the 18-year-old with on Nov. 20.
Despite Avon's offensive efforts in his absence, it was Bunnell that closed the game scoring when senior Isaias Montalvo found the back of the net from 30 yards, resulting in the 3-0 final score.
"Give credit to them. They had three very nice goals," Mulligan said. "If we had put in a couple of our chances (in the first half), it would have been a completely different game."
At the conclusion of the game, Mulligan spoke highly of the play of both teams.
"It was a great day and a great game," Mulligan said. "Unfortunately, somebody had to lose."
Editor's Note: This article was last updated on Nov. 29 at 4:12 p.m.