Soccer: Girls and boys soccer teams make finals
Shelton High's girls and boys soccer teams advanced to their respective Southern Connecticut Conference finals with semifinal victories on Monday night at Finn Stadium.
Coach Marvin Miller's Gaelettes withstood a late charge from Mercy High to earn a 4-3 victory in their semifinal, while Ryan Smith's goal propelled coach Joe D'Auria's Gaels past Hamden High, 1-0.
Smith's marker sent Shelton, the fifth seed, to the SCC final for the first time in school history. Opposing the Gaels will be sixth-seeded West Haven High, which blanked second-seeded Fairfield Prep in their semi.
West Haven and Shelton will square off at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, while the Gaelettes will take on second-seeded Lauralton Hall at 7 in the girls final.
The Gaelettes had a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead following Sarah Skoronski's second goal of the game with 16:47 left to play in their semifinal matchup.
But the eighth-seeded Tigers, who upset top-seeded Guilford High in the quarters on Saturday, battled back valiantly.
Emily Tylki beat the Shelton defense on the restart after Skoronski's marker, slotting a shot past Shelby Offord to make it 4-2. Mercy (9-5-4) then converted off of a corner kick, when Alexis Porter hammered a high-arcing shot into the back of the net in the 70th minute.
The Tigers kept the pressure dialed up, but fourth-seeded Shelton held them off and punched its ticket to the SCC final for the first time since 2012. Shelton reached the finals three years in a row from 2010-12, winning its lone title in 2010.
Early on, Mercy hit a post from distance with 25 minutes left in first half.
Skoronski then converted a feed from midfielder Juliane Niedzwiecki to open the scoring at 20:44, before the Tigers stuck for the equalizer 45 seconds from the break. Ryan Miela knocked home her effort, as the Gaelettes conceded a goal in the final minute of the first half for the second game in a row.
Kaleigh Panek restored Shelton's one-goal edge at the 33:46 mark of the second half, with Skoronski recording the assist this time.
Sophomore Kelly Hurd then doubled the lead, collecting a pass from Kathryn Arena and rounding Mercy keeper Alyssa Morrissey. Porter attempted a sliding clearance to keep it off the line, but was too late, as it crossed over for a 3-1 cushion.
Skoronski's second strike staked Shelton (13-2-3) to a three-goal advantage, before Mercy stormed back with its late-game flurry.