Magical run ends for East Lyme girls' soccer in Class L semifinals

East Lyme's Georgia Parsons, right, fights for control of the ball with RHAM's Rachel Purcell during Wednesday's Class L girls' soccer state tournament semifinal at Falcon Field in Meriden. Top-seeded RHAM won 3-0. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
East Lyme's Georgia Parsons, right, fights for control of the ball with RHAM's Rachel Purcell during Wednesday's Class L girls' soccer state tournament semifinal at Falcon Field in Meriden. Top-seeded RHAM won 3-0. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Meriden — There were times Wednesday night when it felt as though top-seeded RHAM of Hebron’s next mistake wouldn’t come until sometime next year.

So maybe that’s why there was the requisite sadness at the season ending for the girls’ soccer players of East Lyme High School, but some solace in knowing they just lost to a really good team.

“We played very well,” East Lyme coach Rachel Redding said after the 3-0 loss in the Class L semifinals at Falcon Field. “RHAM is a very good team. Obviously, you see it in their record. They possess, pass and move off the ball really well.”

But then, that’s how the Sachems (19-1), which moved on to Saturday's championship game to meet No. 3 St. Joseph, got to be the No. 1 seed.

Senior Gretchen Kron scored two goals and had an assist for RHAM, which took a 1-0 lead into halftime. It was Kron’s goal 16 seconds into the second half, though, that turned a difficult assignment into Everest for the 20th-seeded Vikings (11-7-2).

Kron also scored with 9:29 remaining to remove all doubt.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a player as calm as (Kron) is,” Redding said. “So patient.”

It took the Vikings a while to threaten, but they did so twice in the second half. Karlie Rowe missed an attempt high before Georgia Parsons hit the left post. Problem: There just weren’t that many opportunities.

“If the ball goes in there, maybe it changes the game.” Redding said.

East Lyme’s program bid adieu to several seniors, not the least of which was goalkeeper Hayley Sorrentino, who saved one of her best games of the season for the biggest one. She made 12 saves, including back-to-back-to-back gems on the same sequence in the second half.

“That’s the third time this year she did that,” Redding said. “Save it, save it again and then for a third time. She’s the real deal.”

This was East Lyme’s first appearance in the state semifinals since 2012. Only the circumstances were drastically different. In 2012, East Lyme went into the game undefeated. This season? It took the Vikings a while to find their way. But they did. And they embarked on a tournament run that featured a 16-penalty-kick epic over Naugatuck and wins over Foran and E.O. Smith.

“This trip was a different atmosphere,” Redding said. “They really started to believe in each other. Tonight, things just didn’t go our way. But that’s OK. We’ll be back next year.”

m.dimauro@theday.com

Karlie Rowe of East Lyme walks off the field as RHAM celebrates its 3-0 win in the Class L girls' soccer state tournament semifinals Wednesday at Falcon Field. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Karlie Rowe of East Lyme walks off the field as RHAM celebrates its 3-0 win in the Class L girls' soccer state tournament semifinals Wednesday at Falcon Field. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Alivia Catanzaro of East Lyme, right, and Rachel Purcell of RHAM vie for possession Wednesday in the Class L girls' soccer state tournament semifinal.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Alivia Catanzaro of East Lyme, right, and Rachel Purcell of RHAM vie for possession Wednesday in the Class L girls' soccer state tournament semifinal. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

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