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Wilton Wins State Field Hockey Title

WILTON, Conn. – With time winding down and Wilton locked in a 1-1 tie with Branford for the state field hockey title, Clare Detrick-Yee knew there was no time to waste. 

The Wilton senior blasted a rocket from 12 yards out with 2:28 remaining Saturday to give the fourth-seeded Warriors the Class M championship. 

“I saw the opening and I knew there only three minutes left,’’ said Detrick-Yee,  whose game-winning score came on an assist from Joanne Nazareth. “I knew it had a chance to be the winning goal. It was perfect.”

“Once I saw the opening, I knew she had a bullet shot,’’ Wilton coach Deirdre Hynes said. “I didn’t know if it’d go in or not, but I knew our forwards would be there. It was a fantastic finish for a senior who has worked hard all year.”

Wilton (20-3) dominated most of the game, which was played at Wetherfield High School. Branford goalie Jenna Limone (nine saves) kept the sixth-seeded Hornets in it with some spectacular saves. “She was the best goalie we faced all year,’’ Detrick-Yee said. The Warriors smacked 13 corners to Branford’s eight, and were in the Hornets’ end most of the afternoon. Still, the Warriors were less than three minutes away from going home as co-champions.

“That’s happened to us a couple of times this season,’’ Hynes said. “We know you can dominate a game and not win. All it takes is for the other team to score on a shot. We learned that lesson the hard way.”

Wilton took a 1-0 lead just over six minutes into the game when Valentina Tudisco scored, with Detrick-Yee assisting. That was the first goal the Hornets had allowed in four tournament games.

Branford tied it 12 minutes later on a goal by Bryanna Willaby, converting one of its few possessions in Wilton territory in the first half.

The Warriors controlled play most of the second half, but Branford did apply some late pressure. 

“I think it was one of her best games, and what a time to do it,’’ Hynes said of Detrick-Yee. “A senior, the state championship. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

The state title was the second for Hynes, who also won in 2006. The Warriors beat Suffield and New Fairfield before eliminating four-time defending champion Darien with an overtime win in the semifinals.

“I’ve never seen the team so happy,’’ Detrick-Yee said. "We had such an emotional game against Darien in the semifinals. To win here is the perfect ending to a great season.”

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