It took 110 minutes of intense, hard-hitting action, but Suffield High School turned an overtime goal by Ryan Della Penna into a 3-2 victory over top-seeded Bacon Academy in the Class M boys soccer finals Friday at Middletown High School.
The championship was Suffield's second in a row, and eighth overall.
Suffield junior Sean Sullivan was named the championship game's Most Valuable Player, scoring a goal and assisting on two others.
"It's feels good, but I couldn't have done it without my team. We played together so well this year in total, and in this game we just came together even closer," Sullivan said.
The second-seeded Wildcats came out firing, as Colton Grob scored just over six minutes into the contest. Brent Baskin made it 2-0 just past the midway point of the first half, converting a perfect centering pass by Sullivan.
Rather than folding, Bacon Academy showed why it entered the finals with a perfect 19-0 record. Brendan Quinn cut the deficit in half with 12:38 to play in the first half, then Danny Pinto scored on a header to knot the game less than six minutes after intermission.
The defenses and goalkeepers took over from that point, keeping the score tied and forcing a pair of 15-minute overtime periods.
Della Penna, who had just missed a couple of opportunities earlier in the game, managed to slip one past Bacon Academy goalkeeper Connor McHugh with 8:32 elapsed in the first extra session.
Both teams had some chances from that point, but the Wildcats held on to successfully defend their title from 2011.
"I have such pride in this program and the tradition that is Suffield soccer," head coach Mark Beigel. "We gaduated eight starters, and this class came in a bit inexperienced with not a lot of time last year, and they put it together."