Class M: Bacon Academy girls win first soccer title on penalty kicks over Suffield

HARTFORD – When Elizabeth Glover scored on her second penalty kick, she wasn’t sure what was going on. She turned and saw her Bacon Academy teammates running at her.

“I made it and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I scored,’” Glover said. “Everybody was running toward me and I had to talk to the ref – I’m like, ‘Sir, did we win?’”

The answer was yes.

And then Glover, the junior goalkeeper who missed the first 14 games of the season as she rehabilitated from an ACL tear, was engulfed in her celebrating teammates as Bacon Academy knocked off unbeaten Suffield 2-1 (11-10 in penalty kicks) in the Class M girls soccer state championship game at Trinity Health Stadium Saturday afternoon.

“I’m on top of the world right now,” Glover said. “This is crazy.”

It was Bacon Academy’s first appearance in the state championship. The Bobcats (16-5-1) were the 11th seed. Suffield (19-1) was the top seed, led by high scoring Liv Matthews, who had 40 goals this season.

Glover tore her ACL in February in basketball. She was out until the final three games of the season for the Bobcats, who lost three straight when their backup goalkeeper Arianna Pennington was out with an injury and coach Matt Rafala had to rotate field players into goal.

But Glover came back. She faced PKs against another NCCC team, Granby, in the quarterfinals and Bacon won 3-2.

Saturday, she also scored on two penalty kicks.

“I’m on a whole different level for that,” she said. “I have to try to save all of them so taking a PK is light work.”

Bacon Academy got on the board first when Alyssa Blanchette scored off an assist from Audrey Palmer with 18:56 left in the first half.

Suffield tied it up on a Hazel Qua goal with 3:08 left in regulation.

“We played our game,” Glover said. “The second half, once we had the lead, we sat back and it worked for the most part except for the unfortunate goal. I got a hand on it. It was a sinking feeling. But my team believes in me so much.”

Glover had 13 saves in regulation and overtime and then they went to penalty kicks. After the first round, it was tied so there was a second round.

“We did PKs for a month straight at practice,” Rafala said. “They did the whole walkout, had the boys team cheering and chanting. They practiced it every single day but you can’t simulate this. This is crazy.”