Published November 09. 2011 4:00AM
As it turns out, not only was the wait for today's state tournament pairings to be released interminable for Stonington High School field hockey coach Jenna Tucchio, but the Bears have also been looking for a new home site to play state tournament games and secured one only Tuesday.
Tucchio said that officials declared Stonington's field unacceptable to host state tournament games earlier in the year and that the school was formally notified recently by the CIAC.
Stonington will play its first game in the Class S state tournament Thursday on the artificial turf at Connecticut College. The Bears will practice at Conn for the first time today.
"You can imagine how much sleep I've gotten," Tucchio said. "It's been an emotional rollercoaster. Now it's this big sigh of relief. Every day we kept finding out the postseason was pushed back (to accommodate the state's schools affected by weather-related postponements).
"Now the kids can finally focus on, 'This is where we are.'"
Tucchio said the Stonington field is not level and that the areas in front of both goals need to be resodded. She estimated it would take a full year of "rest" for the field to be properly repaired, which would be a difficult undertaking due to the lack of another facility for the team to practice and play games.
Stonington, which last played Nov. 2, beating Killingly 6-2, is 11-5 overall, finishing 9-1 to win the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
State pairings will be released at 11 a.m. today in field hockey, boys' and girls' soccer and volleyball.