EL girls edge Lancers on Moore's goal in overtime
Montville — There was already ample reason to give Meredith Moore a prominent place in the East Lyme High School trophy case. That's what happens when you score the game-winning goal in the division championship game of the regular season.
Even better: against Waterford, the neighboring rival.
But Moore worked her way into school lore and legend Tuesday night.
She did it again.
And this time in the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament championship game.
Moore's sudden-death goal with 42 seconds left in the first overtime gave the top-seeded Vikings a 2-1 win over No. 3 Waterford and the league's girls' soccer title.
Moore, who scored with six seconds left in regulation last month to beat Waterford, pounced on a loose ball in front of the Waterford net and gently tapped home a goal among the biggest in program history. It didn't merely win a championship, but kept the Vikings (16-0-2) undefeated.
"Meredith's had an amazing season," East Lyme coach Rachel Redding said. "I have a lot of great senior leaders and she fits right in that role as a junior. They all work hard for each other. No one is a showboat. They're all superstars."
To think, too, that Moore plays for Waterford coach Rob Brule in the offseason. Moore gave Brule much of the credit after the game for her development as a player.
"I'll make sure I won't coach her so well next year," Brule said, managing to keep his sense of humor in the face of disappointment.
Waterford (13-4-2) tied the game early in the second half on Hannah Scahill's goal. Theresa Durkee had given East Lyme a 1-0 lead at halftime.
"We never gave up when they scored," Moore said. "We thought, 'forget it, let's move forward.'"
And they did, all the way into overtime.
"This one stings pretty bad," Brule said. "We made some good adjustments at the half. I thought we were on to something. It's like déjà vu all over again. Meredith is tough. It's not a coincidence she's one of the best players in the league."
Allison Stoddard made six saves for the Vikings, who proved to be a most deserving champion.
"We wanted another opportunity at these guys," Brule said, alluding to the disappointment over last month's 2-1 loss in the ECC Large Division championship game.
"But now I know they're the better team," he said. "You beat a team two out of three, you are the better team. It's not because of a lucky break. Give them a lot of credit. Rachel is a class act. And those kids work hard."