Published November 06. 2013 4:00AM Updated November 06. 2013 3:41PM
Norwich - The sun was starting to set at Norwich Free Academy late Tuesday afternoon, yet the Wildcats and Westhill were still on the field, shooting their fifth set of penalty kicks.
"It was starting to get dark," NFA coach Rob Briones said with a hearty laugh. "We were ready to turn on the lights."
Michael Depolito finally scored the game-winner to give the No. 9 Wildcats a 1-0 win - 12-11 on penalty kicks - in their CIAC Class LL first-round boys' soccer game.
"I've never seen anything like this," Briones said. "Not in my entire career as a soccer player in South America, not as a college referee. Never.
"It was pretty exciting. People were saying, 'Is this for real?'"
Seth Strader had seven saves for NFA (13-5-1), which will play at No. 8 Amity at 2 p.m. Thursday.
In other games:
• Nate Delesdernier scored in the 10th minute on a feed from Peter Heppel and lifted No. 10 East Lyme past No. 23 E.O. Smith 1-0 in the Class L first round. Zach Kosakowski had four saves for East Lyme (14-1-5), which will play at No. 7 Berlin on Thursday. Alex Cornell had three saves for the Panthers.
• Stephen Rogers scored twice and Cory Meigs had five saves to lead No. 6 Montville past No. 27 St. Joseph 2-0 in a Class M first-round game. Josh Handler and Tom McDaniel each had an assist for Montville (14-5), which will play host to No. 11 Sheehan on Thursday.
• Coventry's Nicholas Bonee-Gionfriddo scored his second goal with 8.1 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and the No. 23 Patriots went on to upset No. 10 Wheeler on penalty kicks 3-2 (3-2), in a Class S first-round game. Peyton Mulhern and Rasmus Kantsoe scored for the Lions (10-7) and T.J. Condon and Leo Sierra each had an assist. Also, Andrew Swift had nine saves.
• Bryan Lonergan scored with 5:51 left in regulation and gave No. 23 Weston its 1-0 win over No. 10 Stonington in a Class M first-round game. Dylan Weiss had a save for Weston. Steven Zelepos had 12 saves for the Bears (11-6-2).
• Coast Guard Academy became the first No. 6 seed in tourney history to advance to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference semifinals when the Bears upset No. 3 Babson 25-21, 23-25, 25-20 and 25-23.
The win avenged a 3-2 loss to Babson on Oct. 1 and moved Coast Guard (22-8) into the semifinals for the 13th straight season. The Bears will face No. 2 Wellesley at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Springfield College.
Senior Kelsey DePorto had a match-high 16 kills while freshman Rebekah Muller had 15 kills and 14 digs to lead the Bears.
"Tonight was an exciting night," Coast Guard first-year coach Aylene Ilkson said. "We played as a team and that really showed. To be able to beat a quality team like Babson on the road after losing to them in the regular season is a great stepping stone heading into the semifinals on Saturday."
H.S. field hockey
• Alexis Spinnato scored the lone goal for No. 15 Waterford in its 5-1 loss to No. 2 Thomaston in a Class S first-round game. Jodi Weiss had 10 saves for Waterford (7-7-3).