No. 1 New Canaan field hockey outlasts No. 8 Greenwich in double overtime in Class L quarterfinal

NEW CANAAN — Shawna Ferraro admitted she and her New Canaan field hockey teammates were feeling a bit tired after their latest victory.

That can happen when you’re playing your third double-overtime playoff game in 12 days.

Ferraro scored off a pass from Molly Mitchell with 3:02 remaining in a second overtime to give top-seeded New Canaan a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Greenwich in a dramatic Class L quarterfinal game Saturday at Dunning Field.

Ferraro’s goal came with the teams playing 7-on-7, after Mitchell worked the ball in the circle against Greenwich goalie Kelly Janssen, and found a passing lane. She found Ferraro on the left post, and Ferraro finished for the win.

“Molly and I always connect very well,” Ferraro said. “Once Molly had the ball, I knew that she could find me. I don’t even have to talk, we just get each other like that. Once Zoey (Bennett) passed it to Molly and Molly passed it to me, I just hit the ball in.”

After the celebration, Ferraro said “We’re pretty tired but it’s all worth it. Every moment on the field is worth it.”

The Rams (20-1-0-0) advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2017, when they finished as the runners-up in Class M.

New Canaan will face No. 5 Glastonbury (14-1-2-1) in the semis on either Tuesday or Wednesday at a site to be determined. The other semifinal will feature No. 2 Darien (20-1-0-0) against No. 11 Wilton (11-4-4-0).

After falling to Darien in the FCIAC final, the Rams have responded with two state victories.

“This is how we see what we’re made of as a team, how we respond to the loss,” New Canaan coach Mary Clare Snediker said. “If today is any indication, I’m really proud of how they’ve proven to be back on track, and refocused to win a state championship.”

For Greenwich (13-6-0-1), it was a tough end to a solid season, as the Cardinals took the top seed deep into overtime.

“I have nothing but pride in them,” Greenwich coach Megan Wax said. “They played awesome, they played their absolute hearts out. We have been focused on leaving it all on the field and they did. Unfortunately it didn’t end the way we wanted, but they reached deeper than I know they thought they could.

“There’s nothing that we can feel other than pride in them.”

The Rams and Cardinals were both stellar on defense, led by the two goalies.

For New Canaan, Grace Gilman earned her 16th shutout of the season, while making four saves and shutting down numerous Cardinals opportunities.

Gilman and the Rams’ defense — which features senior co-captains Kiera Cooney and Zoey Bennett, along with Rachel Gilio and Sunny Jane Holland — have allowed just five goals all season.

The New Canaan defense came up big Saturday, and overcame two Greenwich scoring opportunities early in the second OT.

Zita Cohen made a run through the middle of the field, dodging two defenders for an open look, but her shot sailed wide to the far post when Gilman cut off the angle.

A minute later, Greenwich’s Klara Mueffelmann had the ball to the left of the cage, but Gilman came out to play the ball and made a sliding kick save.

“They have those amazing breakaways, but we really focused on channeling and trying to keep composure,” Cooney said. “And when we did get the ball, we tried to have those balls right up. It was a really good effort overall. We did a good job keeping it up when we did.”

Janssen, Greenwich’s sophomore goalie, made 18 saves in a superb effort.

“Kelly has played outstanding for us the whole season,” Wax said. “We think she’s just remarkable for how young she is, and she came up big with some amazing saves today. It’s hard as an underclassman to be in the position and in charge of the backfield, but she’s taken it really well and done awesome.”

New Canaan finally ended the game with some nice passing upfield, with Ferraro eventually finishing it.

“She stayed nice and composed,” Snediker said. “We always tell her not to just swing at the ball, so she played it perfectly just like we’ve been practicing. We’re so proud of her to be able to finish like that.”


Shawna Ferraro, New Canaan: Ferraro ended a long game which lasted nearly 77 minutes with the winning goal in double overtime.


“When it comes tournament time, anything can happen and both teams are fighting for their seasons. So it makes sense that these games go deep into overtime because both teams are just playing their hearts out.” — New Canaan coach Mary Clare Snediker; @dstewartsports


GREENWICH 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0

NEW CANAAN 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1

Scoring: Second OT: NC - Shawna Ferraro (Molly Mitchell), 3:02.

Goalies: G - Kelly Janssen 18 saves; NC - Grace Gilman 4 saves

Records: Greenwich 13-6-0-1, New Canaan 20-1-0-0