BERLIN - Itâ€™s been 19 years since the Berlin girls soccer team played for a state championship, but today they get their long-awaited shot at the Class M crown.
The match is set to start at 1 p.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury against the second-seed Granby Memorial (18-1-0).
Last season, Berlin made it as far as the second round, where it fell to Daniel Hand 1-0. In 2015, the Redcoats managed to make it to the Class L semifinals, but lost to Suffield 3-1.
Tuesday evening, 20th-seeded Berlin upset No. 1 Lewis Mills in an epic game to advance to Class M final. After two 40-minute halves and two 10-minute overtime periods the game was decided on penalty kicks.
Center midfielder Julia Sisti hit the back of the net for the Redcoats on their third and final penalty kick to seal a victory over the top seed. Meanwhile, Berlin goalkeeper Lindsay Walsh deflected three of the Spartansâ€™ four attempts in the shootout.
Earlier in the tournament, the Redcoats topped No. 13 East Catholic 2-0, before beating Platt Tech 7-0 in the second round, and then defeated Cromwell 2-1 in the quarterfinals after Sisti scored the game-winner with nine seconds remaining.
Granby earned a bye in the first round and then went on to beat No. 15 Wolcott, 4-0, in Round 2 before topping No. 7 Rocky Hill 3-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the Bears outscored 19th-seeded Weston 3-2.
The Bears only have one blemish on their seasonâ€™s record, a 4-0 shutout loss to Suffield back in September. Since then Granby has won its last 15 games.
Granby has won the Class S state title five times, the first in 1986. Since then the Bears have claimed the title in 1987, 1988, 2000 and 2001. In 2011 they were the Class M runner-up.
But Berlin believes it is ready for a high-octane Granby, a team that has scored 84 goals during the regular season and nine goals in two state tournament games.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @shelbyiava