State tournaments are back for the fall season in Connecticut for the first time in two years and 10 schools from the Bristol and New Britain areas earned a chance to establish state supremacy in boys soccer.
Bristol Central, New Britain, Southington, St. Paul, Newington, Plainville, Berlin, Terryville, Goodwin Tech and Innovation will start their postseason journeys Tuesday with the goal of reaching the championship games at Dillon Stadium in Hartford.
Newington (9-4-2) enters the Class LL tournament as the 12th-seeded team and will start its run with a home game against 21st-seeded Simsbury (6-5-5) on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Nor’easters will be in pursuit of vengeance for their 2-0 loss to the Trojans in the regular season Oct. 14. The winning team from this game will get the chance to face the winner of No. 5 Norwalk and No. 28 Trumbull on Nov. 11
New Britain (6-8-0) earned the 25th seed in Class LL and will make the drive to face eighth-seeded Darien (9-1-5) on Tuesday. The Hurricanes will face one of their biggest challenges of the season as the Blue Wave finished the regular season with one loss, which came against No. 4-seeded Greenwich. The winner of this matchup will face the winner of No. 9 Ridgefield and No. 24 South Windsor.
26th-seeded Southington’s drive will not be as long as New Britain’s, but the team will face a similarly large challenge against seventh-seeded Farmington (12-3-1). The Blue Knights (5-8-3) fell to the River Hawks 4-0 on Oct. 20 and will need to put out a top effort to compete with an opponent that won more than twice as many regular season games as them. Farmington finished second in the CCC West this season while took sixth place, winning this game will book a matchup against the winner of No. 10 Fairfield Warde and No. 23 Westhill.
The Class L state tournament contains two local teams led by eighth-seeded Bristol Central (11-3-2), which will face 25th-seeded Wilton 6-6-4. The Rams lasted over a month without losing a game and strung together eight wins in a row earlier this season and will look to start a similar streak Tuesday. A win will earn them a matchup with the winner of No. 9 Guilford and No. 24 Rockville.
Berlin (9-4-3) will start the Class L tournament at home as the 15th seed facing 18th-seeded Brookfield (8-4-4). The Redcoats have not lost since Sept. 30 and will look to keep that streak alive for the opportunity to face No. 2 Watertown in the next round. All of Brookfield’s losses came in its final nine games of the season after starting the year 3-0-4.
Plainville (8-6-2) will start its journey in the Class M tournament on the road against 14th-seeded Rocky Hill (8-3-4). The Blue Devils carry the 19th seed in the bracket and will face an opponent from the CCC they did not play in the 2021 regular season. Plainville picked up an important win over Newington 4-2 on Oct. 28 in its second-to-last game of the season before finishing its year with a tie against Berlin. A win over Rocky Hill will set the Blue Devils up with the winner of No. 3 Stonington and No. 30 Tolland.
Goodwin Tech (5-6-4) slid into the draw as the 27th-seeded team in Class M and will open its tournament on the road against sixth-seeded Weston (13-1-2). The Trojans lost their first game of the season and have not lost since, winning 13 out of 14 matches with a tie ending a 10-game winning streak. This will be the Gladiators most difficult challenge this season and a win would pair them with the winner of No. 11 Bacon Academy and No. 22 Foran in the second round.
If Plainville and Goodwin Tech each win their first two games they will meet in the Class M quarterfinals.
Three local teams are fighting for supremacy in Class S and 16th-seeded Innovation (8-5-3) will be the only one to start with a home game as it hosts 17th-seeded East Hampton (7-5-2). The winner of this game will get to take on top-seeded Holy Cross in the second round.
Terryville (7-7-2) will hit the road for Deep River, Connecticut as the 23rd-seeded team in Class S to face 10th-seeded Valley Regional (11-4-1). Valley Regional won seven games in a row at the end of the season, the same as the Kangaroos win total in 2021. The winner of this game will be matched up with the winner of No. 7 St. Bernard and No. 26 Hale Ray.
St. Paul (6-8-2) joins the Class S draw as the 24th-seeded team and will start its tournament on the road against NVL rival and ninth-seeded Oxford (9-2-4). These teams tied 1-1 Oct. 25 and will have the memory of that game fresh in their minds when they meet Tuesday. The winning team will face the winner of No. 8 Canton and No. 25 Classical Magnet.
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.