Holy Cross vs. Old Lyme: The matchup

Tonight at 6:30, No. 8 Holy Cross and No. 5 Old Lyme vie for a spot in the Class S state final at Middletown High School’s Rosek-Skubel Stadium.
Here’s something quick about the Crusaders and the Wildcats:

The Crusaders finished the regular season with a 11-3-2 record. Holy Cross lost its NVL Tournament quartefinal match, but the Crusaders seem to have figured out what went wrong.
Late-match magic
Holy Cross had an answer for each of its three Class S opponents, and all of them have been in the second half or on penalty kicks. The Crusaders scored two goals in the second half of a 2-0 first round win over No. 25 Litchfield, then used penalty kicks to down No. 24 Windsor Locks (3-2 final, 4-2 penalty kicks). 
There was more drama for Holy Cross in the quarterfinal, and this time it came against top-seeded Housatonic. The match was scoreless through 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime, meaning penalty kicks were again necessary. The Crusaders took down the Mountaineers 3-2 in PKs to claim a 1-0 victory.
If Holy Cross makes the final…
It would be the fourth appearance all-time for the Crusaders, who are 0-3 in three previous trips (1997, 2005, 2006). All of Holy Cross’ finals appearances were in Class M. This would be the first time the Crusaders have made it in Class S.

The Wildcats went 12-2-2 in the regular season, then worked their way through the Shoreline Conference Tournament for a third straight title. 
Old Lyme earned a No. 5 seed and a first round bye, thanks to its strong regular season. The Wildcats defeated No. 21 East Windsor 4-1, then snuck past No. 4 Coventry on the road by a 2-1 count in the quarterfinals.
If Old Lyme makes the final…
It would be the fifth appearance all-time for the Wildcats. Old Lyme shared a Class S co-championship with Immaculate in 2009 and lost in its other three appearances (1985, 1995, 2004). All of Old Lyme’s finals appearances have come in Class S.

Both Holy Cross and Old Lyme faced East Hampton, a member of the Shoreline Conference, during the regular season. Ironically, the Crusaders and Wildcats faced East Hampton within a three-day span in September. Holy Cross battled to a scoreless tie on Sept. 23 at East Hampton while Old Lyme tied 2-2 at Old Lyme.

A beautiful facility with a turf field, this venue has been the site of state tournament games all the way up to the finals. The field is located behind the school on LaRosa Lane. The school’s website says to use 670 Newfield Street for GPS purposes.