Glastonbury field hockey beats Hall, advances to play Darien in the Class L semifinal

The Glastonbury field hockey team only has three seniors this season and 10 players are new to varsity.

But over the season, the Guardians gelled; the older players guided the new players. On Friday afternoon, freshman Deidre McKiernan scored Glastonbury’s first goal, sophomore Addison Infante had two goals and the fourth-seeded Guardians beat No. 5 Hall 4-0 in a Class L quarterfinal game at Glastonbury High.

Next up is top-seeded Darien, undefeated and No. 1 ranked in the state coaches’ poll. Glastonbury will face the Blue Wave, a 4-2 winner over Greenwich, Tuesday or Wednesday at a site and time to be determined in a Class L semifinal game.

Darien, a perennial state power, last won a title in 2016 and Darien and Glastonbury shared a Class L championship in 2014.

“I don’t think [the younger players] quite understand what it means to [play Darien],” Glastonbury coach Maureen Perkins said. “So next week we can just play. I don’t think there’s expectations and with a young team, that’s great.”

However, the Guardians have played tough opponents this season to get ready for the state tournament, including Wilton, the second seed in Class L and last year’s Class L runner-up. They lost to Wilton 2-0 on Oct. 22, defending Class M champion Guilford 1-0 on Oct. 1 and Hand, 1-0, on Sept. 23 and beat Longmeadow (Mass.) 1-0 Oct. 15 for Perkins’ 300th career win.

So they’re as ready as they’re going to be for Darien.

“I think knowing a team is really good, they’re No. 1 in the state, I think that hypes us up or gets us motivated more because if we’re playing a team that’s worse, we might play down to them,” Glastonbury senior captain Mikayla Balatbat said. “If we’re playing up to a team, we’ll push ourselves more.”

Earlier in the season, Glastonbury played Hall and the game was much closer – a 3-2 win. But early in Friday’s game, Hall’s starting goalkeeper Addie O’Connell injured her knee and Hannah Schoen had to come in and take over. Schoen made 14 saves.

Senior Alicia Choquette, the team’s leading scorer with 15 goals, scored Glastonbury’s fourth goal.

Lori Riley can be reached at lriley@courant.com.