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Battle and Nature Tested, Norwalk Goes for Title

NORWALK, Conn. – The season began with a hurricane and was interrupted by a blizzard, but it could end with a championship. The Norwalk High School field hockey team plays in its first-ever state title game Saturday at 2 p.m. against Cheshire at Wethersfield High School.

Head coach Kyle Seaburg said he is amazed how well his team has conquered everything that opponents and Mother Nature has thrown at it. “Every day there was something different. And every time we just say, ‘OK, we’ll deal with it,’” he said. “They’re a very cerebral team in the sense that they want to know how to get better in the mental part of the game. It’s very rewarding as a coach to have a group of players who like to know that.”

Norwalk posted its best regular season record (12-2-1) since 2004 and reached the state semifinals for the first time since 2005. After cruising through the regular season, the Bears hit a hiccup in the conference tournament, losing to New Canaan.

Norwalk then eked out three nail-biting wins in a row in the Class L state tournament. The Bears survived Fairfield Warde, 1-0, in three overtimes, held off a last-minute push from New Canaan for a 2-1 victory and snuck past second-ranked Glastonbury , 2-1, in overtime to reach the finals.

“That just makes me lose hair,” Seaburg joked. “They played well and came out on top, but I told them if they keep doing that I’m going to be completely bald.”

Through all the pulse-pounding finishes, Seaburg has imparted the same advice to his team in every game. “We just focus on the moment,” he said. “I tell them every day to just enjoy every day and enjoy every minute of it, because it’s awesome.”

Norwalk High School fans have a full slate of state tournament games to choose from aside from the field hockey team. The Bears girls swimming team competes in the State Open at Yale at noon while the boys soccer team takes on Trumbull in the Class LL semifinals at West Haven at 4:30.

Follow sports editor Tom Renner on Twitter for live updates from Saturday's championship game. Follow Eric Gendron , too, for the latest Main Street Connect coverage of Fairfield County sports. Like The Daily Norwalk on Facebook .

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