Greenwich High girls lax falls to Darien in CIAC class L finals, 18-6

Greenwich High's Emma Christie gets the ball past the Darien High defense during Saturday's CIAC class L championship game at Bunnell High School — Paul Silverfarb photo

Greenwich High’s Emma Christie gets the ball past the Darien High defense during Saturday’s CIAC class L championship game at Bunnell High School — Paul Silverfarb photo

Although the Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team was still within striking distance against Darien High School in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class L championship game earlier today at Bunnell High School, the Blue Wave pulled away late in the first and dominated the second and beat the Lady Cardinals 18-6.

” We didn’t come out as strong as I would have liked,” Greenwich High School head coach Caitlin Keane said. “There were some things here and there and we were throwing the ball away. I don’t know if nerves got the best of us or what exactly it was, but we known for the things we do on attack and that’s what was missing for us today. Unforced turnovers killed us in the beginning and it took any momentum if we got momentum away from us early on.”

Senior Emma Christie led the way for Greenwich, netting two goals.

“This was one of the best out of the four years I have been on the team,” Christie said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls and a harder working group of girls. Although we lost today, we still made it out here for the fourth year in a row and I think our season was still very successful.”

Greenwich High senior Sarah Rider looks to control the ball during Saturday's CIAC class L championship game against Darien High School. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Greenwich High senior Sarah Rider looks to control the ball during Saturday’s CIAC class L championship game against Darien High School. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Seniors Sarah Rider, Emily Johnson and sophomores Jenny Goggin and Megan Collins each scored one goal for Big Red.

Darien was paced by junior Emily Stein, who finished with five goals and one assist. Fellow senior Taylor Hardison added three goals and five assists, while junior Dillon Schoen finished with two goals and two assists. Senior Kristen Gilbert added two goals, while sophomores Mariah Matheis, Caroline Benitez, junior Hollis Perticone and senior Jena Fritts added one goal each.

“They came at us hard in the second half, but we got the draw, got a bunch of fast breaks and converted on our first five shots,” Darien head coach Lisa Lindley said. “I think in some element Greenwich gave up after that. It’s hard when you’re not getting the draw. My girls deserve a lot of credit for bringing a lot of intensity in the second half.

Although the Blue Wave started the game with a 4-0 lead, Greenwich wouldn’t back down. Working deep in the Darien zone, Christie earned a free possession and buried her shot in the back of the net for team’s first goal of the game.

Three minutes later, Big Red had another solid chance at cutting into the lead, as junior Carolyn Paletta got the ball at point-blank range with the goalie, but the DHS goalie made the huge save.

“I think that we played them so intense that they learned a lot of our offense shots,” Paletta said. “They were really prepared for what we had to offer them. I also think that this team was pretty tired. All in all, they had a better game than us and we needed to prepare a little more. I am still so proud of our team. Some people didn’t expect us to make it to this far, but we pushed it the whole season. We are all so close and want everybody to win.”

Although Darien netted two straight goals to build a 6-1 lead, Greenwich answered when Collins charged down the middle the field, circled the net and fired the goal with 10:30 left in the first half. Again Darien had an answer nearly five minutes later, but Greenwich came back again.

With 4:50 to play and on a fast break, senior Sophie Waine got possession of the ball and made a brilliant pass to Christie, who unloaded the shot in the back of the net. While Darien’s Matheis scored 45 seconds later, the Lady Cardinals made the score 8-4 with 3:44 left in the half, as Johnson gained possession of the ball at midfield, darted through the DHS defense and eluded the DHS goalie.

Both teams exchanged a goal each in the final 30 seconds to make the halftime score 10-5.

Offensively the second half was all Darien, as they exploded for eight goals. Greenwich wasn’t able to find the back of the net until Goggin blasted the goal with 55 seconds left in the game, although Waine came close with 19:29 to play in the game, but her shot hit the post and bounced out of harm’s way.

“I actually think a better first half in that game, but in this game we had a second half that was better than the last game defensively,” Keane said. “The score may not show it, but I actually think we played a pretty good defensive game. The attack wasn’t finishing it for us.”

To read more on the game and season overall, as well as hear more from players and Keane, check out Thursday’s Greenwich Post.

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