Greenwich High girls lacrosse repeats as CIAC class L champs, beats Cheshire 9-8

While winning a state championship seems like nothing new for head coach Caitlin Keane and the rest of the Greenwich High School girls lacrosse team, today’s Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class L championship victory was something special.

With Big Red’s 9-8 victory over top-seeded Cheshire High School, Greenwich, seeded third in the playoffs, successfully defended its class L crown and capped off a streak in which the Cardinals appeared in the past three class L title games.

“This season was completely different than last season,” GHS senior Shannon Colligan said. “It was something special, just like last year, but it’s for different reasons. It feels good, and even a little better, because I’m a senior this year and we have 12 seniors. I think every single senior that was on the field or on the bench this game was on the field or bench in our last championship. To leave this legacy here and have two state championships under our belts when we leave is an unbelievable feeling.”

While the victory capped off a stellar season for Greenwich, today’s victory at Bunnell High School meant a lot more to Keane.

“It’s an awesome feeling, but it’s so bittersweet,” Keane said. “I am really sad to lose my seniors. I feel like I’ve raised them since their freshman year. I had them for four years and I am a little sad right now. I am very happy that we won, but I don’t want to lose those girls. A lot of people next year have some big shoes to fill.”

Senior Claire Feeney and sophomore Carolyn Paletta led the way in scoring for Big Red, netting three goals apiece. Junior Sophie Waine each added two goals.

“This feels unbelievable right now,” Feeney said. “From day one of our season, we wanted this. It’s a great feeling coming out as a senior and leaving with a bang. I am so proud of every single player on the field. Everybody that came in or was on the bench was great. It was a team effort. Hannah in cage was unbelievable and Shannon was great. It was a lot of fun.”

Also netting a goal in the class L championship game was fellow senior Tori Dunster, who also added an assist.

“This is every single player’s dream to be here and win it all,” Dunster said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team that led us here. I love this team. They are like a family to me. We are all really close and I never been so close to teammates before. They are great and I am so happy that we were able to do this today. Our team speed has been our big thing all year and every part of our team stepped it up. The defense, midfield and attack all were perfect today.”

In net, GHS senior Hannah Jeffrey was stellar in net. With time winding down and GHS clinging to a 9-8 lead, the Rams had the ball and were threatening. With 18.1 seconds to play, Cheshire’s Lauren Anderson gained control of the ball and fired a shot at point-blank range, but Jeffrey stood tall and made the enormous save to preserve the victory.

“I was definitely a little nervous with them 20 seconds left and having them come down the field, but I have awesome defenders and trust every single one of them,” Jeffrey said. “They did a great job forcing that outside shot, which made my life a lot easier. I then focused on watching the ball all the way down to my stick.”

For much more on the game, including stats, highlights and quotes from players and coaches, check out Thursday’s Greenwich Post.

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