Visiting New Canaan used a 3-0 run to start the second half and open up a four-goal lead, and controlled possession for much of the rest of the way to end the Wilton girls lacrosse team’s season, 10-6, in the Class L quarterfinals on Thursday at Lilly Field.
Where the Warriors had dominated draw controls (16 of 20) in their 10-8 win over the Rams in the FCIAC semifinals last week, this time it was New Canaan that dominated the circle, winning 10 of 15 draws.
“It was the exact opposite of last week,” said Wilton head coach Meredith Meyran. “New Canaan did a great job on the draw today. They made a big adjustment there, and it was tough for us to recover from that. We had a lot of extra possessions last week in the FCIAC game. That was the huge difference tonight —the amount of possessions we had.”
Wilton, the fourth seed, ended the season 15-4.
The fifth-seeded Rams (15-5) play top-seeded Darien — and its 106 straight wins against Connecticut opponents — next Tuesday in the semifinals.
“Our seniors really stepped up today. In every practice since the FCIAC game we really focused on draw controls, possession and aggressive defensive play, and our kids did a really great job against an unbelievable Wilton team,” said New Canaan head coach Kristin Wood. “We’ve got a lot of work to do before Tuesday but if we come with the same energy and excitement I think this team’s unstoppable.”
Julia Bonnist led the Wilton scoring with three goals, with other goals by Taylor LaMantia, Sophia Sudano and Eva Greco.
LaMantia, Greco, Paisley Eagan and Olivia Gladstein each had an assist.
Braeden Dial tallied five goals for New Canaan, with two goals each from Jane Charlton and Karlie Bucci. Mckenna Harden also scored.
Paige Brown had six saves for Wilton and Caroline O’Dea three saves for the Rams.
The Rams’ performance on draws was led by Bucci with five draw controls, Harden with three, and Julia Ozimek with two.
The first half was a tough defensive battle, with the scored tied at 1, 2, 3 and 4, before Dial’s goal with 50 seconds left gave New Canaan a 5-4 halftime lead. Brown made a point-blank save in the final seconds to keep it a one-goal game.
The Rams scored three times in span of a minute — with goals by Dial, Charlton and Bucci — to lead 8-4 with 21 minutes left.
Greco scored on a free position, and later set up a goal by Bonnist, but both times the Rams answered to restore the four-goal lead. Neither team scored over the final 11 minutes.
“New Canaan played great,” said Meyran. “It was unfortunate that it was a quarterfinal matchup but it is what it is. We can only worry about the things we can control. My girls played as hard as they could.”