Playing for injured teammate, New Canaan dominates Wilton in girls lacrosse

WILTON — New Canaan’s one-goal defeat against Victor (N.Y.) on Monday went in the books as its first loss of the girls lacrosse season.

In reality, the Rams lost twice.

Senior Hollis Mulry, a key part of New Canaan’s attack, went down with an injury in the second half against Victor, and her absence hit the second-ranked Rams hard as they prepared to face No. 3 Wilton.

New Canaan responded with a dominating performance.

The Rams broke open a 7-5 game with seven consecutive goals during an 11-minute span of the second half and steamrolled the Warriors 14-6 Wednesday night at Lilly Field in Wilton.

Senior Kaleigh Harden and Dillyn Patten each scored four goals, and Stella Nolan added a hat trick to lead the attack for New Canaan (3-1). Goalie Claire Mahoney led a great defensive performance with 11 saves.

The Rams said at the start of the game that they wanted to win it for Hollis.

“It was pretty hard as a best friend and teammate that we’ve played with for a long time,” Harden said of Mulry’s injury. “Everyone knows she’s a huge contributor to this team, and we just wanted to play this game for her. We know she would do anything to be back out here.”

“She’s a huge part of our team and she’s definitely going to support everybody,” New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said. “It definitely was a blow and we’re definitely going to play this one for her.”

The win was New Canaan’s fifth straight against Wilton, which last beat the Rams 10-8 in the 2018 FCIAC semifinals. The Rams came back to beat the Warriors 10-6 in the Class L quarterfinals en route to a state championship that year, and have won four straight regular-season meetings in the three seasons since.

The Warriors (2-1) had dominated their first two games, beating Guilford 20-11 and Rye (NY) 14-1, but fell behind early against the Rams’ attack.

“Credit to New Canaan — they did a really great job tonight and they were shooting very efficiently,” Wilton coach Meredith Meyran said. “In our previous games, we had more defensive stops which resulted in us having more possession, and that’s what it came down to. Our defense was a little shell-shocked with New Canaan’s speed, so we just have to game plan better for next time.”

The Warriors, who had two goals apiece from Morgan Lebek and Lucy Corry, trailed 7-2 at halftime, but opened the second half with a 3-0 run to close the gap to two goals.

But after a timeout, New Canaan took over again.

“Keep it simple: Come up with the ball, execute the attack and defensively, make sure we’re talking and taking care of each other,” Woods said. “The kids responded and I can’t be more excited for them.”


Dillyn Patten and Kaleigh Harden, New Canaan: The two seniors stepped up in a spotlight game, which each scoring four goals.


“Wilton’s a great team and they had some momentum, so we just needed to take a deep breath during the timeout and go back out there and play how we played in the first half. We made a statement once we went back in there and went on a roll.” — New Canaan senior Kaleigh Harden; @dstewartsports


New Canaan 7 7—14

Wilton 2 4—6

Scoring: New Canaan: Dillyn Patten 4g, 1a; Kaleigh Harden 4g; Stella Nolan 3g; Caroline Underwood 3a; Devon Russell 2g; Lexie Tully 1g, 1a; Wilton: Morgan Lebek 2g, 1a; Lucy Corry 2g; Molly Snow 1g, 1a; Jemma Peterkin 1g. Goalies: NC - Claire Mahoney 11 saves; W - Amelia Hughes 8 saves. Records: New Canaan 4-1, Wilton 2-1