Girls lacrosse: Cards hold off Wilton, 11-10

Greenwich used a 3-0 run midway through the second half to build a four-goal lead, and held off a late rally by the Wilton High girls lacrosse team to score an 11-10 win on Tuesday in Wilton.

The Cardinals (2-1) made the most of their offensive opportunities, scoring on all four of their second-half shots to take an 11-7 lead with 13:59 left to play.

The Warriors (2-1) gradually crept back, getting to within 11-9 with 5:18 left, and then 11-10 after Lilla Seymour’s free-position goal with 27 seconds left. But Greenwich’s Natalie Paletta won the key draw control and the Cardinals were able to run out the clock.

“That was an awesome team win. We took a big step in the right direction,” said first-year Greenwich Head Coach Caitlin Young, an all-American defender for Wilton in 2005. “I’m really, really proud of the girls, for their effort from the first whistle to the end of the game That was the ultimate team win.”

“I thought Greenwich played great. Greenwich played really smart and they were able to control the ball, which made us have to chase them around. I thought they did a really great job of executing that,” said Wilton Head Coach Meredith Meyran. “We didn’t make the most of our opportunities today. We had the chances but we didn’t finish.”

Greenwich goalie Kylie Ginsberg, whom Coach Young called a “game-changer,” was just that, with eight second-half saves that proved the difference. Wilton also hit the post twice in the second half. For the game, Ginsberg had 10 saves, after replacing Anne Burke (one save) in the first half.

Wilton finished the game with a 21-13 edge in shots on goal

Anne Dunster, Paige Mautner and Madeline Graves led the Cards with three goals each. Megan Collins had a goal and three assists, and Erika Bloes had one goal.

For Wilton, Sara Dickinson had three goals, with two goals each from Seymour, Laine Parsons and Makenna Pearsall. Eva Greco also scored, while Dickinson, Parsons and Pearsall each had an assist.

After Greenwich jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, the game was tied at 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6. Dunster’s goal in the final minute gave the Cardinals a 7-6 halftime lead.

Ginsberg stopped two Wilton shots early in the second half, before Dunster came from behind the cage to score at 21:48 left to play, making it 8-6. After another point-blank save by Ginsberg, the Warriors got one by at 19:46 on a free-position shot by Dickinson. Greenwich answered with goals by Graves, off a great move through the defense, and Mautner; and after another big save by Ginsberg, went up 11-7 with under 14 minutes to go on Dunster's third goal.

Parsons ended the Greenwich run with a goal at 10:05. Wilton won the draw control, only to be thwarted again by a save by Ginsberg on Parson’s free-position shot. With 6:40 left, she turned away Dickinson on a free position, and a minute later Dickinson, on another free position, hit the post.

Wilton made it 11-9 with 5:18 left when Parsons fed Dickinson in front for the goal. After Rebecca Wistreich got the ensuing draw control, the Warriors had a chance to cut it to one but had a shot sail wide. On defense, the Warriors worked hard to pressure the ball as Greenwich spread things out, and got some timely turnovers, but the Cardinals were also able to eat up big chunks of time off the clock.

The Warriors forced a turnover with a minute left, and Paisley Eagan cleared the ball to the offensive zone. Another Wilton shot missed the mark, but an interception by Greco got the ball back, leading to Seymour’s goal with 27 seconds left.

It was too little, too late for the Warriors, however.

“It’s early season so we’re still working through some stuff. We’re making some mistakes with our stickwork, and turning the ball over when ordinarily we wouldn’t. Those are all factors moving forward that we’re going to focus on,” said Coach Meyran. “We didn’t run our offense today. We didn’t play like we do in practice. That’s where we’ve got to make the connection — coming out here with that same mentality, doing what we do every day, and focus on playing Wilton lacrosse.”

For Coach Young, it was nice way to come back to here home town, but her focus was on the big picture.

“It’s always good to be back, but this was extra special,” she said. “Obviously we’re excited but (it’s) back to work next practice. Our ultimate goal is to get better every day and be playing our best lacrosse in mid June, and this was a step in the right direction.”