Girls lacrosse: Quinlan's five goals lead Wilton past Staples

Since giving up 16 goals to Garden City on April 14, in its only loss, the Wilton High girls lacrosse team has picked up its play on the defensive end, allowing less than five goals per game.

That trend continued on Tuesday in the Warriors’ 10-5 win at Staples.

The Warriors (10-1) shut the Wreckers out over the final 19 minutes of the game, turning a 7-5 lead into the 10-5 final score.

“We played some awesome defense. Our goalie played great. We could have executed a little bit more on offense, but we were able to make up for it with defensive plays,” said head coach Meredith Meyran.

It was the lowest output of the season for Staples, which entered the game averaging 12 goals per game. It marked the sixth time this season the Warriors have held an opponent to a season-low goals total.

The Wreckers dropped to 4-4 with the loss.

Coach Meyran said she’s encouraged with the direction the team’s taken.

“Everything’s positive. We’re working really well together. We have a lot of different people contributing and I’m really pleased with the chemistry and the overall effort,” she said.

Shannon Quinlan led Wilton with five goals, including three in a span of 1:30 early in the game that turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead.

Sara Dickinson had two goals, with one goal each from Makenna Pearsall, Laura Knapp and Laine Parsons. Pearsall had two assists, with one assist each by Annie Cornbrooks, Knapp and Parsons.

Pearsall had a dominating game on the draws, as Wilton won 13 of 17 draws, with Pearsall winning nine draw control balls herself. Quinlan, Char Noels and Casey Tucker had one each.

Dickinson won two groundballs, with one each by Cornbrooks, Knapp, Quinlan, Tucker and Mel Boehme

Tucker, Pearsall, Cecily Freilich, Maeve Kennard and Boehme each had a caused turnover. Tucker also had an interception. Sydney Brandt also contributed to the defensive effort.

Hannah Wiltshire made nine saves in goal. Emma Boland had a solid game as well for Staples, with 10 saves.

The Warriors finished with a 25-15 edge in total shots, and 20-14 edge in shots on goal.

For Staples, Nicki Najarian and Colleen Bannon each had two goals, and Jenna McNicholas had one goal.

McNicholas had given Staples an early 1-0 lead about four minutes into the game, but Quinlan tied things up about three minutes later when she exploded into a seam in the Staples defense and scored left-handed with a high shot. Pearsall then won the draw control, passed to Knapp, who fed the ball to a streaking Quinlan, who again scored just 14 seconds after her last goal.

Just over a minute later, Quinlan again got inside the Staples defense with a burst of speed and switched to her left hand to score with another high shot, making it 3-1.

The Wilton lead went to 4-1 with 13:14 left in the first half when Dickinson scored from in front off a great set-up by Cornbrooks.

Najarian scored at 7:40 to make it 4-2, and Pearsall made it 5-2 at 5:09 when she scored off a free position. After Pearsall won the ensuing draw, Knapp scored just 13 seconds later after a nice spin move into the crease.

Quinlan’s fourth goal made it 7-3 early in the second half, but Staples charged back with two goals by Bannon in a span of 1:26 to make it a 7-5 game with 19:04 left. Quinlan answered right back with a free-position goal at 18:27, and Dickinson scored with a move into the crease at 15:54 to make it 9-5. Parsons scored the final goal with 7:16 left.

While Thursday’s showdown with Darien is the big game of the week for Wilton, coach Meyran said the Warriors didn’t have the luxury of looking past Staples on Tuesday — and was happy they took care of business.

“We didn’t even allow ourselves to talk about it or think about it or even mention Darien. We have a huge week. We have Staples. We have Darien on Thursday and we’re going to Long Island on Saturday (to play Sacred Heart-Hempstead),” she said. “We knew this was going to be a big week. We knew this was going to be a big test and we are taking it one game at a time.”