Girls lacrosse: Warriors move to state semifinals

The Wilton High girls lacrosse team advanced to the Class L state semifinals with a 13-9 win over top-seeded Glastonbury on Thursday in Glastonbury.

The ninth-seeded Warriors (13-6) will play fifth-seeded Simsbury next Tuesday in the semifinals, at a time and site yet to be determined.

The Tomahawks (20-3) scored the game's first goal, but Wilton took control with a 5-0 run behind the dominance of Makenna Pearsall on the draw controls.

After Glastonbury made it 5-2, Wilton scored two to make it 7-2 with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.

The Warriors took their biggest lead yet, 8-2, late in the half, before the Tomahawks scored to make it 8-3 at halftime.

Wilton built its biggest lead with 13:47 left, at 12-5.

Glastonbury rallied with a 3-0 run in a span of 1:37, but were unable to have enough possession time down the stretch to get any closer.

Lilla Seymour and Laine Parsons led Wilton with three goals each, while Sara Dickinson had two goals and three assists and Pearsall two goals and one assist.

Cecily Freliech, Rebecca Wistreich and Eva Greco scored one goal each, and Greco had an assist.

Pearsall, with 12 draw controls, was the difference in the game, much as she was in the tourney opener against Ridgefield. The Warriors were able to use their advantage in possession time to build their lead, and then hold it.

"When we can rely on getting the possession back after they score a goal, it is absolutely huge and it can be game changing. And today it absolutely was," said Wilton Head Coach Meredith Meyran. "She's amazing."

Meyran also praised the defense, anchored by Casey Tucker, Maddie Duffy, Mel Boehme and Paisley Eagan, and goalie Olivia Phelan (eight saves) — along with middies Pearsall, Parsons and Freliech.

"We did a great job on off-ball defense, denying the cutters. On-ball defense, we didn't' foul. We were staying low and just playing good body defense. And that really helped Liv out in the cage. Liv came up big in the second half. Near the end there we were making some mistakes and she really bailed us out."

For Glastonbury, Maddie Norman had four goals and Sydney Cendona and Catherine Quanci scored two goals each. Lindsay Shettle had one goal.

Audrey Apanovich made seven saves in goal.

Glastonbury Head Coach Kris Cofiell tipped her hat to Wilton.

"They played a great game," she said. "We didn't win the draws, we had too many turnovers, and too many balls didn't bounce our way."

The Tomahawks lost their best player, and draw specialist, Taylor Walker, to a season-ending ACL injury in the eighth game — and she was sorely missed on Thursday.

"She's arguably one of the best players in the state of Connecticut," said Coach Cofiell. "Clearly, not having her hurts. But with that said, we have a lot of other really talented girls who have stepped up and attempted to pick up the things that Taylor did for us," she said.

One regret, in addition to having the season end, was that the game between two of the state's top programs was played so early in the tournament.

"It was not a quarterfinal matchup. That was a semifinal matchup," she said.