Girls lacrosse: Wilton pulls away from Glastonbury to win season opener

The Wilton High girls lacrosse team outscored Glastonbury 6-2 over the final 19 minutes of the game to notch an 11-8 win at home in Saturday's season opener, in a battle between two of the state’s elite programs.

The Tomahawks had snapped a 5-5 halftime tie with a goal by Maddie Norman with 20:38 left in the second half, but the Warriors answered with a 3-0 run to take an 8-6 lead with 15 minutes left, and never trailed after that.

Eva Greco had a big game for the Warriors, with four goals and three assists. The Duke-bound sophomore also did a tremendous job on the draws for the Warriors, who won 15 of 20 draw controls.

Sophomore Paisley Eagan also had a huge performance, with three goals and four assists, along with a team-high six draw controls and multiple caused turnovers.

Rebecca Winterlich had two goals and an assist, with other goals by Erika Bonnist and Julia Skillin. Margaret Smith had an assist.

Sophomore goalie Paige Brown had a strong game in goal with nine saves.

For Glastonbury, Norman scored six goals and Christina Rotondo and Angela McCarthy had one goal each. Nina Maitland had eight saves in goal.

“I’m happy with the way we played today and I’m happy with the support all around,” said Wilton head coach Meredith Meyran, who felt opening against such a strong opponent would be a good test for a team with many new starters.

“We thought it was important to come out of the gate and really test ourselves, and it helps us learn a lot out our team. We got to play a lot of different players and we had a lot of different contributors,” she said.

After they took a 6-5 lead, the Tomahawks had the ball and a chance to make it a two-goal lead, but Wistreich forced a turnover, which was picked by Ally DiSanto to give Wilton the ball. Greco then scored off an Eagan assist with 18:32 left to tie the game, 6-6.

The Warriors took the lead for good with 16:39 left when Bonnist scored at the side of the net off a feed from Greco. The goal came off another Glastonbury turnover, with DiSanto again getting the groundball.

After Sydney Brant came up with the ensuring draw control, a goal by Eagan upped the lead to 8-6 with 15:08 left.

Norman cut it to 8-7 with 10:44 left, but Wistreich answered 43 seconds later (after Skillin came up with the draw control) when she scored on the run after dodging a defender.

Norman’s goal with 8:21 left cut it to 8-7. Both team had shots over the next several minutes, before Wistreich passed in front to Eagan, who was knocked over but managed to score while falling to the ground, making it 10-8 with 4:47 left. The Warriors were then awarded possession on the penalty, and ran the clock down until Skillin put a shot under the crossbar with 1:41 left to cap off the scoring.

The Wilton defense, which held Glastonbury scorelss over the final eight minutes, was anchored by Maddie Duffy, Campbell Gulbin, Ella Mannix, Zoe Lash, Brandt and DiSanto, along with Greco, Eagan, Wistreich and Smith.

"I have a great defense in front of me, especially because we're such a good unit and we have the greatest communication," said Brown, the Wilton goalie who made her first varsity start. "It's not just one person. It's all of us working hard. We had a lot of ground balls down there and forced a lot of turnovers, which I think was huge."

“We really gutted that out. We didn’t give up and I was so proud of our girls,” Meyran said. “It’s tough to play in that intense of a game your first game out but I thought our kids did a good job listening and sticking to the game plan, and I was proud of how the younger kids really stepped up.”

Notes: Greco had three draw controls, with one draw control each by Skillin, Brandt, Smith and Ellie Armstrong.