Girls lacrosse: Wilton romps to Class L finals

The Wilton High girls lacrosse team is in the state finals for the fourth straight year, and ninth time in 12 years, after romping past Simsbury 16-4 on Wednesday night in the Class L semifinals at Southington High School.

The ninth-seeded Warriors (14-6) play in the state championship game on Saturday, at 10:30 a.m., at Bunnell High School in Stratford. Their opponent is a familiar one — third-seeding Darien (19-3), which has beaten Wilton twice this season.

The Warriors are making their first-ever trip to the Class L finals. They won the Class M title last year and were runners-up in 2012 and 2013. Wilton was a Division I state finalist five straight years from 2004 to 2008, winning two titles.

“First year in Class L, to make it back to the finals, I’m really proud of this team. I’m really proud of their effort,” said Head Coach Meredith Meyran. “Where we started to where we are now is light-years, and I’m really proud of these girls. They’ve worked so, so hard. They really deserve it.”

On Wednesday, Sara Dickinson scored a career-high seven goals, all in the first half, to lead the Wilton offense. Laine Parsons had four goals and Cecily Freliech had three goals, while Makenna Pearsall contributed two goals and two assists. Rebecca Wistreich also scored, and Dickinson, Freliech, Parsons and Lilla Seymour each had one assist.

For fifth-seeded Simsbury (12-6), Sutton Wunderle scored two goals and Sara Colglazier and Meghan Corcoran each had one goal. Wunderle and Colglazier each had an assist.

The Warriors were on-target early, scoring on their first five shots, and on nine of 15 shots in the first half. Dickinson scored her seven goals on just eight shots.

“It’s something we struggled with mid-season, so we really took it seriously trying to make an improvement in that area, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job,” Meyran said of the Warriors’ improved accuracy.

“We take shots but we have to make sure we finish them,” said Dickinson, who is going to her fourth state title game. “We’ve had problems with that in the regular season, so we’re really stressing that because we know especially going against Darien, they are a very good finishing team. We know they’re going to score goals. We just need to score more.”

The Warriors jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first 10 minutes against Simsbury, with Dickinson scoring four of the goals. After that, a combination of turnovers and saves by Simsbury goalie MacKenzie DuBois kept Wilton in check until the final 1:28 of the first half, when the Warriors scored three goals — all by Dickinson — to up the lead to 9-1. Simsbury scored just before halftime to make it 9-2.

Wilton reeled off three goals in the first 3:12 of the second half to go up 12-2 and start a running clock the rest of the half.

The Warriors won 17 of 22 draw control balls, getting another great game by Pearsall with 10 draw controls. Parsons had four draw controls and Paisley Eagan had three.

Eagan led the Warriors with five groundballs, with two each by Dickinson, Wistreich, Pearsall, Parsons, Freliech, Casey Tucker and Sydney Brant.

Tucker had a team-high three caused turnovers, while Pearsall and Campbell Gulbin each caused two turnovers. Wistreich, Seymour, Freliech and Brandt each had one caused turnover.

Olivia Phelan finished with three saves in goal for Wilton.

DuBois had 10 saves in goal for the Trojans and Emily Franklin had one save.

The Wilton defense — anchored by Tucker, Eagan, Mel Boehme, Maddie Duffy and Gulbin, along with Pearsall, Parsons and Freliech — limited Simsbury to only seven total shots all game, and never let the Trojans get anything going offensively.

“We were pressuring out,” said Coach Meyran. “Simsbury’s very talented and we wanted to make sure we were taking them out of their comfort zone, so we pressured everyone, everywhere, and were really looking to just cause some turnovers.”

“Working as a team, that’s how we play defense. So if we’re not connected the defense falls apart. But obviously in this game we were playing as a unit and we were really playing together and for one another,” said Tucker.

After playing three of its best games of the season in the state playoffs, Wilton hopes the third time is the charm when it faces Darien in Saturday’s championship game. Tucker feels the Warriors are ready to turn the tables on the Blue Wave.

“If we play like this, we can’t be stopped, so I’m excited. I’m ready,” she said. “We know what we’re up against.”

“We’re feeling confident. There’s a lot of chemistry with this team, and they’re really, really supporting each other on and off the field,” said Coach Meyran. “We’re looking forward to Saturday and looking forward to getting another shot at Darien. We’re just going to do our best to compete.”