Girls lacrosse: Wilton surges into FCIAC finals with 10-8 win over Rams
The Wilton High girls lacrosse is back in the FCIAC championship game for the first time since 2014, after the Warriors edged second-seeded New Canaan 10-8 in the semifinals on Monday night at Norwalk High School.
The third-seeded Warriors (14-4) take on top-seeded Darien (16-2) on Thursday night at 7 in the finals, also at Norwalk High. The Blue Wave defeated Greenwich 14-7 in Monday's second semifinal.
New Canaan had beaten Wilton 6-4 back on April 5, but the big difference this time came at the face-off circle, as the Warriors dominated on draws behind a huge performance from senior Eva Greco.
Wilton won 16 of 20 draw controls for the game, and 10 of 11 in the second half when they surged into the lead and were able to keep New Canaan from having many opportunities to come back.
In the early-season encounter, the Rams had won 10 of 12 draw controls.
“We’ve used a number of different people on the draw and it’s just what matchup is working on that particular day. I’m just so proud of her. She had such a great effort and, really, essentially won the game for us on the draw circle,” said Wilton head coach Meredith Meyran of Greco. “It’s something we really focused on this week preparing and Eva did just an outstanding job of stepping up today.”
“I figured out what I had to do and… all their draws are so very good at it. I just tried ripping backwards and then just went straight up, and then it’s whoever has more heart will get it,” said Greco, a four-year standout making her first trip to the conference championship game.
“We’ve never been in the FCIAC finals so it’s great to be back there. It’s going to be an awesome game and we’re so excited.”
Greco finished with nine draw controls, including six in the second half, and had three goals and an assist.
Paisley Eagan led the scoring with four goals and had four draw controls, along with a team-high seven ground balls.
Sophia Sudano scored two goals and had three draw controls.
Julia Skillin also scored, and Taylor Lamantia had an assist.
Karlie Bucci led the Rams with five goals, with other goals by McKenna Harden, Braedan Dial and Campbell Connors.
The first half ended in a 4-4 tie. Eagan scored early in the second half to give Wilton a 5-4 lead and Harden tied things about two minutes later, picking up a loose ball for a clean run on goal after two Wilton defenders had collided.
The Rams a short time later had a chance to take the lead on a free position but Bridgette Wall made the save on Harden’s shot. She quickly cleared the ball to Eagan, who took it coast-to-coast for the go-ahead goal with 18:15 left.
That started a run that saw Wilton score three times in a span of just over a minute, with the other goals by Greco and Sudano, making it 8-5 with 17:03 left.
With the Warriors winning the draws and taking their time on offense, New Canaan didn’t have much possession time to claw back in. Over the final 17 minutes Wilton has the ball for more than 11 minutes.
Skillin’s goal off a feed from Lamantia gave Wilton its biggest lead, 9-5, with 13:18 left to play.
The Rams got within two on Campbell’s goal with 1:26 left, but Wilton won the draw and was able to run out the clock for the win.
“Wilton did a great job (on draws). Eva and Sudano and Eagan are real strong players. The next time we play we’ll get after them a little more,” said New Canaan head coach Kristin Woods. “I was proud of my kids. They fought to the end. Hopefully, we’ll get possession of the ball next time.”
Paige Brown (two saves) and Wall (five saves) each played a half in goal for Wilton