While the final 10-10 record wasn’t up to its usual standards, last year’s Wilton High girls lacrosse team’s status as one of the state’s elite teams remained intact.

Through it was an up-and-down season, against a very tough schedule, the young Warriors still managed to be in every game they played — all the way to the 8-6 loss to eventual champ Darien in the Class L semifinals.

It marked the 11th time in the last 13 years that Wilton has reached the state semifinals.

With more experience this year, the Warriors are hoping to convert the close games into wins.

“Last year all of our losses were one- or two-goal losses. We were right there in every game we played. I think this year we will be able to translate those losses into wins with the experience we have,” said head coach Meredith Meyran. “The girls are ready. They feel they have something to prove.”

The Warriors, who open the season on Saturday at Glastonbury, have 19 returning players from a year ago, and return most of their top weapons on the attack. The losses on the defensive side were more substantial, but coach Meyran is looking for several players to step into starting roles.

“We are very optimistic about the season. We have a strong returning core,” she said. “All the girls have growth in the offseason and really stepped up their games.”

On attack, Wilton returns last year’s top player, junior Eva Greco, a lethal scorer who was first-team all-FCIAC and all-American as a sophomore last season.

Senior Ellie Armstrong, an honorable mention all-FCIAC player last year, is also back on the attack line. Other returning attackers are seniors Erika Bonnist and Margaret Smith, both of whom saw significant playing time last year.

The midfield line will be solid with senior captains Sydney Brant and Rebecca Wistreich, both second-team all-FCIAC last season. The big loss is Paisley Eagan, an all-American last season as a sophomore, who transferred.

Junior Julia Bonnist is another midfielder who saw playing time last season, while the team also returns senior Jillian Lynch, juniors Olivia Roman and Molly Ward, and sophomores Julia Skillen and Carly Sullivan.

The lone returning starter on defense is junior Zoe Lash, whom Meyran expects to assume the leadership role this season.

Senior Alexandra DiSanto is expected to be a key part of the rebuilt defense, as are seniors Sarah Hinck and Elizabeth Kennard and juniors Emory Goodwin and Carly Lattimer.

Goaltending will be a big strength, as the Warriors return two talented and experienced goalies in junior Paige Brown and sophomore Bridgette Wall.

“They both grew and improved in the offseason. They have a year of experience under their belts,” said Meyran. “They both look great so far.”

This year’s team will be bolstered by three talented freshmen: attackmen Callie Drake and Taylor LaMantia, and midfielder Sophie Sudano.
— J.B. Cozens