Girls lax preview: Goals remain lofty for Wilton
For the Wilton High girls lacrosse team, the holes left by graduates are significant in number as well as in productivity — among the 11 departures were a pair of All-America selections.
But the Warriors view these vacancies more so as openings for others to step in, step up, and carry on the program’s tradition of winning.
“Our goals are always to compete for an FCIAC championship as well as a state championship. We take one game at a time but are always working towards getting to those final games, playing to the best of our ability, and making our season last as long as possible,” head coach Meredith Meyran said.
Wilton went 15-5 last year, losing to seven-time champion Darien, 11-10, in the FCIAC championship game before falling to eventual state champ New Canaan, 10-6, in the Class L quarterfinals.
Playing in the state's toughest conference is always a challenge and a proving ground for the Warriors. Seven of the eight state quarterfinalists in Class L last spring were FCIAC schools. The lone exception was Cheshire, which competes in the Southern Connecticut Conference.
“The FCIAC is loaded as usual. Top FCIAC teams will be Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich, Ridgefield, Staples,” said Meyran, adding that her team also has tough non-conference games scheduled against Long Island opponents North Shore and Northport, Yorktown (N.Y.), and Glastonbury.
Winning a conference title can be every bit as difficult as capturing a state championship. But Meyran believes both objectives are attainable this season.
“While it won’t be easy, we will focus on bringing our fitness to a new level, working together, and getting better every single day,” she said.“Our team will need to be open-minded and willing to play a brand of lacrosse that may be different than we’ve played in years past — one that plays to our current strengths.”
“[We] are coming together as a cohesive unit and team play will be our greatest asset. It is our goal to have multiple contributors on the offensive end and for our defensive unit to take teams out of their comfort zone and limit their opportunities,” Meyran added.
Among the graduation losses from last year's team were All-American attackers Eva Greco and Paisley Eagan.
“We graduated most of our offensive production, so new players will have to step into those roles and be confident from the very first test. We will also have some new faces on the draw squad so we will be working hard in that area and trying new things in order to win us those extra possessions,” Meyran said.
This year's captains are goaltender Bridgette Wall, midfielders Julia Skillin and Carly Sullivan, and defender Delia Freliech. Wall, Skillin, and Sullivan are four-year varsity members.
Other top returning players include junior attackers Sophie Sudano and Taylor LaMantia.
The midfield includes junior Olivia Gladstein, while classmate Meghan Lane is expected to be among the key contributors on defense.
“The players and the coaching staff could not be happier or more excited to get the season rolling,” Meyran said. “The girls have prepared throughout the fall and winter seasons for this moment and are ready to go. This is a really special group of kids and the senior leadership has been impressive from day one.”
Notes: Wilton starts the season next Wednesday (April 3) with a road game against North Shore (N.Y.).