Wilton girls fall to New Canaan in girls lax state final (updated)

Same teams. Same place. Same Class M state championship trophy at stake.

Unfortunately for the sixth-seed Wilton High girls lacrosse team, the result was the same, as well.

In a rematch of last year’s title game in which New Canaan defeated Wilton, 17-9, the top-seeded Rams triumphed once again, this time by a score of 10-6 at Bunnell High School in Stratford on Saturday afternoon.

New Canaan standout Olivia Hompe and sophomore Elizabeth Miller each scored four goals to pace the Rams to their second consecutive state championship.

Wilton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after sophomore Sara Dickinson scored less than two minutes into the game off a feed from junior Char Noels. Three minutes later, junior Annie Cornbrooks waited patiently behind the net, before circling around the cage and putting one past New Canaan senior goalkeeper Liz O’Sullivan (nine saves), who was making her first appearance in six games because of a broken thumb.

Not about to let the title game slip away in front of coach Kristin Woods’ six-day-old baby who was in attendance, the Rams quickly built momentum, scoring three goals, one each from Hompe, Miller, and sophomore Isabel Taben within a three-minute span.

Possession continued to see-saw back and forth before Wilton senior co-captain Tegan Helms settled it down, holding the ball behind the net for 28 seconds, before scoring unassisted to tie the game at 3-3.

Wilton then hit a cold streak in which consecutive goals by Miller, freshman Katie DiMarino, and Hompe stretched the New Canaan lead to 6-3 before Wilton coach Meredith Meyran was forced to call a timeout to gather the Warriors. Out of the timeout, the Wilton defense, led by goalie Hannah Wiltshire (seven saves), held steadfast for several possessions before Miller was able to notch her third goal of the day to increase the lead to four.

Junior Shannon Quinlan cut into the deficit, scoring off an assist from Dickinson with 5:22 remaining in the first half, but not before Hompe slotted home two straight free-position goals within 40 seconds of each other to widen the lead again for New Canaan. Helms was able to steal one back off an assist from sophomore Makenna Pearsall to narrow the deficit to 9-5 at halftime.

After a first half in which seven goals were scored in the first ten minutes, the defenses were the focus of the start of the second half, as neither team tallied until the 13:44 mark, when senior Kat Vincent scored from a free-position shot to get the Warriors within three.

Off another free-position shot shortly, sophomore Laine Parsons clanked her shot off the post, a goal that certainly would have swung the momentum heavily in Wilton’s direction with plenty of time remaining.

However, the Rams countered and Miller notched her fourth of the day to ease the tension just slightly more for New Canaan. The Rams were under constant pressure from Wilton’s defense, as the Warriors attempted to force turnovers and create transition opportunities.

A penalty on Wilton with 6:02 remaining gave New Canaan the ball, something they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. The Rams held possession for the rest of the way, gradually taking the wind out of the sails of Wilton as each consecutive pass was completed.

“We weren’t able to possess the ball or score, but I’m really proud of what we did,” said second-year head coach Meredith Meyran. “New Canaan is a great team.”

For New Canaan, it was the third state title in four seasons, and sixth overall in Hompe’s athletic career.

“This one is definitely special being the last one,” Hompe said. “It’s a great way to go out for my last high school game.”

The Rams finished the season 19-2, outscoring their state tournament opponents 57-20. The Warriors finished at 15-6.