Wilton girls lacrosse team holds off Ludlowe, 13-11

The Wilton girls lacrosse team used a 3-0 run midway through the second half to build a four-goal lead, and fought off a tough challenge from Fairfield Ludlowe for a 13-11 win on Tuesday night at Wilton’s Lilly Field.

It was the second win in a row for the Warriors, who improved to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the FCIAC. The Falcons dropped to 5-4 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

After Ludlowe’s Emily DeMaso scored with 17:36 left to cut Wilton’s lead to 9-8, head coach Meredith Meyran called a time-out to refocus the Warriors, who responded with the decisive run.

“They really responded out of that time-out, and we needed that time to re-focus and to remind everybody what the game plan was and how we needed to go out there and continue to execute it,” said Meyran.

“This was a huge game. Not only did we lose to Ludlowe last year, but we have to improve on our FCIAC record. It’s one of the (FCIAC) games that counts for us so it was a really important game for us to win.”

Meyran said last year’s overtime loss to the Falcons was also on her team’s minds coming into the game.

“That was definitely something we talked about, and how that game had gotten away from us last year, and how we weren’t going to let that happen this year,” she said.

Wilton led 9-6 at the half, but Ludlowe scored twice to open the second half and cut the led to 9-8. Paisley Eagan scored on a free position for Wilton to make it 10-8 with 15:10 left, after Ellie Armstrong had come up with the key draw control.

Ludlowe won the next draw control, but Sydney Brant batted down a pass and Rebecca Wistreich got the ground ball for Wilton, which made it 11-8 with 13:07 left when Eva Greco scored on the run with a shot under the crossbar.

Armstrong made it 12-9 with 11:10 left when she was able to squeeze into the crease from the side and put a shot into the cage.

The Falcons got a goal back when Meghan Donahue scored on a free position, but the Warriors answered two minutes later when Greco dodged a defender and took the ball to the goal, scoring with a high shot to make it 13-9 with 6:11 left.

Both goalies — Bridgette Wall for Wilton and Grace Flink for Ludlowe — made big saves in the following minutes, before Regan Steed scored for the Falcons, cutting the lead to 13-10 with 3:08 left to play.

Ludlowe had several shots down the stretch, but hit the post and/or crossbar three times, and had another shot turned away by Wall. Donahue cut the lead to 13-11 with 1:49 left, but the Warriors were able to run out the clock after that for the win.

Greco led Wilton with four goals, while Armstrong had three goals and one assist, Eagan had two goals and two assists, and Wistreich had two goals. Scoring one goal each were Brant and Lilla Seymour.

Donahue and Steed each had four goals to lead Ludlowe, while DeMaso scored two goals and Melissa Bucher had one goal.

Ludlowe head coach Heather Lewsey was disappointed with the loss, but pleased with her team’s effort, except for some lapses at key moments that led to two or three Wilton runs.

“Wilton’s a great team. Last year and this year we really competed with them. I think we had a few mental lapses, and in those few mental lapses where we didn’t follow the game plan, they were able to capitalize and get a few goals, and then we were playing catch-up,” she said. “I think we did a lot of positive things but you can’t have a few minutes at a time where you let them get a few goals.”

Lewsey said draw controls were key to the game’s outcome.

“I think Wilton really fought for those draw controls today. When you get the draw you can kind of control the next few steps. We were looking to control a few more draw controls than we did, and we didn’t.”

Wistreich led Wilton with five draw controls, while Eagan and Brant each had three and Armstrong had one.

Wall finished with six saves for Wilton and Flink made seven saves for Ludlowe.

Wistreich had two caused turnovers and two ground balls for Wilton. Eagan led the team with three ground balls.

“This team is young yet really focused, and they come prepared and ready to practice every single day. I think they’re continuing to get better and that’s what we’re looking for,” said Meyran.

While Wilton is one of the elite teams in the FCIAC, and Ludlowe is trying to fight its way into that group, both teams are taking the same approach to their season — focusing on the present and not the past.

“Those past (Wilton) teams aren’t going to win games for us this season, so we need to be focused on us and what we need to do, and these girls have been,” said Meyran.

“We’ve had a lot of really good games against those tops teams and we’re looking to break into that. The girls work so hard at practice every day,” said coach Lewsey. “I think when our team plays with confidence, we really can compete with anybody. It’s just coming to practice day in and day out with that mindset — that we’re here to get better and to elevate our game, even if it’s against ourselves, and then that will translate onto the field.”