Lady Trojans overcome injuries
Updated 7:07 pm, Thursday, April 19, 2012
The injury bug has been the Weston girls lacrosse team's toughest nemesis.
The Lady Trojans -- who lost two standout players for the season before it started, and a third who is expected back soon -- have handled most of the competition with ease in the early going.
Weston won six of its first seven games -- claiming five of those matchups by seven or more goals.
A key to the team's success has been parity throughout the lineup.
"I think what's great about our team is we don't have that one player that stands out so much more than the others," said Lady Trojan coach Megan Murphy, adding that opposing team members can't zone in on a particular player to guard.
The graduation of seven players and injuries to three others left Murphy with a fairly new-to-varsity lineup, including several first-time starters, in place this spring.
Taylor Swanson, coming off an ACL tear from basketball, had the misfortune of tearing her other ACL on the second day of lacrosse practice. Morgan Moubayed, aecond Team All-Stater a year ago, tore her meniscus in the season opener, a 16-2 triumph over Masuk April 4.
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Murphy notes that both players are juniors who are looking forward to continuing to play lacrosse in college. Moubayed should recover in time to show off her skills for collegiate coaches this summer, Murphy believes. The coach expects Swanson, who will remain sidelined longer, to walk on at a college and be a pleasant surprise for a team.
Senior captain attacker Abbie Chepolis pulled her hamstring before tryouts and has yet to play, but is expected to join the team in the coming week or two, Murphy said.
Sophomore attacker Stephanie Thomson was on the junior varsity team last year but has stepped up to make a big impact this spring. Thomson has 18 goals and is among the team leaders in draw controls.
Similar to Thomson, sophomore defender Dana Mitchell also moved up from JV and is making her presence felt. Senior attacker Nicole DeCanio (13 goals) and freshman midfielder Alexa Werner (eight assists) are excelling in new roles according to Murphy.
Catie Ledwick was last year's Class S championship game MVP, and is a senior captain this year. Ledwick has 20 goals and eight assists for 28 points. She leads the team in caused turnovers and is among the team leaders in ground balls.
In net, senior captain Carolyn Figliola has 60 saves and allowed 57 goals.
Junior Grace Mattison leads the team in interceptions and is one of its leaders in draw controls.
Senior defender Maggie Maretz, junior midfielder Stef Buffa, and junior defender Alex Fontaine also contribute. Weston beat non-conference foe Fairfield Warde 16-9, edged Lauralton Hall, 15-12, doubled up Pomperaug 22-11, won 19-10 at Bethel and beat Bunnell 15-6. The team's only loss was a 10-7 setback to Stamford.
Ledwick said she was proud of how the team played in that setback and believes if the Lady Trojans keep up the same level of passion they showed in the Stamford game that it will be a successful season.
"I think if we work hard we can really do anything. I really do believe in this team," added Ledwick, adding that the losses to injuries were tough for Lady Trojans, but that players have been stepping up to make things happen.
Not that the Trojans wouldn't be winning games anyway, but the team has had the easier portion of the schedule thus far.
"We have a tougher second half of the season," Murphy said. "We're definitely looking forward to some intense games because I think you learn the most from those."
Weston has yet to face seven-time SWC champion Newtown and a tough New Fairfield squad.
"We'd love to have the same success we had last year," said Murphy, whose team went 11-5 a year ago before going on to capture the Class S state championship as the No. 5 seed.
"I think most important for us is to try to learn to play together as best we can," said the coach, adding that the season is sure to have ups and downs and the fairly new-look lineup will need to adapt.