Wreckers girls lacrosse downed by New Canaan in FCIAC quarters
Updated 9:21 pm, Thursday, May 16, 2013
Some say the playoffs are a whole new season.
It may have been a "whole new season," on Thursday but it was a very familiar result for the one-loss, No. 2-seeded New Canaan girls lacrosse squad, which cruised to a 12-5 FCIAC quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Staples at Dunning Stadium.
With the win, the Rams advanced to Monday's semifinals and will take on the winner of Friday's quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 Greenwich and No. 6 Ridgefield.
"We know we have to go hard every game from here on out because it could be our last," said New Canaan's Elizabeth Miller, who scored a game-high four goals. "Everyone has the capability of scoring because everyone's amazing. I was just hot today, but it can be anyone's day. I'm excited to play either team (in the semifinals). They're both really good."
Staples' (8-8-1, 4-7 FCIAC) Nicole Najarian opened the scoring with a hard charge to the New Canaan net, and her bounce shot gave her team its first and only lead at 1-0.
New Canaan (16-1, 11-1 FCIAC) responded with five unanswered goals. Olivia Hompe tied the game with a top-shelf shot and Bea Eppler put the Rams in front for good in the first half.
More InformationFact box
Miller scored consecutive goals 59 seconds apart to make it 4-1, while Hompe netted her second goal for a 5-1 lead.
"Staples is a strong team, they came out hard today, they improved a ton since the first time we played them," New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said. "It was a physical game and we had to make sure we possessed the ball. It was a good start to the FCIAC tournament."
From there, the Wreckers and Rams traded goals for the rest of the first half. Staples got one back on a Jenna McNicholas marker before New Canaan's Isabel Taben scored. Najarian scored her second goal for Staples and Lily Citrin notched the final goal of the first half to give the Rams a 7-3 lead heading into the break.
"They're a tough team. They play a very patient offense and they wait for good shots. We need to work harder as a group to find the chemistry to win games," Staples coach Peter Najarian said. "We have a very young roster and we're only going to get better. We're excited about that, but this wasn't our best effort."
New Canaan controlled most of the action in the first half but put the game away with three quick goals to start the second half. Miller, Hompe and Brianna McEwan found the back of the net for the 10-3 lead just 2:48 into the second half.
Eliminated from FCIACs, Staples will now prepare for the Class L state tournament.
"I think we'll give the girls a couple days off, and then try to get a scrimmage or two between (now and the state tournament)," Najarian said. "What I want them to do is stay in shape and stay mentally prepared."
"I told the kids when we walked in that it's the playoffs now and that every team is playing for their season, and they're going to leave everything on the field," Woods said. "We have to make sure we take every ground ball, every draw control and that we utilize it to our advantage."
New Canaan 12, Staples 5
STAPLES 3 2 -- 5
NEW CANAAN 7 5 -- 12
Records: Staples 8-8-1, 4-7 FCIAC; New Canaan 16-1, 11-1 FCIAC.
Scoring: S -- Nicole Najarian (2g), Ryan Kirshner (1g, 1a), Jenna Mcnicholas (1g), Samantha Kratky (1g); NC -- Elizabeth Miller (4g), Olivia Hompe (3g, 1a), Lily Citrin (2g), Bea Eppler (1g), Isabel Taben (1g), Brianna McEwan (1g), Kathleen DeMarino (1a). Goalies: S -- Emma Boland (5 saves); NC -- Nathalie Deney (5). Shots: S -- 13; NC -- 19.