Lady Trojan laxwomen show positive signs
Although its record doesn't say it, the Weston girls lacrosse team is improving. Weston dropped to 2-4 on Wednesday in a 16-7 home loss to five-time SWC champion Newtown (5-1 with its one loss coming to state power Wilton), it can be lauded for not quitting.
"We didn't get down on the fact that they had a big lead and we kept our heads up," Lady Trojan Coach Erin Wilson said. "Our offense did a better job of keeping possession. We had a lot of opportunities today but we had a lot of missed shots."
When Newtown's lead reached 10 which forced the game into running time, and exceeded it by extending its lead to 11, 14-3 with 20:49 remaining in the game, Weston came back and scored three straight goals to end running time.
"Weston has improved a lot in the last two years," Lady Nighthawks Coach Maura Fletcher said.
The Lady Trojans might have made it closer if they didn't hit the post a few times. They trailed the whole way, courtesy of Newtown's dynamic duo, senior captain Meghan Bridges (three goals, three assists) and classmate Lisa Vendel (five goals, four assists, four ground balls, four draw controls). Vendel was All-American Honorable Mention and her and her teammates' ability to win draws set the tone for the game, giving the Lady Nighthawks a 3-0 lead.
Junior Cara Fleming (one goal, two ground balls) got Weston on the board with an 8-meter free shot with 18:07 left in the first half. Senior captain Brittany Swanson (two goals, one assist, one ground ball, one forced turnover) scored from senior captain Sam Seath (two assists, one ground ball) and set up junior Hannah Hutchins' (one goal, one ground ball) goal in the first half. Newtown led 11-3 at the break.
"We worked on driving and dumping and both goals came off of it," Swanson said.
Lady Trojan junior Sara O'Brien was all over the place on defense. O'Brien (nine ground balls, three interceptions) got to many ground balls and made it tough for the Lady Nighthawks to pass it. Classmate Alex Fumai (two ground balls, two interceptions) also played well defensively and complemented O'Brien. Sophomore Carolyn Figliola (10 saves) made some big saves for Weston.
Sophomore Abby Chepolis (two ground balls) and Swanson scored goals for the Lady Trojans to end running time with Seath setting up Swanson's goal with 8:05 to go. Weston sophomore Nicole DeCanio (three ground balls) made it 14-6 off a set up from classmate Catie Ledwick (three ground balls, two interceptions).
Senior captain Sam Druks (one ground ball) fired a shot for the Lady Trojans but was robbed by a sophomore goalie Celeste Cheung (eight saves). Cheung made it tough for Weston with some impressive saves.
Newtown scored two goals and its second one reinstated running time with 4:57 left. However, the Lady Trojans kept their pride and with 1:32 to go, Ledwick scooped in an underhanded shot to end running time.
Juniors Becky O'Brien and Katie Maretz had one ground ball each and sophomore Sarah Schawartz had an interception and forced turnover.
"The girls are improving and working very hard," Wilson said. "We're working on team camaraderie."
Swanson said, "I thought we improved from last year's game against Newtown. Figs made some nice saves. We dug ourselves a hole, otherwise we could have competed against them."
Weston has many games coming up it feels it can win and is buoyed by its game against the five-time defending SWC champs.
"This woke us up and made us realize how aggressive we have to play," Swanson said. "It shows we can compete against teams in our league."
Wilson said, "It's very promising and I hope we can go to States. If we play every game like we played against Newtown, we will be going to States."