STRATFORD -- One of the oldest adages in sports reads: Big players come up big in big games.
For New Canaan girls lacrosse star Olivia Hompe, she somehow managed to lift her own high standards in her final high school game on the state's biggest stage.
Hompe found the back of the net nine times as New Canaan captured its second Class M title in three seasons with a 17-9 victory over Wilton on Saturday afternoon at Bunnell High School.
"I think I knew it was going to be a special year from the first practice," Hompe said. "You could just tell the girls we had, and really throughout the whole year we knew if we could play our best we could beat anyone."
The Rams overcame a slow start to blow by their opponents largely behind the efforts of Hompe, who matched her opponents goal total with her spectacular runs and precise accuracy, which caused constant problems for the Wilton backline.
"I'm so excited for our seniors," Rams coach Kristen Woods said. "They really pushed the team through this season. The first few minutes we were nervous but this was the best 50 minutes I've seen this team play."
The Warriors held a 3-2 lead with under 13 minutes left in the first half, but New Canaan quickly rebounded. Sarah Mannelly, who scored four times, and Hompe each scored a minute apart to give the Rams their first lead of the game with 11:03 left. They would then control the rest of the period, scoring twice in the final minute of the half to take an 8-4 lead to the break.
The Rams held Wilton scoreless for nearly 15 minutes bridging the first and second halves, as junior goalie Liz O'Sullivan stopped everything thrown her way.
"We capitalized on attack on what our defense was doing," Mannelly said. "Liz (O'Sullivan) made big saves and our defense did so well in transition it made it easy for our attackers."
Once New Canaan built a comfortable advantage, there was little the Warriors could generate in terms of sustained pressure. Visible signs of frustration were apparent as Wilton continued to chase the shadows of Hompe and Mannelly.
"I think we couldn't match (New Canaan's) intensity," Wilton sophomore Shannon Quinlan said. "When they keep scoring; sometimes it's hard not to drop your head and they just kept coming. We just didn't have it."
"We spent a lot of time talking about how we would react if things didn't go our way and how to recover these mistakes," Wilton coach Meredith Adamicki said. "We just didn't; we just gave them too much. New Canaan also did a great job; it is very tough to keep up with them."
New Canaan 17, Wilton 9
WILTON 4 5--9
NEW CANAAN 8 9--17
Records: Wilton 13-6, New Canaan 16-4. W--Casey Pearsall (4g, 1a), Tegan Helms (1g) Shannon Quinlan (3g), Katherine Vincent (1g, 2a), NC--Olivia Hompe (9g, 3a), Lily Citrin (1g), Sarah Mannelly (4g), Isabel Taben (2g), Brianna McEwan (1g); Goalies: W--Vanessa Pagano (9 saves), Hannah Wiltshire (0); NC--Liz O'Sullivan (9). Shots: W--18; NC--32.