New Canaan tops Ridgefield in girls lacrosse
RIDGEFIELD — If defense wins championships, the New Canaan girls lacrosse team seems poised for yet another run.
The Rams put on a first half defensive clinic that eventually paved the way for a 16-10 win over FCIAC rival Ridgefield on Tuesday. Braeden Dial led the charge on the other side of the field with four goals and four assists for the Rams, which passed its final tough conference test before the postseason.
Goalie Cameron Blair led a defensive effort that held the Tigers to three goals in the first 24 minutes of the game, and the offense did its part to build a lead that was too much for the hosts to overcome.
“Cameron played phenomenal and our big focus was communication,” New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said. “We were really loud and doubling and in control and when that happens it definitely gets to the attackers and can cause turnovers; our transition looked great today.”
On the Tigers side, they lamented all the missed shots and opportunities that were available behind the strong performance in the draw from Caroline Curnal, who scored three times. The teams played out an even second half that featured several twists.
“We weren’t taking the right shots at the right times,” said Ridgefield coach Cece Burger. “Early on our attack wasn’t really moving well together, they usually have a better chemistry in there. For some reason today it was a little stagnant, so we blew some of the early opportunities we had with possession.”
The Rams scored the first five goals of the game despite playing defense for most of the sequence. Campbell Armstrong tallied twice during the outburst to begin the game, before a yellow card leading to a man advantage got Ridgefield temporarily back into the game at 5-2.
Ann Hague scored three times to begin the second half to trim New Canaan’s lead to one goal, but a flurry to finish the contest ruined any hopes of an upset.
“The competition is going to get tougher as we enter FCIACs,” Berger said. “If we keep making the mistakes like we did today then we’re in for a rough end to the season.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cameron Blair, New Canaan. In a game that featured 26 goals and multiple hat tricks, the Rams junior stood out in a big way. Blair made 11 saves, including seven in the first half with Ridgefield winning the variety of draws.
With Ridgefield carrying all the momentum behind five straight goals to cut the deficit to 9-8, it committed a foul on a shooting attempt that resulted in a yellow card. The Rams took full advantage, scoring twice in 32 seconds to reclaim a three-goal advantage, then rattled off three more before the Tigers finally responded. The 5-0 run virtually closed the game.
“I think this team is finally starting to click,” Woods said. “A lot of kids played together last year but it’s getting more dominant as the year goes on and I’m excited to see what they can do.”
NEW CANAAN9 7 — 16
RIDGEFIELD4 6 — 10
Scoring: NC—Campbell Armstrong 3g; Karlie Bucci 3g, 1a