New Canaan girls lacrosse in Class M semifinals
NEW CANAAN -- The New Canaan High is a girls lacrosse team on a mission.
The top-seeded Rams weren't dissuaded by the 90-degree temperatures or No. 8 Farmington Thursday, taking another important step through the Class M state tournament bracket.
A state title for the seniors is just two steps away as New Canaan roared into the semifinals with a resounding 15-5 victory on the turf at Dunning Field.
The next stop for the Rams is Tuesday's Class M semifinals where they will battle No. 5 Avon at a neutral site to be determined. Avon vanquished No. 4 Brookfield, 12-7 Thursday.
"There are always little things to improve on," said New Canaan coach Kristin Woods. "But there were a lot of things to like out there."
New Canaan, with senior tri-captain Kelly Armstrong winning all but one faceoff in the first half, led 4-0 after seven minutes of action and 10-0 at halftime.
The margin could have been a lot higher except for the courageous play of senior goalie Jadin James (11 saves) for Farmington (12-6).
New Canaan elected to show mercy in the second half, smartly resting numerous starters in the draining heat in anticipation of the battles that lie ahead.
"Our program is just four years old. We are just starting to get girls who treat lacrosse as their No. 1 sport. Farmington has been a soccer town forever," said Farmington head coach Jeff Manaresi. "In a game like this, we gain experience. They play college style lacrosse down this end of the state. In transition, New Canaan is so quick. And they are physical. And they don't drop the ball. We are still working toward that. We don't see lacrosse like this where we are."
Offensive balance was the theme for New Canaan (19-2) as Isabel Taben, Elizabeth Miller, Brianna McEwan and Olivia Hompe all collected two goals.
Even with two goals and two assists, Hompe was a highlight reel. Both passes threaded the needle after drawing over the defense. On her second half goal, Hompe's arm and stick seemed to reach to the sky to pull in the pass before she dunked past James for the score.
Wilton and East Lyme face off in the other M semifinal. Leaving New Canaan just two victories away from a state title.
New Canaan 15, Farmington 5
FARMINGTON 0 5 --5
NEW CANAAN 10 5 -- 15
Records: Farmington 12-6; New Canaan 19-2.
Scoring: F -- Erika Isner 1g; Maureen Gallo 1g; Audrey Gallo 1g; Taylor Bisceglia 2g. NC -- Isabel Taben 2 goals; Elizabeth Miller 2g; Olivia Hompe 2g, 2 assists; Lily Citrin 1g; Brianna McEwan 2g, 1a; Kathleen DeMarino 2a; Bea Eppler 1g; Annie Cuoco 1g, 2a; Kelly Armstrong 1a; Catherine Granito 1g; Grace Freyre 1g; Samantha Stewart 1g, 1a; Matty Novick 1a; Madeleine Gertsen 1g. Goalies: F -- Jadin James (11 saves). NC -- Liz O'Sullivan (5 saves); Nathalie Deney (4 saves).
Highlights: NC -- Armstrong won all but one faceoff in 1st half. No. 1 seed New Canaan plays No. 5 Avon in Tuesday's M semifinals at a neutral site to be determined.