Lacrosse Notebook: Canton's Defense Steps Up In Key Early Season Win Over Granby
By Joe Burns
Apr 19, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Coach Sean Cole was nervous before his Canton High girls lacrosse team's game hosting fellow NCCC power Granby Tuesday, considering that Granby won three games in the same week his Warriors hadn't had a game or full practice.
Granby's extra conditioning would make it difficult for his midfield to keep up, and the only way his team could win would be by stepping up on defense.
Due to rain, the only work Canton had put into their defensive scheme was on a whiteboard in their gymnasium. When it counted, however, the Warriors stopped the Bears' two key players — Katie Martel and Maddy Skiff — and came away with a 12-11 overtime win to remain undefeated in a key early season conference game. Canton is No. 1 in the CIAC Class S ratings, Granby is No. 3.
"Defense was going to win the game, nothing else," Cole said.
"I was nervous because we hadn't been able to fully practice in a week, but the girls just kind of bought into the game plan."
Abby Charron scored four goals for 4-0 Canton, including the winner in OT, handing 7-1 Granby Memorial its first loss of the season. After the Warriors got sloppy late, losing the last three regulation draws that led to two Skiff goals that forced extra time, Charron stepped up, won the opening draw of OT and scored the winner less than a minute in.
"Katie Martel is terrific, we knew she was going to score (five goals in the game)," Cole said. "Our goal defensively was to shut down their next best players. Maddy Skiff (two goals) is a fantastic player, she is college ready, but we made life difficult for her. If she went off on us tonight, it would have been difficult to win."
Granby head coach Terri Ziemnicki thought her team started the game on the wrong foot.
"The first half we made too many mistakes," she said. "When you're playing against a good team, you need to bring your 'A' game, because if you make mistakes, they will take advantage of them. We're a good team but we didn't play a full 50-minute game."
Granby's goalie, Haley Terva, had a huge role in keeping the game as close as it was. The senior had 26 saves on 38 shots, including 10 late in the game.
The Bears look to rebound fagainst Hall (4-1) on Thursday. Ziemnicki knows her team needs to grow from defeat.
"Disappointment is not a bad thing if you can learn from it," she said. "You can make excuses or you can be accountable."
Cole says the victory helps his team as it heads into a tough week, with games against East Catholic (5-1) and New Fairfield (6-1).
"We head to East Catholic who has one of the best players in the state in Alexa Webber, so we'll have to game plan for her. Our hardest game will be Saturday against New Fairfield, I've seen them play and I think they are better than last year. It's a big week and getting off on the right foot is important."
Old Lyme Defeats Old Saybrook
Old Saybrook entered Tuesday with its best chance in recent years to upset cross-river rival Lyme-Old Lyme, facing a team that lost all 11 of its starting seniors from last year.
When Izzy Sigersmith scored late in the second half, Old Saybrook (2-2) took its first lead of the half and looked like it would beat the Wild Cats for the first time in three years.
The Wild Cats had other plans. With less than two minutes remaining, Lyme-Old Lyme scored two goals in 12 seconds to come from behind and snatch away the rivalry game, 9-8.
Lydia Tinnerello scored the game winner to cap off a four-goal performance.
It would have been the first victory for the Rams since a 13-12 victory in the 2014-2015 Shoreline finals. Old Saybrook's biggest scoring threat, Kendall Hartt (who led the Rams with three goals), had a chance to equalize in the closing seconds, but the shot missed wide as time expired.
"I look at those opportunities at the end and they could have gone either way," first-year Old Saybrook head coach Dick Shriver said following the loss. "Our girls played hard. Our game plan was to stop them from running the field and scoring on fast breaks which we did, our defense put together a pretty good wall."
Hartt led the Rams with three goals, and Sigersmith and Mandy Beck each contributed another two.
Lyme-Old Lyme head coach Emily Macione says the games between her side and Old Saybrook are always challenging because of how well they pass and move the ball.
"It just as easily could go the other way, so I think we just need to practice getting through these moments to help build that confidence that we need to see those teams."
Around The State
Cheshire defeated Fairfield Ludlowe Saturday in a game at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Senior captain Tim Hoynes scored his 100th career goal to help the Rams win, 10-7. … Junior Eschoe scored the overtime game-winner for Windsor boys to defeat Norwich/Windham Tech 10-9 on Tuesday. … Matt Quinn scored 10 goals in Suffield's 20-1 win over Ledyard on Saturday. … Ryan Neimiec had 22 saves in Lyman Hall's 6-5 victory over Hamden Tuesday. … Branford head coach Jackie Ceccolini recorded her 100th career victory in Tuesday night's 16-8 victory over Guilford.