Canton girls lacrosse dominates Somers to win first Class S state championship

The Canton High girls lacrosse team celebrates after winning the Class S championship Saturday in Milford. (Photo courtesy, John Fitts, Canton Compass)

The Canton High girls lacrosse team celebrates after winning the Class S championship Saturday in Milford. (Photo courtesy, John Fitts, Canton Compass)

Four years ago, Emma Charron was an eighth grader and sat in the car with her father, Andrew after the youth lacrosse season had ended. Andrew had coached Emma and several of her friends for several years and the team finished the season undefeated.

He turned to Emma. “In your senior year, you’re (all) going to do something special,” he predicted.

Andrew Charron was prophetic. No. 4 Canton capped off a stellar season in girls lacrosse with its first-ever state title Saturday with a dominating 15-3 win over Somers to claim the Class S championship at Jonathan Law High School in Milford.

After the Spartans cut the lead to two goals with 1:38 left in the first half, Canton didn’t allow another goal. The Warriors scored the final nine goals of the contest to secure the win.

The victory capped off an historic season for the Warriors (18-3). Canton set a school record for most wins in a season and also won their first-ever conference championship and captured the NCCC Tournament crown for the first time with a dominating 14-4 victory over Somers. The two teams played four times this season with Canton winning three times.

Somers handed Canton a 12-11 loss in overtime on May 6. Since that point, Canton won nine of its final 10 games. The only loss was to Simsbury, 15-9, on May 16.

Senior Kaelyn Oliver scored three goals as Canton won the state championship Saturday. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Senior Kaelyn Oliver scored three goals as Canton won the state championship Saturday. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Charron scored three goals and had three assists in the championship win over Somers. Fellow senior Kaelyn Oliver had three goals and two assists. Senior Devon Daubert had two goals and an assist while senior goalie Amanda Gottlieb made nine saves in net to earn the win.

Canton had seven seniors on the roster including defenders Sarah First, Nekearel Brightly and Carly Atkinson. The Canton defense forced 19 Somers turnovers.

This senior class played right away once they came to Canton High four years but it took time for the youngsters to grow and contribute. In 2013, they won four games – a school record at the time. They had won just twice in three previous varsity campaigns.

As sophomores in 2014, the Warriors went 7-9 and qualified for the state tournament for the first time and won a game. As juniors a year ago, they helped the Warriors finish second in the NCCC and advance to the Class S quarterfinals.

Junior Grace Giancola was constantly surrounded but she still scored a game-high six goals to lead Canton to a 15-3 win over Somers in the Class S championship game. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Junior Grace Giancola was constantly surrounded but she still scored a game-high six goals to lead Canton to a 15-3 win over Somers in the Class S championship game. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

This year, second-year head coach Sean Cole knew there was potential and talent on this roster. He added challenging games to the schedule. Canton easily passed their first tests with a 14-1 win over Tolland and a 16-3 win over Hall. However, Fairfield Warde taught the Warriors an important lesson about pressuring the ball and playing outstanding defense in a 10-6 loss in late April.

In the state tournament, Canton landed in the tougher bracket. They beat Immaculate-Danbury, 14-4 and Weston, 12-6 to earn a semifinal date with No. 1 Old Lyme, a 19-1 team making its third straight semifinal appearance. Canton outlasted the Wildcats, 15-11, in probably their toughest game of the tournament. The Warriors didn’t allow a goal in the final 10:56 of the game to secure the win.

It was close for a while Saturday against Somers. Canton got the early jump with a 4-0 lead on goals from Giancola, Charron, Daubert and Oliver with 15:48 left in the first half. Somers cut the lead to two, 5-3, when Danielle Hollister scored with 1:58 left in the opening half. But Giancola scored with 13 seconds remaining to give Canton a 6-3 halftime lead.

In the second half, it was all Canton with Giancola scoring three of her game-high six goals as the Warriors pulled away for another dominating win over Somers and their first state championship in lacrosse.

“We care about the sport and we care about each other,” Oliver said earlier this year. “That’s the best part about our team. We don’t yell at each other (when things get challenging). We always picking each other up. That’s have the reason why we win.”

“They’re amazing. I love every single one (of my teammates),” Charron said earlier this year.

“I’ve never pushed myself so hard,” Oliver said. “We do it for each other.”

Carly Atkinson had a late goal to help Canton win its first-ever state title in girls lacrosse Saturday in Milford. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Carly Atkinson had a late goal to help Canton win its first-ever state title in girls lacrosse Saturday in Milford. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

It’s the first time that Canton girls have won multiple state championships in one school year. The girls basketball team won their first state title in March, beating Thomaston for the Class S championship, 64-51. … As a school, Canton has won multiple state titles in a single school year three times. In 1985-86, the field hockey and baseball teams won Class S crowns; in the fall of 1995, the boys soccer and field hockey teams brought Class S state titles and in 1997-98, the field hockey and boys tennis teams were Class S state championships. … Canton’s seven seniors graduated on Friday night and attended the senior graduation party for a few hours before heading home. … The margin of victory was the second largest in a CIAC championship game. Darien beat Wilton by 13 goals in the Division I title game in 2008, 20-7. Darien also beat Greenwich by 12 goals, 18-6 in the 2013 Class L finals.

For additional photos from the game, check out John Fitts and Canton Compass.

Canton 15, Somers 3
At Milford
Canton (18-3)       6  9  — 15
Somers (17-5)      3  0  — 3
Goals: Grace Giancola (C) 6, Kaelyn Oliver (C) 3, Emma Charron (C) 3, Devon Daubert (C) 2, Carly Atkinson (C), Marianne Dalessio (S), Cassandra Speight (S), Danielle Hollister (S); Assists: Emily Pruden (S), Charron (C) 3, Oliver (C) 2, Daubert (C); Saves: Laura Morton (S) 4, Amanda Gottlieb (C) 9; Shots: Canton, 19-12; Turnovers caused, Canton 11-4 (Daubert 3, Giancola 2, Oliver 2; Turnovers, Somers, 19-11

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