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Undefeated Canton (9-0) off to best start in team history

Two-time All-State player Abby Charron has a team-leading 43 goals this year for undefeated Canton (9-0). She had six goals in Saturday’s win over Old Lyme. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON, April 30 – The Canton High girls lacrosse team has steamrolled through the first month of the season. The Warriors are 9-0 and 8-0 in the North Central Connecticut Conference.

With Tuesday’s 19-2 win over Rockville, Canton has already secured at least a share of their fourth straight NCCC championship. A win over Somers (2-7) next Tuesday on the turf field in Canton will clinch the title outright for the Warriors.

The 9-0 start is the best start in team history, eclipsing an 8-0 start in 2016. Two-time All-State attack Abby Charron has scored a team-leading 46 goals including a career-high eight goals in a win over Ellington on April 15.

Ashley Huff has 28 goals including a season-high six goals in a win over Somers on April 12. Maeve Balavender and Allie DelSanto each had scored 24 goals with Fiona McNally chipping in with 17 goals, including four against Rockville on Tuesday.

Outside of a pair of games against NCCC rival Granby, the Warriors haven’t been challenged. The Bears scored 11 and 12 goals but no other team has scored more than nine. Goalie Courtney LeFave and her defense pitched a shutout in a 19-0 win over Rockville on April 9 and have held opponents to four or fewer goals in five games.

Canton’s Zoe Bates (6) looks upfield in Saturday’s win over Old Lyme. She has scored seven goals in Canton’s first eight games. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Fifth-year head coach Sean Cole is hoping for some challenging contests as Canton prepares for a run at the Class S championship. The Warriors have been stopped in the semifinals for the past two seasons.

In 2017, the Warriors lost to New Fairfield, 16-13 with several key seniors suspended for breaking school rules. A year ago, Canton fell to East Catholic in the semifinals in double OT, 8-7.

Canton hosts East Catholic (3-5) on Saturday at 7 p.m. on the turf field in Canton. Also remaining on the schedule is a road trip to No. 10 New Fairfield (8-0) on Saturday, May 11 at 4 p.m. The Rebels are the only Class S team in the state coaches top 10 poll that is dominated by teams from the FCIAC.

The Warriors also have games pending against undefeated Simsbury (8-0) on Monday, May 13, at 3:45 p.m. in Canton and a challenging game at Hall-West Hartford (3-5) on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m.

The regular season will end with Senior Night on May 20 in a game against E.O. Smith at 7 p.m. on the turf field.

Canton’s Allie DelSanto had three goals and two assists in Saturday’s non-conference win over Old Lyme. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton was hoping for a challenge against Old Lyme (6-4) on Saturday but the Warriors dominated with 10 first half goals in a 17-5 rout. Draw controls are similar to winning faceoffs in hockey and gaining control of the ball. Canton had a 14-7 advantage in draws with Charron winning nine.

Charron had six goals and an assist against Old Lyme while DelSanto, Balavender and Huff had three goals each. Laura DiMartino and Fiona McNally had two assists each in the winning effort.

Canton 17, Old Lyme 5
At Old Lyme
Canton (8-0)          10  7  — 17
Old Lyme (6-4)        2  3  — 5
Goals: Canton – Ashley Huff 3, Abby Charron 6, Ashley Potter, Zoe Bates, Allie DelSanto 3, Maeve Balavender 3; Old Lyme – Bella Arias, Lydia Tinnerello 2, Catherine Harrison 2; Assists: Laura DiMartino (Ca) 2, Charron (Ca), DelSanto (Ca) 2, Balavender (Ca), Fiona McNally (Ca) 2; Saves: Courtney LeFave (Ca), Hayden Saunders (OL)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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