GLASTONBURY, June 3 – The Stonington High girls lacrosse team likes to slow the game down. Way down. When they get ahead, the Bears move the ball around the circle. Again and again.
“Our game is to control the ball and control the clock,” Stonington High coach Jeff Medeiros said. “That is what we have to do. The opponents open up (defensively) because they get frustrated waiting. They come out and open up the middle.”
No. 3 Stonington scored six unanswered goals in the second half to take control and eliminate Canton, 9-5 in the Class S semifinals Monday at Glastonbury High School. The Warriors were in the semifinals for the fourth straight year and were looking for their first berth in the finals since 2016.
The game was tied at 3-3 early in the second half thanks to a goal from Ashley Huff with just a minute gone. Stonington goalie Isabella McCarthy made three saves over the next five minutes to keep the No. 2 Warriors at bay.
But the Bears wore down the Warriors, who committed numerous fouls in the scoring circle, giving Stonington an open path to the net. Hannah Lamb, who scored a game-high five goals, put the Bears up by one goal, 4-3, with 20 minutes left in the game.
Freshman Ivy Goodman scored with a shot that hopped off the turf and past Canton goalie Courtney LeFave for a 5-3 lead with 15:42 remaining. The Bears next three goals came off fouls and restarts as Stonington built an 8-3 lead.
Lamb’s fifth goal of the game came with 9:18 remaining on a sweeping shot for a 9-3 lead.
“This was a great day for us,” Lamb said. “In lacrosse, a lot of goalies make saves based on how you move your stick so if you move your stick more and are a bit more erratic with your stick, it can help. (LeFave) was really good up high. I’ll give her credit for that. (In the second half), we moved our shots lower and that helped us a lot.”
Lamb’s five goals enabled her to set a new school record for most goals in a season (94) and most points in a career (229).
LeFave was outstanding in the first half with several saves as Stonington led 3-2 at halftime on three goals from Lamb.
“Our defense was stellar,” Canton High coach Sean Cole said. “The other game that I felt this good about our defense was (a win over) Simsbury.”
The loss of two-time All-State attack Abby Charron, out with mononucleosis, didn’t help. Nor did the injuries to Laura DiMartino and Savanaugh Kasnig.
“There are no excuses,” Cole said. “We were missing three girls, one who is an All-American (Charron) and one would have certainly made a difference. But you play with the guys who are able to play physically.”
Allie DelSanto had three goals for the Warriors, including two in the final six minutes of the game. Ashley Huff had a pair of goals. LeFave finished with nine saves.
Stonington earns a spot in the final for the first time since 2014 and will face two-time defending Class S champion New Fairfield in the title game.
Stonington 9, Canton 5
Canton (17-3) 2 3 — 5
Stonington (18-3) 3 6 — 9
Goals: Hannah Lamb (S) 5, Kate Johnson (S) 2, Ivy Goodman (S), Emma Sabbadini (S); Allie DelSanto (Ca) 3, Ashley Huff (Ca) 2; Saves: Courtney LeFave (Ca) 9, Isabella McCarthy (S) 10