CHESHIRE — No. 9 Ridgefield stunned top-seeded Cheshire in the quarterfinals of the Class L girls lacrosse tournament Thursday, routing the Rams 13-4 at Alumni Field.
The Tigers blew Cheshire’s doors off in the first half. They won face-off after face-off and scored 10 goals by intermission.
Ridgefield goalie Lexi Held did Cheshire no favors, recording 12 saves and stifling most scoring chances for the Rams, whose season ended at 17-3.
“The season as a whole, I think we had a nice year. We did a lot of good things and beat some good teams,” said Cheshire coach Dan Warburton. “Ridgefield was on today and we just weren’t. Their goalie was lights out.”
Ridgefield jumped on Cheshire from the very start. Just 32 seconds in, Caitlin Slaminko scored the first of her four goals. Hannah Boylan and Riley Peters quickly followed with goals of their own and Ridgefield had a 3-0 lead.
Coming out of a Cheshire timeout, Annie Eddy scored a goal to get the Rams on the board and it looked as though Eddy’s goal had cured Cheshire of its early jitters. That turned out not to be the case.
Ridgefield scored five unanswered goals — two from Slaminko and one apiece from Isabella Carrozza, Peters and Aly Gagnon — to extend its lead to 8-1.
Cheshire’s Annie Acquavita snapped the run with a goal with just over three minutes left in the half.
The Rams, however, couldn’t build on it, and Ridgefield kept attacking. Maeve Tobin scored for the Tigers and, to top things off, Slaminko scored her fourth goal just before the clock expired, giving Ridgefield a 10-2 lead at half.
In the second half, the Tigers slowed their tempo down considerably. They were very patient, looking for the shots they wanted and taking a lot of time off the clock in the process.
Ridgefield scored three goals in the second half. Mary Hage had one and Gagnon scored twice to complete a hat trick.
With Ridgefield slowing things down, Cheshire did get more scoring opportunities in the second half than in the first. Held shone in the second half as she stoned Cheshire’s offense until, with two minutes left, the Rams got goals from Eddy and Reagan Bailey.
“We really struggled to catch up to their speed in that first half,” said Warburton. “We played a great second half. They outscored us 3-2 and all of their starters were out there playing hard and trying to score. For whatever reason, that first half, we just weren’t picking up everything that they were doing quick enough.
“They executed very quickly. If you gave them a sliver of space, they’re able to catch and shoot.”
Ridgefield’s victory ensures an all-FCIAC final four in Class L. The Tigers (12-4) will face No. 3 New Canaan (15-3) in one semifinal. No. 2 Darien (16-2) will meet the winner of No. 3 Staples and No. 11 Wilton in the other.
New Fairfield 10, Sheehan 5: The top-seeded Rebels kept their Class S title defense on track with the quarterfinal victory over the No. 8 Titans in New Fairfield.
New Fairfield (19-2) will meet No. 13 Weston (11-8) in the semis. Sheehan closed the books on its most successful season at 14-6
Daria Bock’s four goals and two assists led the Rebs. Reagan Tenaglia turned in a hat trick.
Carlee Crispens tallied two goals for Sheehan. Madi Gaynor had a three-point night with one goal and two assists.
Alexa Alchimio and Samantha Hart scored one goal apiece. Alchimio added an assist.
Four-year starting goaltender Kaitlin Mills had 14 saves in her final game.
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