NEW CANAAN — To the casual observer, it looked as though the New Canaan girls lacrosse team had altered its defense for the second half of Tuesday night’s game with Wilton.
Not exactly, according to New Canaan coach Kristin Woods.
“We did switch the defense to our zone in the second half … We were playing it first half … We were just more intense in the second half and executed better,” Woods said. “It was intensity and basics. Instead of going for the swing, play body. I say that a lot.”
The Rams limited Wilton to one second-half goal, which came with 3:23 left in the game. But by that time New Canaan was ahead 11-6 and neither team scored again.
In addition to its improved defense — Wilton didn’t get a shot on goal for the first 18 minutes and 20 seconds of the second half — New Canaan also had Jane Charlton.
Charlton, a junior midfielder who has committed to Duke, scored four of her six goals after halftime. Three of those tallies came on free positions, including Charlton’s final score which put the Rams ahead 9-5 with 10 minutes remaining.
“I didn’t do very well at all on frees on Saturday,” Charlton said, referring to her team’s 11-9 loss to Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) “I worked on them in practice and it paid off tonight.”
“It definitely helps when Jane goes into beast mode,” Woods said. “She just goes 110 percent at all times and that’s what I love about her.”
Wilton never trailed in the opening half, getting goals from Sudano and Olivia Gladstein to go ahead 4-2 with 5:51 left. Charlton cut the lead to one goal before Gladstein scored off a feed from Sudano with 2.8 seconds remaining, giving the Warriors a 5-3 advantage at the break.
“We played great in the first half and then turned the ball over too much in the second half,” Wilton coach Meredith Meyran said. “We have to play like we did in the first half for the whole game against a team like New Canaan.
“I told the girls afterwards that we can’t focus on this game,” Meyran added. “We have to come out tomorrow and forget about it.”