FAIRFIELD >> Members of the Fairfield Warde girls’ lacrosse team have a lot of reasons to smile these days. You can pinpoint the excitement to last Thursday’s 9-6 victory over Staples, but it’s been more than that.
“It means a lot (to beat Staples) and it just shows that over the years we’ve been growing,” senior co-captain Gabby Howard said. “It’s really exciting and it just shows how far we’ve come.”
It’s been a steady uprise for the Mustangs, who are currently 4-1-1 on the season and have been steadily improving in all aspects of the game.
Against the Wreckers, Howard said it wasn’t just one area that stepped up, it was a collective effort; coming back from a deficit on offense to having a shutdown approach defensively.
“Everything that we’ve been practicing finally worked,” Howard said.
While junior Sarah Reilly’s name is one that usually fills the box score, head coach Tom Davis explained what’s worked for his team so far has been balance.
“Sarah Reilly has been our mainstay, but every game Meredith Nerreau, she’s a presence on the field, Amanda Orvis, Caroline Lambert, Hannah Doughtery, they are all putting something into the game and if it’s not offensively, it’s defensively,” Davis said.
A veteran core led by Howard highlights a defense that has been holding its own. Sophomore Rebekah Snitkoff, who is in her first year starting, has filled in nicely in the net and provided the team with reassurance.
“She’s quite, but she’s been stellar for us,” Davis said.
Added Howard: “There’s such a relief turning to your goalie… we have a lot of confidence in her.”
Beside a tie with Ludlowe, the Mustangs have lost just one game to date, a 15-6 defeat to New Canaan. Howard explained that the game was an eye-opener for the squad, but the nine-goal loss helped the team grow.
“Honestly, we came out as strong as we could,” co-captain Lambert said. “They (New Canaan) are a difficult team to beat, we lost, which was unfortunate, but it made us stronger and brought our team together.”
Lambert explained the team will be on their toes the rest of the season as they look to make the FCIAC and state tournament.
One goal both Howard and Lambert said is to get a higher seeding in both tournaments. Lambert said it’s not too far out of reach to strive for a Top 4 FCIAC placement.
“I definitely think it’s realistic,” Lambert said. “I they we’ve shown it on the field that we really have it all there.”
The Mustangs, who have won their last three games, hope to continue the streak this week as they host Brien McMahon on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s exciting to see what we can do when we push each other and put our minds to it,” Howard said. “And anything can happen.”