MILFORD — First-year coach Diana DiGangi got her first taste of victory in the Law-Foran rivalry on Friday afternoon as the Law, behind an eight-goal second-half explosion beat Foran, 10-5, at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex.
DiGangi became the new coach in Devon, taking over for Lynette Martinez who had guided the team to a 12-5 record last spring and an appearance in the Class M state tournament. Law graduated 12 seniors, including Olivia Keator who closed out her high school career with over 300 points.
“This is a big and exciting challenge for me,” said DiGangi, who worked as an assistant at Amity Regional for the past six seasons. “I know how good that team was. It was loaded with seniors.
“A win like this for us is important. It’s always nice to beat your rival, and it will hopefully give us some added momentum heading into our final five games. It also came just three days after we beat Shelton (15-13).”
Law received four goals from junior Katie McNellis and three from senior Laura Dennigan, who also had two assists. Dennigan is the backbone of the offense as its quarterback. Earlier in the season, she hit the 100-goal mark for her career.
Foran, on goals from freshman Mia Williams, Samantha O’Neill and the first of two from Bridget Collins, had taken a 3-2 lead.
“The problem was, you can only play defense for so long,” said Tom Drew, also in his first year as girls’ lacrosse coach at Foran. “Defensively, we held our own behind Addie Foley, Lia Burrows, Haley Ruane and Amanda Queiroz. Chloe (sophomore goalie Chloe Oliver who had 14 saves) was tremendous throughout the game.
“We gave them way too many second-, third- and fourth-chance opportunities in the second half. Draw control was a big factor. It allowed them to have possession for large chunks of the game.”
A Dennigan penalty-shot goal (44 seconds in) evened up the match, at 3-3, and less than a minute later, Jordyn Konlian also scored on a freebie putting Law on top by one.
However, the Lions then picked up a pair of penalty-shot scores, both by Collins, to take a 5-4 lead at the 12:42 mark.
That advantage quickly melted away, as the Lady Lawmen scored six times in the final 11:35.
They were led by two goals from both Dennigan and McNellis, and singles tallies from Ella Jambor and Eryn Mower.
“As our coach said, this has been a new challenge for us because, we pretty much had to replace our entire varsity line-up, ” Dennigan said. “My job is to provide leadership and to be able to successfully read the opponents’ defense and to keep our possessions going.”
The win brought Law’s record to 4-7. The Lady Lawmen need four more wins to qualify.
“We’ll be pushing to finish strong and make the tournament,” DiGangi said.
The loss left Foran at 3-8 with the re-match between the two schools set for May 18 (a Saturday) with a 2 p.m. start planned.
“Our thought process from here is to improve with every single day,” said Drew. “We need to continue to work on our weaknesses and to get better offensively.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Law’s Katie McNellis scored four goals, two coming to help erase a 5-4 second-half deficit.
“A win like this for us is important. It’s always nice to beat your rival, and it will hopefully give us some added momentum heading into our final five games. It also came just three days after we beat Shelton (15-13).” — Law coach Diana DiGangi