MONROE — Masuk’s girls lacrosse team pinned a 15-3 loss on Shelton in an out-of-conference clash on Saturday afternoon.
Masuk had a quick turnaround after a 12-10 comeback win over visiting Bethel in the rain the night before. Midfielders Bennett and Pagano had key goals late in the victory over Bethel.
Coach Rob Troesser liked how his team performed in the win over Shelton the next morning.
“We started right where we left off,” said Troesser, referring to his team getting on the scoreboard early on against Shelton. “We clicked on a lot of passes we haven’t been making.”
The Panthers improved to 7-4 to qualify for the state tournament. The Southern Connecticut Conference Gaels fell to 1-9.
Masuk got three goals from Melissa Psaras.
The Panthers had five players each with a pair of scorers: Paige Jelliffe, Cali Ryan, Jessie Bennett, Julianna Pagano and Mary Henry. Ryan and Henry both had assists. Sarah Pfau and Chloe Miller added goals.
After seeing the Panthers score twice in less than a minute to stretch the lead to 6-0, Shelton called timeout and created a glimmer of hope soon after the stoppage in play.
The Gaels applied pressure, created a turnover and capitalized when Catie Lindberg weaved her way through the defense and scored with 4:25 left in the opening half.
Shelton kept Masuk’s potent offense off the board for nearly three minutes and had chances but couldn’t cut further into the deficit.
Masuk scored three times in the final 1:47 of the half to seize a 9-1 at the break.
Gigi Gamboin scored on a free position shot, and Alley Russel whipped one home off the post for Shelton’s second-half tallies.
Shelton goaltender Nicole Frese made nine saves. Masuk’s Juliana Henry stopped six shots.
Both teams had 10 draw controls, and Shelton coach Kat Ciambriello liked the way her team did in that facet of the game.
“We just need to hold onto that possession and eliminate the turnovers,” Ciambriello said.
Pagano had four of Masuk’s draw controls and Mia Camerino came away with six for the Gaelettes.
Masuk did a good job of moving the ball quickly, and effectively, off faceoffs.
“What we were trying to do was eliminate their draw and dump. We were trying to stop their attack,” Ciambriello said.
Shelton’s Zoe Hunt played solidly on defense, and Gianna Maurati did a good job of communicating and setting up Shelton’s transition game.
Christina Moniz and Lauren Henry were strong on defense for the Panthers.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Masuk High’s Juliana Pagano led the Panthers in draw controls and tacked on two goals.
“We started right where we left off. We clicked on a lot of passes we haven’t been making.” — Masuk coach Rob Troesser