NEW CANAAN — There’s no rest for the weary.
Playing its sixth game in 10 days, the New Canaan girls lacrosse team burst out to a 10-goal lead in the first half and went on to defeat Cheshire 15-5 in an FCIAC-SCC matchup Saturday at Dunning Field.
The whirlwind isn’t ending anytime soon. New Canaan (6-0), which is ranked No. 10 in the latest Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25, will face rival Darien on Monday to kick off a four-game week. New Canaan defeated Darien 7-5 last week, and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down.
“I have a lot of kids who are just competitors,” New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said. “They love to play and after not playing last season, they have a new, fresh excitement for the game.”
“It’s been crazy,” New Canaan junior Dillyn Patten said after scoring four goals against Cheshire. “We had to quarantine, but this team is so close, we’re able to push each other and do what it takes. We have such depth and that’s been important. Anyone can come off the bench and play amazing.”
Cheshire (7-2) had a four-game winning streak stopped, but coach Dan Warburton said facing New Canaan was a great learning experience.
“You’re not going to get better if you don’t play the best,” Warburton said, adding that his Rams have had several games decided by wide margins “but we feel like we learn more out of this game than in those. We want to play teams like this so we can learn where we can grow and get better.”
New Canaan built a 4-0 lead in the first six minutes against Cheshire, which got on the scoreboard with a goal by Alex Lucas at 9:08. New Canaan responded with five goals and carried a 13-3 lead to halftime.
“We had a day off yesterday, because of the schedule for next week,” Woods said. “So, the intensity and focus were there. We’ve been talking a lot about defensive talk and the kids rose to the occasion.”
The large lead allowed Woods to substitute in the second half, and goalie Shea Hobbs, who replaced starter Claire Mahoney, was particularly strong with eight saves.
“Shea was extraordinary,” Woods said. “ I couldn’t be happier with the way she played. We have two very good goalies.”
For Cheshire, which will face another FCIAC power when it takes on Wilton on May 8, there were plenty of positives.
“We settled in, even after a few minutes in the first half, we were able to get the ball down to the offensive end and run some things,” Warburton said. “But they exposed a lot of things we want to work on and fix prior to getting to the end of the season. So I look at this as a net positive regardless (of the outcome).”
“I love it. Obviously (Darien is) one of the best teams in the FCIAC and the state and they always push us as a team. It’s the rivalry, so revenge is always a big thing. It’s going to be a great game, very competitive, they want to win, and we want to win again.”
— New Canaan junior Dillyn Patten on Monday’s game against Darien, New Canaan’s second meeting with its rival in less than two weeks.
Raegan Bailey reached the century mark in career goals with her 100th during Cheshire’s 21-2 win over North Haven on Thursday. The senior attack scored twice against New Canaan, giving her 102 for her career.
Cheshire’s Rams were wearing purple t-shirts for a virtual 5K running challenge to support Theresa’s Battleship Foundation.
The foundation is named for Cheshire High graduate Theresa Fitzpatrick, who had Rhabdomysarcoma, a form of cancer, and passed away at the age of 19 in 2013.
Fitzpatrick, who had battled cancer since she was 16, had co-founded a team for the Cheshire Relay for Life in 2012, and after her death, Alexis Sansone, a friend and co-captain on the 2012 Cheshire girls lacrosse team, helped start the original Theresa’s Battleship Relay team.
The foundation has raised more than $800,000, providing funding for the laboratory research and clinical trials program within the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
NEW CANAAN 15, CHESHIRE 5
Cheshire 3 2 – 5
New Canaan 13 2 – 15
Scoring: Cheshire: Taylor Warburton 2g, 1a; Raegan Bailey 2g, Alex Lucas 1g; New Canaan: Dillyn Patten 4g, 1a; McKenna Harden 2g, 3a; Hollis Mulry 3g, 1a; Lexie Tully 2g; Quinn McKiernan 2a; Stella Nolan 1g; Olivia Lockhart 1g; Grace Crowell 1g; Caroline Brooks 1g; Kaleigh Harden 1a; Caroline Underwood 1a; Pippa Williams 1a; Goalies: C – Audrey Bronson 5 saves; New Canaan Claire Mahoney 1, Shea Hobbs 8.
Records: Cheshire 7-2; New Canaan 6-0