— Tim Murphy (@TimMurph27) April 22, 2019
RIDGEFIELD — In a game dominated by defense, the winning goal was fitting.
It came off a turnover following a broken play.
Jane Charlton’s shot just beat the final buzzer, giving the New Canaan girls lacrosse team a 6-5 victory over host Ridgefield on a rainy Monday evening at Tiger Hollow.
The Rams scored the first three goals of the second half to take a 5-2 lead. However, the Tigers denied New Canaan during a two-minute penalty and then went on a three-goal tear of their own to tie the game.
Caitlin Slaminko scored off a free position and converted a pass from Hannah Boylan off another free to cut New Canaan’s lead to 5-4. Boylan then made a great individual play, knocking down New Canaan goalie Caroline O’Dea’s clearing pass, scooping up the loose ball, and scoring the equalizer with 2:16 left.
New Canaan controlled the ensuing draw and called a timeout. When play resumed, the Rams held the ball before starting their offense with under 50 seconds remaining. Ridgefield’s defense forced a turnover, but New Canaan got the ball right back, leading to Charlton’s game-winner off a pass from Dilyn Patten.
“The two freshmen, Kayleigh (Harden) and Dilyn (Patten), double teamed the Ridgefield player and forced the turnover,” Charlton said. “Then Dilyn did her little run and saw the pass and took it. I was just in a good spot.”
Charlton led the Rams with two goals and an assist. Her first goal gave New Canaan a 2-1 lead in the opening half, but Ridgefield responded with Aly Gagnon’s score off a free position to forge a 2-2 tie at the break.
“The two defenses played phenomenal,” New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said. “Caroline Schuh, Lizzy Demarino, Katelyn Sparks and Natalie Lopez and Nora Belodeau really stood out for us on defense … and Caroline O’Dea was great in goal.”
Goals from Lauren Bisceglia, Hollis Mulry and Dilyn Patten put New Canaan ahead 5-2. Ridgefield then responded with two goals from Slaminko and one from Boylan to knot the score.
“My kids played a great game … we were down 5-2 and came back to tie it,” Ridgefield coach Cece Berger said. “To some extent, I’m proud of the fight. But to another extent, there were some possessions and turnovers I wasn’t happy about. I counted four turnovers in the last 12 minutes, so that’s something we have to work on.”