GREENWICH — Scoring hasn’t been an issue for the Sacred Heart Greenwich lacrosse team, but it certainly has been for the opposition.
Entering Wednesday’s postseason matchup against Greens Farms Academy, the Tigers had scored in double figures in all but one of their games, while allowing its foes to score 10 goals or more just once.
That trend continue in a big way in Wednesday’s FAA tournament semifinals.
Tallying early and often, then playing lock-down defense when Greens Farms Academy had possession, top-seeded Sacred Heart coasted to a 17-1 win in the conference tournament semifinals played under a steady rainfall.
Winners of 12 straight games, the 16-2, defending FAA tournament champion Tigers advanced to Friday’s 4:30 p.m. FAA final, where it will host either second-seeded Rye Country Day School or fourth-seeded School of the Holy Child.
Eight different players scored goals for Sacred Heart, which took a commanding 13-1 lead into halftime. Sophomore attack Katie Keller scored a game-high five goals, while sophomore attack Lily DeConcini registered a hat trick with two assists for the victors, who are 8-0 in FAA play.
“We came out strong and set the tone from the start,” Sacred Heart coach Tara Clough said. “Being aggressive and getting those ground balls is key every game and that really helped us today.”
Junior midfielder Ryan Smith had three goals and one assist while sophomore midfielder Morgan Smith, Ryan’s sister, notched two goals and one assist to help ignite the winning effort.
“Coach told us before the game that adversity makes character,” Ryan Smith said. “Even though it was raining and the conditions were tough, we came out hard — we play well in the rain. Coming out on fire was really helpful to us.”
The third-seeded Dragons, who dropped an 18-5 decision to the Tigers in the title game of last season’s FAA tournament, received a goal from senior midfielder Bella Litt. Greens Farms capped its season with a record of 9-7.
“This season, we had some good freshman join the team, which was exciting to see and we received strong leadership from our juniors and seniors,” GFA coach Missy Radin said. “We had some really interesting games this season and some good wins going into the postseason.”
Effectively running its plays, Sacred Heart seized a 5-0 lead a little more than seven minutes into the opening half. Keller put a free position shot past Greens Farms junior goalie Kelly Van Hoesen at the 12:48 mark of the first half and sophomore midfielder Amelia Sheehan tallied off a dodge with 10:33 left, making it 7-0.
Senior co-captain/attack Samantha Clark scored off a strong run toward the goal, then Keller went low with her shot and tallied, upping the home team’s advantage to 9-0 with 7:33 remaining in the first half.
After Litt scored GFA’s lone goal with 5:05 left to play in the opening half, the Tigers scored four straight times, with Keller tallying three times and junior Athena Corroon lighting the scoreboard, putting the visitors in a 13-1 hole.
Van Hoesen played in goal during the first half for the Dragons, while sophomore Kaitlin Reed was the goalkeeper in the second half. Freshman Rachel Keefe turned in another strong effort in goal for the Tigers, who were led defensively by Corroon.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Morgan Smith had seven draw controls to go along with two goals and one assist. Ryan Smith had four ground balls, three goals and one assist, while sophomore midfielder Amelia Sheehan had one goal, three assists, four ground balls and three draw controls.
“Our mindset going into the finals is it’s anybody’s game, even though we are the first seed,” Ryan Smith said. “We the weather is going to be terrible like this, but if we play like we did today, we’ll be fine.”
SACRED HEART 17, GREENS FARMS ACADEMY 1
GREENS FARMS ACADEMY 1 0 — 1
SACRED HEART 13 4 — 17
Records: Sacred Heart 16-2; Greens Farms Academy 9-7; Scoring: GFA — Bella Litt 1 g; SH — Grace Lillis 1 g, 2 a; Samantha Clark 1 g; Katie Keller 5 g, 1 a; Lily DeConcini 3 g, 2 a; Amelia Sheehan 1 g, 3 a; Ryan Smith 3 g, 1 a; Morgan Smith 2 g, 1 a; Athena Corroon 1 g; Goalies: GFA — Kelly Van Hoesen, Kaitlin Reed; SH — Rachel Keefe.