CHESHIRE >> Cheshire girls lacrosse coach Dan Warburton never takes an opponent for granted, especially in the Southern Connecticut Conference. On Tuesday, despite an early-season win over SCC rival Amity, he expected a hard-fought game against the Spartans in the SCC Girls Lacrosse Tournament semifinals.
For the first 26 minutes of the game, he was right.
But 10 unanswered goals in the second half and a career-high eight goals and an assist by Maddy Levy and four goals and six assists from Emma Farrel led No. 1 seed Cheshire to an 18-8 win over No. 4 Amity at Cheshire High’s turf field.
The Guilford-Hand semifinal at Cheshire High was postponed due to severe weather and will be played today at Hand High at 4 p.m. Three-time defending SCC champion Cheshire will face the winner in the final on Thursday at West Haven High at 6 p.m.
The Spartans scored the first two goals of the second half with Sarah Turner scoring the second one for a 7-6 Amity lead 32 seconds into the half. The Rams responded with their 10 straight goals capped by a Farrel goal for a 16-7 lead with 9:55 to go. The Spartans didn’t help themselves by getting a fifth yellow card in the game with 12:12 left in the second half, forcing Amity to play with two less players on the field to to the infractions.
“Amity is good, very good,” Warburton said. “A lot of SCC teams like Amity have improved and are capable of beating anyone on any given day. They were tough but fortunately we were able to adjust and found a way to move on to the final.
“The bottom line is they played two men down in the second half and that’s always tough to overcome. Maddy had a great game for us. She can finish, has a hard shot and she is difficult to stop inside the eight.”
Amity’s Eleanor Henn and Taylor Portelinha scored the last two goals of the first half to cut Cheshire’s lead to 6-5 at halftime. When Turner scored to give the Spartans a 7-6 lead, Levy said it served as a wake-up call for the Rams (12-5).
“It was a real eye-opener for us when they took that lead to start the second half,” Levy said. “We have a habit of coming out slow to start games and that happened today. I don’t think about how many goals I score in a game. The important thing for me is to contribute and I was happy to contribute in the game.”
Olivia Larsen added a hat trick for the Rams and goalie Alexa Carbone had four saves. Eleanor Henn led the Spartans (10-7) with four goals, Sarah Turner had two goals and Taylor Portelinha had a goal and three assists. Amity goalie Jena Casman had nine saves.
“We feel fortunate to be playing in another SCC championship game,” Warburton said.
In their only meeting during the reguar season, the Rams beat the Spartans 15-8.
Cheshire 18, Amity 8
Amity 5 3 — 8
Cheshire 6 12 — 18
Goals: (AM) Eleanor Henn 4; Sarah Turner 2; Liz Marino 1; Taylor Portelinha 1; Becky Turner 1; (CH) Maddy Levy 8; Emma Farrel 4; Olivia Larson 3; Vicki Palmer 1; Michelle Federico 1; Danielle Chambrelli 1;
Assists: (AM) Taylor Portelinha 3; (CH) Emma Farrel 6; Erica Stauffer 2; Maggie Hoynes 1; Maddy Levy 1; Saves: (AM) Jena Casman 9; (CH) Alexa Carbone 4;
Shots—AM: 13; CH: 25;
Team records—Cheshire 12-5; Amity 10-7
Updates every minute – View full tournament