DANBURY — When the horn sounded at the conclusion of Wednesday afternoon’s game, the players on the Stamford High School girls lacrosse team raced to the end of the field to celebrate with goalie Reaging Hyppolite wearing post-game smiles that had been in storage for nearly two years.
After enduring a winless season last year, the Black Knights had a lot to smile about after defeating Immaculate 11-6 for their first win since May of 2016.
“I haven’t won a game since sophomore year, and it feels great,” Stamford senior Kelly Jagodzinski said. “We’re definitely excited. We can’t wait for the next game.”
Stamford (1-1) had lost its first game of the season on Saturday to Guilford, 14-3. The Knights bounced back nicely on Wednesday. Jagodzinski led the way with four goals, while Sydney Leeds had three goals and two assists, Melanny Sanchez scored two goals and Tamia James and Olivia LaBella each scored one. Hyppolite made four saves.
“I’m really proud of these girls,” said first-year Stamford coach Steve Paletta said. “They did a great job and they worked hard. We talked about grit and perseverance, and they really showed it today.”
Immaculate fell to 1-2, having beaten St. Paul Saturday and falling to Newtown on Tuesday. Madison Halas scored three goals, while Caroline Wax had a goal and an assist and Rachel Iannarelli and Emma Halas each scored a goal. Goalie Catherine Hanley made five saves.
“That Stamford team was very physical, very athletic and fast,” said Immaculate coach Joe Robusto, whose team has been plagued by injuries. “The idea now is to keep our heads up, move forward and try to turn over a new leaf tomorrow.”
Stamford scored four straight goals — one each by LaBella, Sanchez, Jagodzinski and Leeds — to break a 4-4 tie and open an 8-4 lead early in the second half. Immaculate answered with two straight goals — one by Madison Halas and one by freshman Emma Halas — to trim its deficit to a manageable 8-6 with 15:37 to go.
From that point on, however, the Stamford defense stood its ground valiantly and didn’t allow another goal. The Knights possessed the ball for long stretches of the second half, and with 5:15 to go, Jagodzinski scored an important goal to open a little more breathing room. The goal came moments after a huge save by Hyppolite to protect the two-goal lead. Leeds’ leaping interception of an Immaculate clearing pass kept alive the possession that ended with Jagodzinski’s goal.
“We’ve definitely been working on defense a lot in practice,” Jagodzinski said. “Our defense definitely showed up today.”
Leeds and Jagodzinski each added an insurance goal in the closing minutes.
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday. Stamford is scheduled to visit Trumbull, while Immaculate is slated to play its third game in three days when it hosts Brookfield.
“We’re excited to get right back at it,” Robusto said.
STAMFORD 11, IMMACULATE 6
STAMFORD7 4 — 11
IMMACULATE4 2 — 6
Records: Stamford 1-1; Immaculate 1-2. Scoring: S—Kelly Jagodzinski 4 goals; Sydney Leeds 3g, 2 assists; Melanny Sanchez 2g; Tamia James 1g; Olivia LaBella 1g. I—Madison Halas 3g; Caroline Wax 1g, 1a; Rachel Iannarelli 1g; Emma Halas 1g; Natalie Kennedy 1a. Goalies: S—Reaging Hyppolite (4 saves); I—Catherine Hanley (5 saves). Shots: S—18; I—14.