East Lyme girls capture sixth straight ECC lacrosse crown
New London — East Lyme extended its Eastern Connecticut Conference championship dynasty on a foggy Friday night.
The top-seeded Vikings won their sixth conference title in a row, beating No. 2 Ledyard, 21-6, in the girls' lacrosse final at New London High School.
"We are very strong in the ECC and we absolutely love every year coming back and playing our hearts out for the ECC," senior Madison Cohen said. "And any team we play is great competition.
"We've just got to keep the tradition going and we know we will."
Cohen did her part to keep the streak alive, scoring five goals and earning the James Courtney Award for the game's most outstanding player. Junior Kiki Ryan chipped in four goals and three assists while senior Erin Fritz added three goals and three assists.
The Vikings (16-2) were just too strong, athletic and talented for the Colonels (12-6). They played fundamentally sound lacrosse on both ends of the field.
But they started a bit slow before unleashing their powerful attack.
Ledyard junior Michaela Holland scored two goals in the first three and a half minutes for a 2-1 lead.
East Lyme coach Phil Schneider called timeout. A different, more aggressive team returned to the turf.
"They called the timeout and they turned it on," Ledyard coach Bill Glenn said. "The first few minutes we showed what we were capable of."
The Vikings fired three goals in span of 32 seconds, as Fritz scored twice and senior Eric DeLucca once for a 4-2 lead with 19:41 left in the first half.
Junior Kerrie Gardner answered for Ledyard.
The Vikings were just warming up. They increased their lead to 15-5 by halftime and kept rolling in the second half by finding the open player and sharing the scoring load.
Eight different players scored goals. Senior Olivia DeLea and DeLucca each finished with three goals.
"We are very good at playing as a team and not being selfish," Cohen said. "That's why we win games."
Defensively, the Vikings are tough to beat. They swarmed to the ball, forcing turnovers and creating havoc. Goalie Jane Bartlett protects the goal.
By winning an ECC championship, the Vikings checked another item off their to-do list.
"It's just another step to where we want to be," Schneider said. "Our girls work hard from the very start of the season. We come ready to play in this game."
Despite the lopsided loss, the Colonels also took a step forward, reaching the ECC championship game for the first time.
"We're just absolutely ecstatic," Glenn said. "Obviously, you'd like to win it. Just to be here is a real learning experience for the girls."
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