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Waterford - Stonington High School coach Jeff Medeiros isn't too prideful to admit that he wants the Bears' girls' lacrosse team to play like East Lyme.
"They've been the team to beat for a decade. They won the (Eastern Connecticut Conference) seven years in a row. We haven't beaten them since 2004. I don't know the last time an ECC team beat them," Medeiros said.
Coming off a season-opening victory last week over East Lyme, however, Medeiros has challenged his team to play like champions. Mean it. Dominate.
It's why in spite of a driving rain Tuesday night that came down in sheets rather than drops, battering more than one umbrella, the Stonington players seemed to be enjoying themselves in their ECC Small Division matchup with Waterford.
Using a relentless attack that struck quickly and in waves against the Lancers, Stonington won 18-7, getting five goals from Jenny Sieczkiewicz, four from Emily Cassata and three from Elizabeth Morrison, a trio of All-ECC selections which combined for 113 goals last season.
Last year the Bears won the ECC Small Division and finished 11-8 overall, falling to East Lyme in the semifinals of the ECC tournament. This year, Stonington wants more.
"It was awesome," said Sieczkiewicz, a junior midfielder, of the soggy surroundings. "It was intense. … That win over East Lyme was amazing. It made us think we can go really far. (East Lyme) was our main competition. It's crazy."
Sieczkiewicz, who scored 48 goals a season ago, said the Bears (2-0, 1-0) have worked on passing the ball down the field in transition instead of merely trying to sprint by people and, although passing against Waterford was made difficult due to the weather, so far the team has done that well.
The Bears started out Tuesday with a goal by Sieczkiewicz on a free position shot three minutes into the game.
Morrison set up another free position shot with a length-of-the-field run, but it was saved by Waterford goalie Alexis Spinnato, and when the Lancers' Julia Peay scored the first of her two goals with 15:17 left in the half, the score was tied at 1-1.
Stonington scored the next nine, though, leading 10-1 at halftime. Emily Grey scored to make it 2-1 with 10:48 to go in the half and Valerie Muller and Sieczkiewicz scored 18 seconds apart to make it 4-1, forcing a Waterford timeout. Cassata added to the barrage 20 seconds later and Sieczkiewicz and Morrison tacked on two goals each before Grey finished the first-half scoring with 16.2 seconds remaining.
"We're more into it as a team instead of individuals," Sieczkiewicz said.
Medeiros said he felt that after the Bears' 12-6 loss to East Lyme in last year's ECC tournament semifinals, in which East Lyme goalie Jane Bartlett made 13 saves, his team would be closer to competing with the Vikings in another season's time.
The Bears not only have a dynamic offense returning but a defense anchored by Morrison, an all-state selection last year, and Margot Calmar, both of whom top the 6-foot mark.
"I hoped," Medeiros said.
Medeiros said his wish now is to beat opponents the way East Lyme would by dominating, so that when the Bears get to the postseason they'll be ready for whatever opponents they may have to face.
"This is one of my best teams ever," Medeiros said.
Peay and McKenzie Griffith-Potter scored two goals each for Waterford (1-2, 0-1) and Griffith-Potter had an assist.
The Lancers scored the first two goals of the second half to make it 10-3, one by Peay and one by Amanda Tourjee.