Stonington girls keep building toward something special

Stonington - Stonington High school's girls' lacrosse team usually switches up who takes the draw, rotating between three or four people depending on who matches up the best against the opposing team.

On Saturday night at Donald Palmer Field it was Elizabeth Morrison, a 6-foot defender.

Morrison did more than match up, dominating the start of the second half with her draw controls, allowing the Bears to put the game out of reach with four goals in a 1-minute, 37-second span.

Stonington topped Fitch 18-9, remaining undefeated at 9-0 overall. Morrison and midfielder Jenny Sieczkiewicz scored five goals each for the Bears, with Sieczkiewicz scoring all five of hers in the first half.

"I kind of let them do it on their own," Stonington coach Jeff Medeiros said of choosing who will take the draw. "Because of her height and her stick skills, I usually like her on the edge of the circle, but if (Morrison) was taking the draw, they must have discussed it among themselves.

"(Morrison) has the ability to change the game all by herself."

Leading 8-3, Morrison had a goal and an assist to make it 10-3 just prior to halftime, creating a free position shot and a goal for herself with a run down the center of the field.

Seven seconds later, with 1:04 remaining in the half, Morrison took the draw and whipped it down field to Hannah Johnson for a goal.

Emily Grey and Johnson each scored goals to start the second half, followed by two more from Morrison. Morrison scored with 22:34 remaining, winning the draw and bounding down the field for a side-arm shot, and again at the 21:36 mark. The second time, she won the draw, passed the ball, got it back and bided her time, waiting for just the right opening.

Morrison, an all-state pick in lacrosse last season, is also the school's all-time leading scorer in field hockey, helping lift the Bears to a Class S state championship in the fall.

She will compete for the women's lacrosse team next year at the College of New Jersey.

"She's not going to get our school record for goals. I'd rather have her on defense. That's where her numbers are," Medeiros said of Morrison, who has 20 interceptions and 48 takeaways this season, more than double any of her teammates. "In the last seven or so years that I've been keeping (defensive statistics), she's crushing any kind of turnover or interception numbers."

Stonington started the lacrosse season with a 13-12 victory over defending Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament champion East Lyme on April 9. East Lyme knocked the Bears from the league tournament in the semifinals last year.

Since, Stonington, bidding to repeat as ECC Small Division champ and make a run in the postseason, has outscored opponents 135-41 without once giving up double figures.

"At practice, we run a lot," Morrison said. "We just try to be aggressive and work hard. If you can outrun them, you can beat 'em every time. A lot of girls did indoor track all winter to make us faster."

Against Fitch, Johnson finished with four goals for the Bears and Megan Roberts, Emily Cassata, Grey and Valerie Muller had one each. Goalie Lexi Bucko made seven saves.

Susannah Lucey, Daria McKenna, Michelina Pinto and Molly Reinhold scored two goals each for Fitch (2-5-1) and Jackie Kokomoor had a pair of assists.

Medeiros said a lot of the players also played for the field hockey championship team and are taking pride in the fact they haven't lost on the new artificial turf at Palmer Field since debuting there in the fall.

"That's important to them. That's motivating them," he said.

v.fulkerson@theday.com

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