Stonington, East Lyme advance to ECC girls' lacrosse final

Jenna Bensko of Ledyard, right, juggles the ball as Jenny Sieczkiewicz of Stonington defends in the first half of their ECC girls' lacrosse tournament semifinal.

Waterford — Ledyard was the last team the Stonington High School girls' lacrosse team played, too, less than a week ago.

In that game, Stonington scored 24 goals, a season high, to finish the regular season unbeaten, an advertisement for the Bears' wide open offense. And then?

In a rematch Wednesday in the Eastern Connecticut Conference semifinals, top-ranked Stonington dominated again, only this time on defense, for an 11-6 victory over the No. 4 Colonels.

The Bears (17-0) held Ledyard to just one goal in the first 22-plus minutes of the second half, advancing to the league championship game against No. 2 East Lyme at 7 p.m. Friday in Stonington. East Lyme (12-5), the seven-time defending tournament champ, defeated No. 3 Waterford 13-6 in the first game of the semifinal doubleheader.

"From the first time we played them, I've said their defense is excellent," Ledyard coach Bill Glenn said of Stonington. "Their defense always keeps them in games and it can win them championships."

"Everybody plays better come tournament time," Stonington coach Jeff Medeiros said. "Ledyard gave us their best. Their goalie (Gretchen Montgomery) was All-ECC and she earned her spot tonight, as did my Celeste (Courtney on defense)."

In addition to Courtney receiving all-conference honors — the players were honored in between semifinals — so did Stonington's Elizabeth Morrison, a defensive midfielder. Another Bears defender, Margot Calmar, was an honorable mention pick.

They showed why they were honored, too, racking up takeaways.

Calmar, an all-state forward as a member of the basketball team during the winter, even leapt to stuff a pass with her stick.

Meanwhile, with only a four-goal lead at the time, Morrison intercepted a pass next to her own goal and raced to the other end to score for a 9-4 lead with 18 minutes, 37 seconds to play. After a goal by teammate Emily Grey, Morrison scored again off a turnover, scooping up a ground ball and scoring for an 11-4 advantage.

Morrison and Jenny Sieczkiewicz scored three goals each for the Bears, who beat East Lyme 13-12 in the season-opener for both teams on April 9.

Maddie Tilton and Cassidy Jenkins scored two goals each for Ledyard (10-7) and Montgomery finished with 17 saves. Stonington led 3-1 before Ledyard tied the score on a pair of goals by Jenkins approximately two and a half minutes apart.

Stonington took 7-3 lead at halftime behind three straight goals from Sieczkiewicz.

"On a turnover or an interception, you're going against the grain, so you've got to take it," Medeiros said of his defenders' penchant for scoring. "Everyone else has to stop and go back."

Kendall Roberts finished with four goals and three assists to lift East Lyme past Waterford (9-8).

Waterford's Julia Peay opened the scoring three minutes in. Roberts then scored less than a minute later to even the score and again in 47 seconds to give the Vikings the lead for good. East Lyme led 9-4 at halftime.

"We wanted to just go hard from the get-go," said Roberts, a junior. "When they scored the first goal, that set us off. That's not what we wanted. That brought up our intensity. We had to have a lot of momentum on attack to be successful against the double-team."

Belle Kenney and Rebecca McGlone added three goals each for East Lyme. McKenzie Griffith-Potter and Peay had two apiece for Waterford.

East Lyme won last year's ECC championship against Fitch, 17-5.

Elizabeth Morrison of Stonington carries the ball as Brooke Scahill of Ledyard defends in the first half of Wednesday's ECC girls' lacrosse tournament semifinal at Waterford.
Elizabeth Morrison of Stonington carries the ball as Brooke Scahill of Ledyard defends in the first half of Wednesday's ECC girls' lacrosse tournament semifinal at Waterford.


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