Old Lyme survives frantic final seconds
Old Lyme - Nervous? Allison Buckley? Nope.
The Old Lyme High School senior didn't have time for jitters with the Wildcats clinging to a late lead against defending CIAC Class S girls' lacrosse champion Weston on Friday.
Nervous? Sloane Sweitzer? You bet.
It was up to the Old Lyme sophomore to win the draw after Weston cut the Wildcats' lead to a goal with 9.1 seconds left.
Sweitzer did exactly that and Old Lyme ran out the clock and into the semifinals for the first time in five years.
"You couldn't think in this game," Buckley said after the Wildcats' 14-13 quarterfinal win. "You just had to move."
Sweitzer said of the game's final draw, "I just shook."
Third-seeded Old Lyme will play No. 2 Stonington in an all-southeastern Connecticut semifinal on Tuesday at a site and time to be announced.
"I'm in shock," first-year coach Emily Macione said. "You always think about advancing in the state tournament, but to make it as far as we have, and the teamwork that I'm seeing right now, we're playing our best game as a team. I couldn't be happier with how they're working together. We're really gelling."
Buckley had a game-high five goals and four assists for Old Lyme (15-3) while Sweitzer had four goals and two assists.
Sydney Cowell and Elizabeth Scott each scored twice, Catherine Quaratella added one for the Wildcats and goalie Meredith Britton made eight saves.
Stephanie Thomson had eight goals and an assist for the Trojans (13-5-1), who were ranked first in the Class S computer rankings by laxpower.com, a national lacrosse website.
Old Lyme blitzed Weston early and took a 7-1 lead with nine minutes, 24 seconds left in the first half.
"They have a lot of really good athletes on that team," Trojans coach Megan Borman said. "They must play a lot of other sports. They have great game sense and timing off cuts, and we were just getting burned.
"It reminded me of halfcourt basketball in that first 11 minutes. Where are all these cutters (coming from)? These girls must play basketball. They're a good team."
Borman instincts were correct. Catie and Lauren Quaratella, Chelsea Evankow, Sophia Romeo, Julia Strycharz and Sweitzer all play hoops.
"We have a number of three-season athletes," Macione said. "A lot of them play soccer, too. They're always into athletics, and being on the field and working as a team, it forces you to think for your team - not just think for yourself - if you're going to accomplish something."
The Wildcats led 13-11 with 37.6 seconds left when Thomson scored her seventh goal.
Old Lyme won the next draw. ... but turned it over.
Thomson struck again with 9.1 seconds left to cut the Wildcats' edge to a goal.
That's when Sweitzer won the final draw, much to the relief of her teammates.
"I couldn't ask for any more from any of these girls," Buckley said.
And against the defending state champions, no less.
"That was awesome," Buckley grinned. "Freaking awesome. I can't even believe it. I got chills at the end."
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