Stonington wins season opener, weather or not
Stonington - Season openers are de facto holy sports days of obligation, maybe even coming with preferred images in the mind’s eye after the long offseason: sunny, 65 degrees, gentle breeze, the occasional bird chirp.
Nobody really ever wants Saturday’s offering, a Dylan-esque hard rain’s a-gonna fall in 52-degrees and wind. Even the tents on the sidelines, purporting to keep their dwellers dry, blew over on occasion.
But then, it all hurt so good for Stonington High, who despite losing two all-state girls’ lacrosse players and starting four freshmen in the gusts and gales, emerged with a 12-7 win over Old Lyme.
“The weather doesn’t matter. If it's like this, and it's practice, I'm practicing. We don't go inside. So we're always ready,” Stonington coach Jeff Medeiros said. “They get mad at me, sure. Sometimes we have the opportunity to go in the gym, but we're gonna play in this weather and this isn't the worst we’ve played in. The worst was in a nor'easter many years ago. This was close but not quite as bad. You deal with it. The problem is the tents blowing away and the little side distractions.”
Medeiros and his players spent much of the second half challenging the wind to see whether their bid to hold the tents upright could match the occasional squall.
But the Bears jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 8-1, making it all a duller ache.
Autumn Christian scored four times for the Bears, including her team’s last four goals. Emma Logel scored three times and Emma Spathakis twice for the team that made the state quarterfinals last season.
“This is kind of what we expected. They weren't very good last year and talking to (Old Lyme coach Emily Macione) we kind of had a feeling this is how it would go,” Medeiros said. “So I was happy with the performance, but to really get a gauge on where we stand, with the weather - with holding tents down and everything - it’s kind of tough to say.
Syd Goulding scored three times for Old Lyme and Kelly Sheehan scored twice as the Wildcats battled from an 8-1 deficit to get as close as 10-5 in the second half.
“We lost two all staters. It's going to take some time with freshmen and I have four freshmen out there who are getting acclimated to this level,” Medeiros said. “Hopefully by the end of the season we'll be ready to go. I think with our schedule, and our conference, we’ll be okay.”