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    Monday, July 22, 2024

    Old Lyme falls in Class S girls’ lacrosse title game

    Old Lyme's Alexis Antonellis (20) and Gabriella Ziegler (25) react after losing to Lauralton Hall 8-6 in the Class S girls' lacrosse tournament final on Saturday at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. (Gavin Keefe/The Day)
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    Old Lyme team captains Ella Curtiss-Reardon (No. 10) and Sydney Goulding (9) receive their medals after an 8-6 loss to Lauralton Hall in the Class S girls' lacrosse championship game on Saturday at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. (Gavin Keefe/The Day)
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    Fairfield — Old Lyme girls’ lacrosse coach Emily Macione became emotional while addressing her girls’ lacrosse team Saturday during the post-Class S championship game huddle.

    The significance of Old Lyme’s accomplishment as well as the fact that this Wildcat team just played their last game together hit home.

    They’ll forever be remembered as the first team in program history to appear in the state title game.

    An 8-6 loss to top-seeded Lauralton Hall at Sacred Heart University didn’t diminish that feat.

    “It’s a huge accomplishment to get here,” Macione said. “Obviously, we didn’t get the result that we wanted, so that’s tough. When you think about all the effort all season and everything it took just to get to this game, it definitely makes you emotional.

    “These opportunities don’t come around all the time. It’s very special. And, also the seniors aren’t going to be back next week. They’re leaving and we love them. We’re going to miss their leadership this year.”

    Seniors Avra Montazella, Sydney Goulding, Ella Curtiss-Reardon and Alexis Antonellis played their hearts out in their last game.

    “I’m very proud of our team,” Curtiss-Reardon said. “We are the first team in Old Lyme girls’ program history to ever make it to a state championship. We made it to a state championship and we made it to a Shoreline championship. We did a lot this season.

    “I’ve been so fortunate to be part of this program for four years. Miss (Macione) is the best coach. The midfielders that I play with mean the world to me and we work so well together and we’ve grown so much together and developed.”

    No. 2 Old Lyme (17-5) stuck with Lauralton Hall, leading 4-3 at halftime.

    Led by talented senior Charlotte Michener, who had a team-high four goals and an assist, Lauralton Hall surged in front for good by scoring the first three goals of the third quarter.

    Michener fueled an outburst, striking twice within 48 seconds to put Lauralton Hall ahead for 5-4.

    The Wildcats kept fighting.

    Goulding fired in an unassisted goal with five and a half minutes remaining in the game to cut the gap to 7-6.

    But a few mistakes helped prevent the Wildcats from completing another comeback. In Tuesday’s semifinal, they rallied for a 10-9 overtime win over Canton.

    “We made a couple of errors down the stretch that unfortunately we didn’t fix quick enough,” Macione said. “We needed to have an answer sooner. Unfortunately, we didn’t. A two-goal margin is nothing to be ashamed of. The hard part is, it’s only a two goal margin. It was absolutely a winnable game. I thought we were pretty even with them.

    “We really had an answer for their draw controls, which, according to our scout, was going to be one of the toughest things to match. I was proud of that.”

    Old Lyme came into the game an underdog, facing a larger school with a deeper talent pool.

    The Wildcats gave a valiant effort.

    Montazella, a veteran goalie, made some big saves and a determined defense limited Lauralton Hall, which averaged 16 goals in its previous two tournament wins, to a single digit goal total.

    Sophomore Anne-Marie Hinckley led the attack with two goals while Antonellis, freshman Allie Krol, junior Grace Ferman and Goulding had a goal apiece and Curtiss-Reardon added an assist.

    “We were the underdogs by a mile and we had nothing to lose going into it,” Curtiss-Reardon said. “We fought like we had nothing to lose. I know I left everything out on the field and I know everybody else did.”

    Lauralton Hall lifted the trophy for the first time in its program history.

    Old Lyme headed home with the runner-up trophy. The Wildcats are one of only a few Shoreline Conference teams to play in the finals.

    They’ll remember this season as being special for more than what happened on the field.

    “It’s the community and the sense of camaraderie that we have and the friendships and relationships outside of the field,” Curtiss-Reardon said. “We come to the field, we work together, we work hard. But we have pasta dinners and we’re all going to our friend’s grad party after this.

    “.... We all like each other as friends and as people. And we appreciate each other’s company and what we can do for each other on and off the field.”

    g.keefe@theday.com

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