GIRLS LACROSSE: Sheehan takes control late in first half and turns tight rivalry game to rout

GIRLS LACROSSE: Sheehan takes control late in first half and turns tight rivalry game to rout

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WALLINGFORD — Sheehan girls lacrosse broke up a tie game late in the first half and turned it into a one-sided rivarly win over Lyman Hall at Fitzgerald Field on a chilly Monday night under the lights.

Sheehan ended up winning the SCC contest 14-3 behind multi-goal efforts from Amelia Mansfield (3 goals, 1 assist), Kylie Allardice (4 goals), Allie Ottochian (2 goals, 6 assists) and Olivia Fritz (2 goals).

Yet the contest was tied 2-2 in the closing minutes of the first half before Sheehan ended the contest on a 12-1 run.

“The first half is always nervous playing Lyman Hall; we were kind of on edge,” said Allardice, who scored all four of her goals in the second half. “Once we realized how bonded we were, we were able to break through.”

Mansfield and Emma Oliano both scored goals in the final 3:30 of the first half to break the 2-2 tie and put the Titans up 4-2 at the half.

Sheehan controlled play for much of the play in the stanza and outshot Lyman Hall 17-2. LH goalie Lauren Cretella was a standout for the Trojans with nine saves in the first 25 minutes.

Mansfield started the scoring just 1:25 into the game. Her goal came on Sheehan’s first true offensive possession and first shot of the game. 

Lyman Hall tied it at the 17:15 mark of the first half with a transition goal from Maddy O’Sullivan. She was set up in front of the goal by Alexandra Vozzo.

Sheehan went back on top when Fritz, a freshman, picked up a loose ball in front of Cretella and put it in over the goalie’s right shoulder for a 2-1 lead with 16:46 left in the opening half.

Following a lengthy Sheehan possession, Lyman Hall tied the game with 7:15 on the clock on a goal by Samantha Ralston. The senior sprinted down the right sideline and put a backhand cleanly into the net.

Mansfield put Sheehan on top to stay with a goal from close range at the 3:30 mark. She was set up by Jayna MacKenzie.

The, off of a Lyman Hall infraction, Oliano put one in with 1:04 left for the 4-2 halftime advantage.

Sheehan started the second half with a pair of goals by Ottochain and another two by Allardice as the lead swelled to 8-2 nine minutes into the second half.

“We realized we had to change our shots to make them low,” Sheehan coach Charissa Zbikowski said. “Their goalie is great and was grabbing everything. We took a look at what she was doing. We had to go low and that’s when we really started to pick things up.”

LH senior Claire Riccitelli-Pestana broke a 6-0 Sheehan run with a goal at the 11:25 mark of the second half to make it 8-3.

MacKenzie, however, answered just 39 seconds later and Sheehan wasn’t done. Aubrey Monroe scored, while Allardice and Mansfield completed their hat tricks as Sheehan went up 12-3.

All three of those goals were scored with the Titans playing a girl down due to a red card.

“We really wanted this and we started working together as a team in the second half,” Ottochian said. “It felt really good every goal we got because it was really a team effort.”

Allardice added her fourth goal with 3:19 to play and Fritz connected on her second in the final minute to seal the 14-3 final.

Grace Keenan made two saves in net for Sheehan. The Titans outshot the Trojans 34-6 on the night.

Sheehan also won 15 of 19 draws and caused 17 turnovers. Mansfield, Ottochian, Monroe and Mackenzie all excelled in getting the ball in the midfield and possessing it for the Titans.

“Everyone put in the work today and that’s how we won,” Zbikowski said. 

The Titans have been without injured senior standout Mallory Crispins for the first two games of the season and Zbikowski said she hopes to have her back soon.

“It was disappointing, but the other girls have stepped up,” Zbikowski said. “It shows that we are a team and more than just one player.”

Sheehan improved to 2-0 after downing North Haven, 11-5, on the road on Saturday. 

“This is exactly how we wanted to start the season,” Zbikowski said. “This gives us momentum going into the second half of the week and we want to keep it going.”

The contest was the season opener for Lyman Hall. The Trojans defense held strong for the first half before getting worn down in the second half.

“I’m happy with the effort the kids put forward,” LH coach Dave Palmer said. “It’s definitely a different season and these kids played hard for us. The score doesn’t reflect how the kids played together.

“I’m happy with them; this is a step we are going to take to get to a better place,” Palmer added. “Sheehan is a very talented team. We hung with them for a half. We just have to control what we can control and move towards the next game.”

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