Girls lacrosse: St. Joseph controls possession in win

Sparked by three goals in a span of 42 seconds midway through the first half, the St Joseph girls lacrosse team pulled away for 13-1 victory over the Bunnell Bulldogs in Trumbull on Saturday afternoon.

The Cadets improved to 5-3 heading into Tuesdays battle with FCIAC foe Wilton. The Bulldogs fell to 4-4 going into Tuesday’s clash with South-West Conference opponent New Fairfield

Jettke Gray netted four goals and had an assist to go along with 10 draw controls.

Possession was key for the Cadets in limiting Bunnell to season-low goal total, after previously scoring no less than seven times in a game.

“Draws were exceptional today,” St Joe’s Coach Leeland Gray said.

As was the goaltending of Division I recruit Erin Owens as the Central Michigan-bound netminder stopped 10 shots.

The defense in front of Owens, too, was solid, led by the play of Sarah Johnson and Christina Crocco. St Joseph’s backer zone defense limited Bunnell’s opportunities.

With the win all but official late in game, the attack and defensive players switched roles, and Crocco and Johnson both recorded goals, with Crocco also picking up an assist.

Kylie Lucifora scored three times. Abbey Ivanovich logged two goals and two assists.

Lilia Ivanovich assisted on four goals. Kate Condron scored twice. Annie McNeil had one assist.

Morgan Reilly, assisted by Maura Kelly, had the lone Bunnell tally.

The Cadets turned a 2-1 game into a 5-1 lead in the blink of an eye, and carried that advantage into halftime. Bunnell goaltender Tatiana Wright kept her team in the game early on and ended up with 15 saves.

Owens made a nice save on a two-on-one Bunnell opportunity late in the first half, preventing the Bulldogs from gaining any momentum on the offensive end.

St Joes had plenty of momentum at the other end of the field, particularly after halftime. The Cadets doubled their first-half goal total less than a dozen minutes into the second period.

“It’s so much fun. You can just feel the chemistry and you feel like nothing can stop you,” Jettke Gray said of the team’s offense when it is clicking.

“If we’re on we can hang with anyone,” added Leeland Gray, noting that his team played close with FCIAC rivals Ridgefield, Darien and Staples of Westport until late in the first half of each contest. “If we put together a complete game we can be dangerous.”

The Cadets, including the lopsided win over Bunnell, have yet to play that full 50 minutes of crisp lacrosse, Leeland Gray is looking for.

“Errant passes and long lapses in scoring have hurt us,” he said. “We’ve got to clean that up to get ready for states.” The Cadets bumped up from Class S to Class M this spring.

The Cadets earned plenty of praise from Bunnell coach Meghan Letko.

“They’re a good team. Good players, they’ve got good fundamentals, stick work and defense,” Letko said.