Girls lacrosse: St. Joseph defeats Trumbull High, 17-3

A season removed from a hard-fought overtime loss to rival Trumbull, the St Joseph girls lacrosse team ensured there would be no such dramatics or hard-to-take defeat when the teams squared off at St Joe’s on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cadets built an early lead, went ahead 12-2 at halftime, and cruised to a 17-3 triumph.

St Joe’s improved to 8-5 overall and Trumbull dropped to 6-7.

Cadet coach Leeland Gray enjoys rivalry games because of the intensity level that comes along with them. “I Iove watching players compete under pressure,” Gray said.

On Tuesday the thing he liked best about the game was how well his players performed.

“This was the first game I can say we had a complete game,” said Gray, adding that his players were solid in all areas of the game from start to finish, beginning with draw controls.

Jettke Gray took the draws and got assistance in gaining possession from Kate Condron, Annie McNeil and Kylie Lucifora.

The Cadets’ transition game was smooth.

“Our defense I think was exceptional. We kept them under pressure,” said coach Gray, pointing to the play, in particular, of Sarah Johnson, Christina Crocco, Sammy Dyson, Mackenzie Meaney and Halle Grabowski.

The offensive production spoke for itself on the scoreboard.

Lilia Ivanovich and Kate Condron both scored four times. Ivanovich added three assists.

Maddie Dunkel, Jettke Gray, Abbey Ivanovich and McNeil each scored twice. Lucifora scored a goal.

Abbey Ivanovich had four assists, Gray had three assists and Lucifora added one helper.

Goaltender Erin Owens made a dozen saves for the Cadets.

Gray had five of her team’s draw controls. Johnson forced two turnovers.

“They did everything well today. They passed the ball, they dominated the draw, they were patient and had beautiful cuts on attack. They were definitely prepared for this game,” Trumbull coach Jess McKinney said of the Cadets.

Keira Grant scored two goals and Caroline Chase one for the Eagles.

Riley Chase and Shannon Siebold helped create chances on offense, and had four and three shots on goal, respectively.

Goalies Olivia Osterberg and Miriam Marino both came up with four saves.

McKinney said her team’s defense was never able to get into sync and the team, on the whole, couldn’t overcome falling behind early. Too many turnovers and errant passes and not doing a good enough job on defensive slides were problematic for the Eagles.

“I think we can talk about mental toughness. We have to be resilient. When we go down a couple goals we have to make adjustments. Unfortunately, we went down a slippery slope of getting down 10 goals and it’s hard to come back from that,” McKinney added.