Trumbull tops St. Joseph in girls lacrosse

The Trumbull High girls lacrosse team has spent many long hours working on being more patient on offense. A methodical approach is the only way a neophyte program like Trumbull can keep games respectable against FCIAC powers like New Canaan, Wilton, Darien and Greenwich.

However, when the Eagles stepped on the field on Senior Night against town-rival St. Joseph, not only did head coach Chris Hamilton loosen the reigns. He threw them out the window.

“Lately I’ve been asking the kids to win draws, get possession and we’ll hold the ball and work it around. But not tonight,” Hamilton said.

“I told them, ‘I’m unleashing you. It’s going to be run-and-gun. We’re going to come out and I want three goals immediately. I’m not taking anyone out until we get three goals and we are not going into our slow-down offense.”

The Eagles did exactly what Hamilton asked, scoring four goals on their first four shots of the game, and six unanswered goals over the first 6:35 to take a 6-0 lead.

Trumbull ended up needing every bit of it to hold off the hard-charging Cadets for a 14-10 victory Saturday evening at McDougall Stadium.

Senior Emily Uus had three goals and one assist, picked up a team-high four ground balls and did most of the work in the face-off circle on draw controls to lead Trumbull.

Sophomore Emily Tinnesz and senior Carly Colon scored three goals each while freshman midfielder Shannon Siebold added two goals for the Eagles, who improved to 3-9-1 overall.

It was Trumbull’s second win over St. Joseph this season. The Eagles also defeated the Cadets, 17-13, on April 15.

”We were very excited to play this game. St. Joe’s is our arch-rivals so everyone looks forward to this game all season,” Uus said. “We beat them once already this year so we knew it was going to be an aggressive game. It’s Trumbull against Trumbull, so it’s nice to win it.”

Trumbull has won eight straight against St. Joseph dating back to an overtime loss in 2008. The Eagles didn’t want that streak to end, especially on Senior Night.

“We wanted to keep that going,” Uus said. “That was definitely motivation for us.”

St. Joseph (1-10 overall) was step-for-step with Trumbull over the final 10 minutes of the first half and might have been the better team in the second, out-scoring the Eagles 7-6 over the final 25 minutes.

Senior Maddie Daly led the Cadets offensively with three goals and one assist. Junior Robyn Pelletier collected three goals while helping St. Joseph finish with a 14-12 advantage in draw controls.

Pelletier won two straight face-offs and scored two straight goals with five minutes left to pull the Cadets to within 14-10.

But Trumbull’s aggressiveness on offense and the early 6-0 deficit was too much for the Cadets to overcome.

“They were all pumped up. It was their Senior Night, and they were a little more energized than we were at the beginning of the game,” St. Joseph head coach Rob Marino said.

“They scored four goals right off the bat and it was catch-up all the way. We fought hard. We just couldn’t get there.”

St. Joseph scored two goals with a man-advantage to make it 6-2 late in the first half and got right back in the game after scoring the first two goals of the second to get to within 8-5.

Pelletier won the second-half faceoff then scored off a great pass from Daly and freshman Abbey Ivanovich tallied after a goal crease violation by the Eagles.

But Trumbull never got flustered, never slowed things down, and scored four unanswered goals — the first one a nice lefty shot by sophomore Sophia Hopwood — to take an 11-5 lead with 20 minutes left.

“I told them we’re not going into a slow-down offense until I yell it,” Hamilton said. “Actually, the first time I yelled it, they kept going and going and going. I said, you know what, it’s working, so let’s keep going with it.”

Freshman Riley Chase and senior Emma Moody also scored goals for Trumbull while junior Autumn DesRoches added an assist. Senior goalie Emma Thornton made five saves to post the victory.

Junior Susie Vazzano, sophomore Amanda Lopez and junior Lindsay Lucifora scored goals for St. Joseph. Goalie Emily Buccigross finished strong with nice saves.