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Tuesday, September 19 High School Sports

Sacred Heart lacrosse team pulls away from Greens Farms

GREENWICH — Two days removed from a loss to Greenwich Academy — just their second defeat of the season — the Sacred Heart Greenwich lacrosse team knew the importance of getting off to a quick start against Greens Farms Academy on Monday.

“This was a very important day for us,” Sacred Heart coach Tara Clough said. “We played Saturday, we were off Sunday and we came out today it was a matter of, are we going to rise today, pick up and move forward?”

The answer was a resounding yes for the Tigers.

Senior midfielder Grace Paletta and freshman midfielder Katie Keller each registered four goals, junior attack Mae Briody recorded a hat trick and sophomore midfielder Ryan Smith added two goals and one assist in Sacred Heart’s 18-8 win over visiting Greens Farms Academy in an FAA matchup.

“After a tough day on Saturday, this game was about digging deep and having these kids play with passion,” Clough said. “Greens Farms has a very intense, athletic team, but we came up with key possessions off the draw and we worked our offense well, using the width of the field.”

Sacred Heart (7-2) led 9-5 at halftime, before opening up a double-digit second-half lead. Greens Farms Academy received three goals each from sophomore Alex Nesi and freshman Steph Wistreich. Senior Kate Paliotta tallied twice for the Dragons.

“We came out strong, but it was a tough game,” Dragons coach Missy Radin said. “Sacred Heart moved the ball fast and they made quick shots. Our defense worked hard from beginning to end, but offensively we didn’t move the ball fast enough and we weren’t efficient enough as far as executing our plays.”

Following Smith’s goal 1:26 into the first half, Paletta converted a free position shot at the 23:03 mark, giving Sacred Heart a 2-0 lead. Wistreich made a free position shot, making it 2-1, but the Tigers responded with freshman Morgan Smith’s goal off a Paletta pass.

Ahead 3-2, after Paliotta tallied off a free position attempt, the Tigers went on a pivotal 6-0 run. Paletta scored off the draw, and after sophomore defender Athena Corroon forced a turnover, Amelia Sheehan tallied off a dodge, putting Sacred Heart ahead, 4-2.

Up 9-5, Sacred Heart scored nine of the first 10 goals in the second half to seize an 18-6 lead. Senior Maddie McLane made eight saves for the Tigers, while sophomore Kelly Van Hoesen stopped 13 shots for the visitors.

“We just stayed in our settled defense and we were cutting off adjacents,” Corroon said. “Communication was key on defense, as were our clears.”

Said Smith: “When halftime started it was 0-0 for us and we kept going.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ryan Smith: Besides registering two goals and two assists, Ryan Smith gathered a team-best five ground balls, tallied six draw controls and was a force throughout the field.

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“Ryan had a great game,” Clough said. “Coming up with loose balls, getting five ground balls and fighting for every 50/50 ball. She really stepped up.”

KEY SEQUENCE

Two goals in eight seconds gave the Tigers a five-goal first-half lead. Paletta tallied off a dodge with 6:31 left in the first half and Ryan Smith won the ensuing draw. Smith sent a pass to Briody, who scored, giving Sacred Heart a 7-2 lead at the 6:23 mark.

UNSUNG HERO

Mae Briody: She notched three goals, three ground balls, two assists, won two draws and intercepted a pass for the victors.

QUOTABLE:

“We came out strong in the first half and we never let up,” Ryan Smith said. “We kept the pedal to the medal the whole time and just kept pushing it.”

dfierro@greenwichtime.com; 203-625-4423

SACRED HEART 18, GREENS FARMS 8

GREENS FARMS 5 3 — 8

SACRED HEART 9 9 — 18

Records: Sacred Heart (8-2); Greens Farms (8-2).

Goals: GFA — Alex Nesi 3 g; Steph Wistreich 2 g; Kate Paliotta 2 g 1a; Sarah Peletier 1 g; Bella Litt 2 a; SH — Grace Paletta 4 g, 1 a; Katie Keller 4 g, 1 a; Mae Briody 3 g, 2 a; Samantha Clark 2 g, 1 a; Ryan Smith 2 g, 1 a; Morgan Smith 1 g; Charlie Clark 1 a; Grace Flanagan 1 g; Amelia Sheehan 1 g; Goalies: GFA — Kelly Van Hoesen (13 saves); SH — Maddie McLane (8 ).

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