NEW CANAAN, Conn. The New Canaan High girls lacrosse team could feel the momentum shifting to its side late in the second half of its game Wednesday at Darien. It helps to have players like Olivia Hompe and Sarah Mannelly.
Hompe scored five goals, including the eventual game-winner with just less than five minutes remaining, to give New Canaan a 9-8 comeback win over longtime rival Darien and remain unbeaten at 7-0. Given the rivalry and quality of teams on the field, it was no surprise that this was the closest game the Rams have played all season.
The Blue Wave were up by as many as three goals in the game. A goal by Dillon Schoen gave Darien a 7-4 advantage with 22 minutes to go. But New Canaans strong defense forced key turnovers. Hompe turned it on in big way, knotting the game at 7-7 with 6:48 remaining and netting the winner that sparked the celebration on the Rams bench.
This is really just incredible. This was one of our major goals for the season, said Hompe. She expects the Rams and Blue Wave to meet again in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference playoffs.
Before the final goal, teammate Mannelly gave New Canaan an 8-7 lead at the 5:40 mark, though Darien (4-2) responded just 35 seconds later, courtesy of Kristen Gilbert, to give the Wave the tie.
Mannelly said she had a sense the Rams would get the W once they tied it. Im really excited we pulled off the victory, she said. Our defense did a phenomenal job.
Darien head coach Lisa Lindley she could feel the momentum shifting as Mannelly and her teammates stepped it up. The result of the game would have been different if Mannelly didnt turn it on. I think she single-handedly won the game for them, Lindley said. Thats what great athletes do.
New Canaan next faces off at noon Saturday as it visits Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y.
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