New Canaan Girls Lax Seniors Lead Team to 15-11 Victory over Ridgefield


The night opened with a ceremony honoring New Canaan girls lacrosse seniors Mia Carroll, Kylie Murphy, Catherine Granito, Katharine Freiberg and Sami Stewart—a class that has ventured on their journey in the sport and through much of their childhood and adolescence, together.

The five 2016 NC Girls Lax seniors on Senior Night. (L-R) - Sami Stewart, Mia Carroll, Katharine Freiberg, Kylie Murphy and Catherine Granito. Credit: Chris Cody

The five 2016 NC Girls Lax seniors on Senior Night. (L-R) – Sami Stewart, Mia Carroll, Katharine Freiberg, Kylie Murphy and Catherine Granito. Credit: Chris Cody

And thanks to hat-tricks from senior co-captains Stewart and Granito and two goals from fellow senior co-captain Murphy, the Rams (10-1, 8-0 FCIAC) notched a 15-11 victory over the previously undefeated Ridgefield Tigers (9-1, 7-1 FCIAC).

“The first half we were on fire,” New Canaan head coach Kristin Woods told “We were a little slow in the first five minutes, which is probably due to there being a lot going on [senior night] pregame. But there’s going to be a lot going on for our upcoming games, too. We have [Fairfield] Ludlowe next. Then we have Yorktown and Darien. So we have three more tests right in a row that I think will just make us better heading into postseason.”

After a scoreless first five-and-a-half minutes of the opening period, Ridgefield’s Allyson Myers gave the Tigers the early 1-0 lead.

It served as the Rams wake-up call, as just two minutes later, Stewart found the back of the net to get New Canaan on the board, and even things up at one, when she bounced a shot past Ridgefield goalie Madeline Burns—Stewart’s soon-to-be teammate at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Less than a minute later it was New Canaan sophomore Karli Bucci connecting on a feed from Granito to put the Rams up 2-1–which was followed by Stewart putting in her second of the evening right off the ensuing draw to increase the lead to 3-1.

Ridgefield would answer to get back within one when Lucie Picard put one past New Canaan goalie Caroline O’Dea. That marked the end of the Tigers scoring for the next 14 minutes.

New Canaan, however, put the ball in the back of Burns’ net, notching six unanswered goals. The scoring spree started with junior Campbell Armstrong netting one off a stellar feed from Murphy behind the net as Armstrong charged down the slot. Then it was Murphy’s turn to score when Stewart found her on a fast-break off a Ridgefield turnover. Granito tallied her first after that to stretch New Canaan’s lead to 6-2 and force Tigers head coach Cece Berger to call a timeout to try and halt the Rams’ momentum.

It did not work.

The Rams won the ensuing draw and 20 seconds later it was Armstrong who found the back of the net again on a feed from Stewart. The formula was repeated when sophomore Braeden Dial got the ball right off the draw and found her classmate Bucci in front of the net to put it in. And the finally tally of the run was recorded by Dial when she capitalized on a free-position opportunity, beating Burns low, through the legs, to put New Canaan up seven, 9-2.

Ridgefield would get one back before the end of the half from Kaitlyn McMullan, but the Rams were cruising heading into the break with a 9-3 lead.

And they kept the momentum going to start the second, notching four of the half’s first five goals. Murphy and Granito each got their second scores of the evening, which was followed by sophomore Gianna Bruno recording her first, and capped by Stewart netting her hat-trick tally with just over 19 minutes remaining to give New Canaan its largest lead of the night, nine, 13-4.

But you can never count out a team who has yet to lose.

Ridgefield would not go quietly into the night but instead responded to the Rams quick start to the half with three unanswered goals of their own to make the score 13-7 and force Woods to call a timeout.

The timeout served its purpose in trying to slow the Tigers down because no goals were scored in the game’s next six-and-a-half-minutes, which can in large part be credited to the Rams tenacious defense, a unit led by senior co-captain Mia Carroll. The scoring drought let the Rams breathe a little easier, and when Granito netted her hat-trick tally from ten yards out to put New Canaan back up seven with 5:29 to play, it all but sealed the victory for the Rams.

And when the final horn sounded, it was New Canaan on top, 15-11, to give Ridgefield its first defeat of the season.

“I think tonight shows that we are a competitive team and we are able to go head-to-head with other top teams in the FCIAC,” Stewart told “So we’re definitely excited for next week to play Darien, who [as of now] is another undefeated team [in the FCIAC].”

First, though, the Rams will next take the field against Fairfield Ludlowe on Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m. to begin a stretch of three straight away games.

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