Ellington High Lacrosse Teams Win Important Late Season Matchups

 

ELLINGTON-The Ellington High boys and girls lacrosse teams played consecutive home games on Saturday, with both teams earning impressive late season wins. The boys squad defeated rival South Windsor 15-11, while the girls squad took it to Morgan High School of Clinton, winning 13-7.

Ellington Boys Outlasts South Windsor in Game Benefitting Coaches vs Cancer

After relinquishing an early lead to South Windsor midway through the second quarter, the Knights stormed back to grab a halftime lead and maintained it for the remainder of the game. The Bobcats managed to cut Ellington’s lead to one midway through the third, but the Knights scored four consecutive goals to secure the 15-11 win.

Seniors Andrew Moller and Anthony Bocchino helped propel the Ellington offense, with Moller scoring five goals and Bocchino four. Junior Matt Greer scored four goals for South Windsor.

With the win, Ellington ended a three game losing streak and moved back to .500 on the season at 6-6. The Knights also improved on their win total from last season and defeated South Windsor for the first time since 2010. South Windsor lost its second consecutive game and fell to 7-7. The programs are coached by brothers Dave (Ellington) and Jon (South Windsor) Giordano.

Both this game and the junior varsity following it between the two schools raised money for Coaches vs Cancer and its parent organization the American Cancer Society. Fans donated money at the gate, and each player on Ellington and South Windsor wore shirts displaying the name “Coaches vs Cancer” on the sidelines and took pictures together in them following the game. This is the second consecutive season in which the Giordano brothers organized a benefit game.

“I think the biggest factors in our win today were our patience and efficiency on offense and ability to play good transition defense,” Dave Giordano said. “We were on our game today on both ends, and that was the difference maker.”

Ellington junior Zach Dougherty opened up the scoring early in the first and Andrew Moller scored midway through the quarter to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. Senior Jack Amato got South Windsor on the board with 4:54 remaining in the first, but Bocchino immediately returned the favor, beating junior goalie Kyran Blackwell high and to his left just 22 seconds later. Bobcats freshman Connor Smith beat goalie Alex Joslin with 1:41 to go to make the score 3-2, but freshman Steven Moller and sophomore Hunter Neal scored in just slightly more than a minute to give Ellington a 5-2 lead. Throughout the first, the Knights possessed the ball the majority of the time and passed the ball well.

Greer scored on a gorgeous shot right before the end of the first to make it 5-3, and the Bobcats built on that momentum in the first few minutes of the second. Greer scored 3:03 in to cut the deficit to one, and freshman Alec Cecchini immediately scored after the team won the faceoff to tie the game. Finally, Greer beat Joslin high and to the right at the 4:25 mark to give South Windsor a 6-5 lead. Each of these four goals were set up by pinpoint passes and strong offensive movement and spacing.

Facing adversity, Ellington showed great poise, proceeding to control play for the remainder of the half. Bocchino got the Knights started by tying the game midway through the quarter, beating Blackwell low on his shot. Andrew Moller then put them in front once again with 3:14 remaining, and Bocchino scored with 55 seconds remaining to give Ellington its 8-6 halftime lead. During this stretch, the offense showed the patience and good shot-making Giordano discussed, while the EHS defense consistently hounded South Windsor.

“Today, we did a much better job today of sagging in on ball-handlers and playing tighter, which we worked on a lot in practice and allowed us to match up quicker,” Giordano said. “Our midfielders also did a good job of getting back and helping the defenders out.”

In the opening minute of the second half, Andrew Moller and junior Colby Unterstein scored to give Ellington a 10-6 lead. South Windsor would not allow the Knights to pull away, however, and its improved ball movement and shooting allowed it to go on a run. Amato maneuvered through the tight defense and scored 4:06 in, and sophomore Tyler Osit put one in a minute later. With 5:55 remaining in the third, Greer scored to make the score 10-9.

From there, the third followed the same path as the second, with Ellington answering the Bobcats challenge on both ends and putting the game away in the process. Bocchino scored with 4:45 remaining and Neal beat Blackwell at the 3:10 mark. Finally, Andrew Moller scored with 22 seconds left off a ground ball to give the Knights a 13-9 lead.

“Momentum can always swing in lacrosse, but no matter what we were confident and poised and stuck to our game plan, and that’s what led to our runs,” Giordano said.

Andrew Moller and Amato both scored twice in the fourth. Moller scored 12 seconds in. After Amato scored twice to make things interesting, the Ellington defense tightened up and Moller scored with 2:13 to go to secure the rivalry win.

After the game, Moller discussed his performance and the importance of the win.

“My teammates and I were able to move the ball crisply and find holes in the defense and get in the crease, and I just found some good scoring opportunities,” Moller said. “I can’t take complete credit for any of my goals. Each one was a team effort.”

“It’s a great feeling to beat South Windsor, which is a much bigger school,” he said. “Beating a program of this caliber makes us optimistic for our final few games and then the playoffs.”

Ellington has three games remaining starting on Monday against Lewis Mills, while South Windsor must still play Farmington and Amity.

“If we play like we did today, it will be hard for anyone to beat us going forward,” Giordano said.

Ellington Girls in Control from Start to Finish Against Morgan

After losing 12-10 to Morgan in late April, it was a completely different story for Ellington girls lacrosse at home Saturday. The Knights rushed out to a 6-0 lead in the first half and maintained a high level of play throughout the game, going on to win 13-7.

Senior Alyssa Powers and junior Abby Wylie both led the way for Ellington, scoring four goals, and senior Hallie Glowacki scored three. Catlen Goss scored three times for Morgan. The win was the Knights third in four games and improved their record to 9-6. The Huskies are now 7-7.

“I thought we had much better ball control and were more patient on offense today compared to when we played at Morgan,” Ellington head coach Tim Bosworth said.

Glowacki opened the scoring for Ellington 1:45 into the game. After a short drought, the Knights offense found its groove, scoring four goals in just over five minutes to take a 5-0 lead. This run started with a goal by Powers 8:37 into the game. Just over three minutes later, freshman Katherine O’Connell scored to make it 3-0. Powers used her athleticism to quickly get open and score again with 12:43 remaining in the half, beating goalie Julia Zikerlbach to her left. Finally, senior Courtney Conley scored 1:18 later to make it 5-0. Throughout this run, the Knights maintained possession and methodically moved the ball around the field, frequently leaving the Morgan defenders one or two steps behind.

 After Wylie scored with 8:47 remaining to give the Knights a 6-0 lead, Skidmore scored the Huskies first goal 30 seconds later. Ellington kept its foot on the accelerator however, and Powers and Glowacki scored at the 4:52 and 1:43 marks to make it 8-1. Meanwhile, the defense continued its strong play, heavily pressuring the Morgan attackers whenever they got the ball and forcing frequent turnovers. Skidmore scored with 1:03 left to cut the deficit to six, but Wylie fired it in with 36 seconds remaining to give the Knights a 9-2 halftime lead.

“In the first half, our players were able to consistently find open teammates and take good shots by being patient,” Bosworth said. “Our zone defense played very well also. We were missing one of our top defenders, so I was glad to see us overcome that.”

Powers gave a similar answer to her coach when asked why the offense was so successful compared to the first time it played Morgan, particularly in the first half.

“Today, we moved the ball and set up plays quicker and were able to be more efficient. Ultimately, we were moving the ball more quickly than their defense could get to it,” Powers said. “It’s always good for us to be able to get off to a quick lead and then control the pace of the game.”

The second half was more even between the two teams, with Morgan outscoring Ellington 5-4. Goss scored the first goal 3:28 in, beating sophomore goalie Gina Carroll in the crease. Exactly seven minutes in, Wylie scored a pretty goal in traffic to make the score 10-3 and she kept her hot play up, scoring again just under three minutes. With 10:09 remaining, Glowacki scored off of a ground ball to give the Knights a 12-3 advantage. For the remainder of the game Ellington’s offense, which was somewhat sloppy in the second half, could only muster a final goal by Powers with 8:25 to go. While the Knights defense continued to play well in the half, Morgan’s offense was more efficient. In addition to two more Goss goals, Georgia Nye and Emily Davis also scored for the Huskies.

Ellington has one final regular season game at home Thursday against Suffield, which it defeated earlier in the season. Bosworth and Powers are both confident the Knights can win the game and find success in the state tournament.

“Winning today and against Suffield will be big for determining our playoff standing. If we play the way we are capable, than we can absolutely win playoff games,” Bosworth said.

“Beating Suffield will keep our good streak going and put us in a better position entering the playoffs. We’ve definitely come a long way over the course of the season, and I feel there’s definitely more success to come,” Powers said.

 

 

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